Un-stuffed Stuffing

This stuffing was discovered in Food Network magazine, and I felt it would go really well with our Christmas feast. This blog is all about experimenting with new foods/recipes, and Chorizo (a spicy spanish pork sausage) is definitely a new food for me. I bought mild Chorizo, instead of hot, because I wasn’t sure how my guests would react to something so spicy. This recipe comes from Aaron Sanchez, who I love to watch as a judge on Food Network’s Chopped. This recipe was definitely a fun twist on a traditional cornbread stuffing. If you feel like trying something new, click HERE. This would make a great side to any meal, and it was extremely easy to make!

**Note: This recipe yields about 3 Cups, which I thought was odd, so I quadrupled it for Christmas. When I make it again, I will probably double it to have leftovers.

Chorizo and Cornbread Stuffing

Materials:

  • 1 pound fresh Mexican chorizo
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups coarsely crumbled cornbread (I bought pre-made cornbread…MUCH easier)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (low-sodium store-bought is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Grated cojita cheese, for garnish (optional) (I skipped this because of the price..wasn’t needed)

Procedure:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the chorizo, breaking it up with a spoon and stirring occasionally as it cooks, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic to the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have browned, about 10 minutes. Add the crumbled cornbread and cilantro and gradually pour in enough of the stock so the stuffing is not too dry but at the same time not too wet. Stir gently and well.

3. Butter a small casserole dish. Spread the stuffing in an even layer. Bake until it’s heated through and lightly browned on top, about 20 minutes. Serve right away, garnished with the cilantro and cotija, if desired.

Observations:  I found that the Chorizo cooked completely different than any other sausage I’ve cooked before. It almost resembled dog food, which I know sounds awful considering this is a food blog. I literally cooked it “to death” and it finally started to crumble (barely). I finished the recipe, and it ended up turning out okay. It definitely doesn’t look like the picture though. I’m going to try and buy a different brand/type of Chorizo next time to see if that was the issue.

Analysis: As I have stated, this dish was extremely easy (minus cooking the Chorizo roadblock). I was worried about the flavor at first, but received many compliments. The biggest compliment was my husband devouring the leftovers in the days that followed after the holidays. It was a nice blend of salty/spicy from the sausage and sweet from the cornbread. It will be on my list of easy side dishes to make in the future. I might even try with a spicy Italian sausage next time.

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