Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wild Rice & Sausage Stuffing (gluten free)

Since Joe became gluten intolerant, I've searched for breadless stuffing recipes. I found a few of them that I've combined and enhanced. It's now a winner for our family that will stay in my recipe collection. I can contentedly eat it as a meal, and my kids all love it--maybe even more than the turkey. Give it a try.

Here we go...

2 medium onions, diced
6 TBSP butter, separated
1 cup wild rice, uncooked
3/4 cup long-grain brown or white rice, uncooked
5-1/2 cups low-sodium, gluten-free chicken broth
2 cups finely chopped celery
1-1/2 lbs. Italian sausage (remove casings, if necessary)
1 cup chopped toasted slivered almonds or pine nuts
salt and lots of pepper, to taste
2 TBSP sage (dried)
1-2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 very large or 2 medium sized apples, cored, peeled and diced
1 cup dried cranberries
2-3 TBSP fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

In a saucepan with a tight fitting lid, add both types of rices and chicken broth. Bring mixture to a boil then simmer on stove (covered) for 25-30 minutes until mostly done (before wild rice starts to split and curl). If all the stock isn't absorbed after 35 min., drain rice in mesh strainer.

In a large, deep skillet (with lid), break up and brown sausage. Drain fat, remove sausage from pan, and set aside. Melt 3 TBSP butter in the skillet and saute onions until soft. Remove from pan and set aside. Then melt the remaining 3 TBSP butter in pan and sauté celery and diced apple until soft. To the skillet, welcome back the Italian sausage, onions, and add the rice mixture as well. Add the toasted almonds, salt/pepper, sage, poultry seasoning, dried cranberries, and parsley. Mix well. *Check seasoning*, and add more as needed. Heat to serving temperature.

Leave in large covered skillet to keep warm for serving. Or go ahead and be a respectable host and dirty yet another dish by scooping it into a nice baking/casserole dish to serve.

I can't emphasize this enough -- check your seasonings! Everyone has seasoning preferences, so taste it along the way to figure out what makes your taste buddies dance. Make it your own! When you get it just right for your family, don't forget to take notes so you can make it to your liking year after year.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Brownie Camo Cheesecake

Nothing says Happy Birthday to my son like this fun and tasty treat! I've gotta say, I like this kid's taste.

His request:

"Can you make a cheesecake with a brownie on the bottom and cheesecake on top...but not too much cheesecake--just enough."

Got 'er covered. He didn't even know that it would be camo colored.

The base can be a box brownie mix (for a 9 x 13" pan) or your favorite recipe. I baked the brownies about 5 short of being fully done (they were no longer jiggly in the middle but a toothpick definitely would not come out clean).

I then used this cheesecake recipe but changed the proportions to use 3 pkgs. (24 oz.) cream cheese. I did not use almond extract, so I added an additional 1/4 tsp. vanilla.

I'm seeing a birthday trend in this family!

Tye-dyed red velvet cheesecake

Brownie cheesecake