No matter where I am in the world, when the temperature drops and the leaves start to change color I think of New York, my original “home”. There is something special about the cooler weather, the scent of wood burning and walking through fallen leaves that energizes me and brings back some of my favorite memories of the season…apple cider and apples and fresh donuts made at the local farms, gatherings with family and friends, the new fall movie line-up and of course good hair days! I just love it!
In the past few weeks and days my thoughts have been drawn back to NY primarily because of Hurricane Sandy whose devastation of NY and NJ has affected so many people that I care about and millions that I don’t even know, yet care about still. Today NY came to mind again when a close friend asked if I would share a recipe for the stuffing that I prepared for our Thanksgiving celebration last year.
NYC is where the recipe originated. I wish I could take credit for its creation, or say that it has been passed down to me through generations of family cooks, but I can’t. The recipe is from The Silver Palate Cookbook, one of my all time favorite cookbooks that has been around for more than 25 years. The Silver Palate was a gourmet food shop on Columbus Avenue and 73rd street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I lived on 78th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam in the early 1980’s and the shop was a frequent stop of mine for take out. The Cornbread Sausage Stuffing with Apples is one of the best stuffings I have EVER tasted and I have been making it for years. It always receives rave reviews from anyone who tastes it for the first time.
I will be making it again this year for a small family gathering here in Texas, but my thoughts will be with NY and all of those trying to pull their lives back together after the storm. New Yorkers are a resilient bunch and the videos and photos on every TV channel of neighbor helping neighbor during this tough time are a testament to their big hearts.
Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Feeling grateful. Enjoy the recipe!!
- 1 1/2 sticks butter
- 2 1/2 cups finely chopped yellow onions
- 3 tart apples (Jonathan and Winesap are good, I’ve even used Granny Smith), cored and chunked, do not peel
- 1 lb. lightly seasoned bulk sausage (Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage with sage is good)
- 3 cups coarsely crumbled cornbread (preferably homemade)
- 3 cups coarsely crumbled wheat bread
- 3 cups coarsely crumbled white bread (French or homemade preferred)
- 2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. dried sage
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cups chopped Italian parsley
- 1 1/2 cups shelled pecan halves
- Melt half of the butter in skillet. Add chopped onions and cook over medium heat partially covered until tender and lightly colored, about 25 min. Transfer onions and butter to a large bowl.
- Melt remaining butter in the same skillet. Add apple chunks and cook over high heat until lightly colored but not mushy. Transfer mixture to the bowl.
- Crumble the sausage into the skillet and cook over medium heat stirring until lightly browned. With a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to mixing bowl. Reserve rendered fat.
- Add remaining ingredients to the ingredients in the bowl and combine gently. Cool completely before stuffing the bird. Refrigerate if not used immediately.
- If you do not wish to stuff the bird (goose or duck, for example, can make the stuffing greasy), spoon it into a casserole. Cover the casserole and set into a large pan. Pour hot water around the casserole to come halfway up the sides. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 325 degrees, basting occasionally with cooking juices from the bird or with the reserved rendered fat of the sausages.
Source: Silver Palate Cookbook