The Mailbox: Stuffing has pears and sausage

How to contact The Mailbox

If you have recipes in reply to Mailbox reader requests, or questions or comments, write to: Mailbox, c/o Taste, The Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852. You also can email or fax (916)  321-1109. Please include your full name, your city and phone number.

Sourdough stuffing with pears and sausage

Prep time: 50 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Makes twelve 3/4-cup servings

Michael McLaughlin of Sacramento was looking for a pear and sausage stuffing recipe that was in the Bee in November 2005. He and his wife recently moved to Sacramento from Paradise (near Chico) to be near family and the recipe was misplaced.

This recipe, from the Nov. 16, 2005, Bee food section, sounds like the recipe McLaughlin is looking for. The sourdough lends a tangy flavor to the stuffing, but you can use French bread if you prefer or if sourdough isn’t available. Serve this dish with your Christmas turkey.

Note: This stuffing could be prepared up to 2 days ahead up to the baking stage. Store the stuffing, covered with foil, in your refrigerator.

8 cups (1/2-inch) cubed sourdough bread (about 12 ounces)

1 pound turkey Italian sausage

Cooking spray

5 cups chopped onion (about 2 pounds)

2 cups chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrot

One 8-ounce package pre-sliced mushrooms

2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed and peeled Bartlett pears, about 2 medium

1  1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 9 minutes or until golden. Place in a large bowl.

Remove casings from sausage. Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sausage and cook for 8 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add sausage to bread cubes, tossing to combine. Set aside.

Return pan to medium-high heat. Add onion, celery and carrot; sauté 10 minutes or until onion begins to brown. Stir in mushrooms. Stir in pear, basil, tarragon and salt, cook 4 minutes or until pear begins to soften, stirring occasionally. Add pear mixture to bread mixture, tossing gently to combine. Stir in broth and pepper. Place bread mixture in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover with foil.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake stuffing an additional 15 minutes or until top of stuffing is crisp.

Per serving: 199 cal.; 11 g pro.; 29 g carb.; 5 g fat (2 sat.); 23 mg chol.; 684 mg sod.; 3.4 g fiber.