Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Pork, Sage and Onion Stuffing Bites

I'm pretty sure that most of us have food traditions that complete our holiday celebrations. Even I, whose family is not very traditional, have a recipe or two that I have adopted over the years that have now become must haves for us during the holidays.

I picked up several of these the recipes during our time in England.  While there we discovered favorites like sticky toffee pudding, Yorkshire puddings, and my most loved seasonal recipe of all, pork, sage and onion stuffing.

Since I usually only make stuffing at Thanksgiving, and sometimes still have a bit of a craving at Christmas, I like to use a very similar recipe that I form into little balls and serve as appetizers through the holidays. Not only does it give me one more bite of stuffing, but is it a relatively easy recipe, and is also an economical crowd pleaser.

A couple of posts ago I published a photo dipping them in some blueberry balsamic sauce that I developed for a blogger recipe contest.  It really was a heavenly combination (well at least I thought so). Since I've already provided the recipe for the sauce, I thought this a good time to hook you up with the recipe for the stuffing bites in case you needed something a little festive on your table. Even though this is great as an appetizer, you can easily double the bread in the recipe and use it to stuff a turkey or chicken to serve four people.

 Pork, Sage and Onion Stuffing Bites

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely diced celery (about 1 celery stalk)
1/2 cup finely diced onion (about 1/2 of a small onion)
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1 pound pork sausage meat
1 cup fresh bread crumbs (about 3 slices of sandwich bread)
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 egg
1 tablespoon rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground savory
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chicken broth (if needed)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place butter in a medium size skillet over medium high heat.  When butter is melted, add celery and onion and saute until vegetables are slightly transparent and soft, approximately 5 minutes.  Add garlic and saute for one minute longer; remove from the heat and set aside.

In a medium size bowl, place the sausage meat, bread crumbs, green onion, egg, sage, thyme, and savory.  Add the vegetables from the skillet and salt and pepper if desired, stir until just combined.  At this point if the mixture is dry add some of the broth an ounce at a time until it is the consistency of meatloaf.

Roll about a tablespoon of meat mixture at a time between your palms to form a meatball.  Place meatballs in a shallow baking dish or cookie sheet that has been sprayed liberally with cooking spray.  Repeat with the remainder of the meat mixture.

Place into preheated oven and bake for approximately 10 minutes.  Remove cookie sheet from the oven and turn meatballs over with a fork.  Return to the oven and cook for an additional 10 - 15 minutes or until they are golden brown and cooked through.

Serve warm with Spicy Blueberry Balsamic Sauce and Drizzle.

Makes approximately 18 bites.

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