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Photo by: Joseph De Leo
One of my great culinary thrills is in inventing new stuffing combinations. The inspiration for this recipe comes from the reading of recipes for Southern ways with greens overlapping with a vacation through linguiça land, better known as the Portuguese section of Fall River, Massachusetts. The end result is like caldo verde translated from soup to stuffing. While the recipe makes an ample amount for stuffing a big Thanksgiving bird, I enjoy baking smaller amounts of it in a casserole as a starchy accompaniment to sautéed scallops, broiled lobster, or baked cod. Stuffing freezes well if packed securely in sturdy plastic bags. It will keep up to three months and bring enjoyment long after the last of the turkey carcass has disappeared.
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the kale. Blanch until the kale is cooked and tender, about 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and cool slightly. Squeeze out as much excess water as possible by wringing it with your hands. Set aside.
2. Melt ¾ cup of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion, fennel, red peppers, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and toss with the stuffing crumbs.
3. In the same skillet sauté the linguiç in batches, stirring frequently, until browned allover. Add to the stuffing along with any accumulated drippings.
4. Add the creamed corn, Cheddar, and pine nuts and stir to combine. Heat the remaining ¼ cup butter with the chicken broth in a saucepan just until the butter is melted. Pour over the stuffing and stir to moisten completely. (If the stuffing seems too dry, you may have to add a little more chicken broth and melted butter, this will depend on the fattiness and moisture content of the linguiça.) Season the stuffing with the oregano and salt and pepper to taste.
5. If using the stuffing for a turkey, store it in the refrigerator until the turkey is ready to be roasted. If baking it as a side dish, place the desired amount in a buttered casserole and bake at 350° F for 35 to 40 minutes.
Nutrients per serving (% daily value)
Nutritional information is based on 20 servings, and includes 1 teaspoon of added salt.
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