Connect with us

Wild Game Cooking

Cranberry Sausage Stuffing Recipe

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This is a simple recipe for cranberry sausage stuffing that has lots of variations depending on what you have on hand. Sausage, sage, stale bread, nuts and dried berries are the stars. You can vary the meat, bread, nuts, and berries, as you’ll see below.

I have no idea why people don’t make stuffing all year long. It is endlessly versatile, tasty and crazy easy to make. And, for those of us who work with wild foods, super easy to “wild up” with what you’ve gathered.

In this cranberry sausage stuffing, for example, I used venison sausage and dried lingonberries — cousins of cranberries — as well as wild hazel nuts and some wild mushooms; birch boletes, to be specific.

Stuffing, or dressing, as this should technically be called because it’s not cooked inside of a bird, is essentially a casserole based on some sort of starch — rice, bread, cornbread, etc. — with fun and delicious things added to it, in this case cranberries and sausage.

Each thing you add should scratch a taster’s itch: Bread for starch and heft, sausage and mushrooms for savoriness, sage and parsley for herbal zing, hazel nuts for crunch, and cranberries for sweetness and tang.

All of this makes the sum greater than the parts. Sausage cranberry stuffing is one of my mainstay stuffings; the other being my wild mushroom stuffing, which I usually do with chanterelles.

Cranberry Sausage Stuffing Jazz

OK, I love my recipe, but you can play around with it almost at will and it’ll still be amazing. As I mentioned above, each variation scratches the same itch, so you should be fine.

  • Bread. I used stale rye bread because, well, I like rye, and I like how solid and hearty it is in stuffing. Any stale bread works, or you can use the premade stuffing cubes from the store. I would not use cornbread in this case, as it practically dissolves in stuffing, which gives you a very different effect.
  • Sausage. Go for it. Anything that makes you happy. You’ll want it uncased. I used a simple venison sausage here, but a classic breakfast sausage works well, as would a sweet Italian sausage, a Sheboygan brat, Spanish butifarra, or even a pheasant sausage. It should be uncased, however. Pull the meat out of the casing if that’s how it came.
  • Cranberries. Craisins, as dried cranberries are known, are a great sweet-tart combo. But any dried berry that does this works, like lingonberries, wild blueberries, dried raspberries, currants or gooseberries. Cranberries are just the easiest to get.
  • Mushrooms. I used dried birch boletes, but any fresh or dried mushroom works here. Yes, any edible mushroom will add something, but I prefer a handful of savory dried mushrooms to play back-up to everything else; they’re the star in my mushroom stuffing.
  • Herbs. Sage is the classic Thanksgiving herb, but rosemary is nice, too, as are parsley, winter or summer savory, marjoram or even oregano.
  • Nuts. I really like using wild hazel nuts, which are small and flavorful, but regular hazel nuts (filberts) work fine, and walnuts and pecans are, arguably, even better. Pine nuts are fun, too.

To Egg or Not to Egg?

I like my cranberry sausage stuffing to be well bound, so I beat two eggs up and stir them in before baking. This lets you cut the stuffing and serve in chunks. An unbound stuffing tends to crumble. Still good, just different.

Another style issue is soft or chewy dressing. I am in the chewy camp. I don’t like my stuffing wet and squishy. So I use less broth than many other recipes. If you like a more cohesive, wet stuffing, double the amount of broth.

Finally, I like to toast my bread before adding to the cranberry sausage stuffing. This keeps things chewy and interesting, especially with the bread crusts. If you’re in the soft camp, remove crusts and don’t toast. You also shouldn’t need to toast the premade stuffing bread cubes.

Close up of the casserole dish of cranberry sausage stuffing.

Serving and Storing

Pretty sure I don’t have to tell you how to serve stuffing: Alongside the main course, whether it’s a turkey or something else.

But I’ve eaten leftover stuffing cold out of the fridge, reheated with eggs and/or rice, and, since I am in the “egg camp” so my stuffing holds its shape, leftover cranberry sausage stuffing is amazing fried in butter later. You’re welcome…

As for storage, you can make the dressing a day or two ahead if you want, and it will keep a week, covered, in the fridge. I’ve never tried freezing stuffing but I don’t see any reason you couldn’t.

If you liked this recipe, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and a comment below; I’d love to hear how everything went. If you’re on Instagram, share a picture and tag me at huntgathercook.

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Set the bread cubes in one layer on a baking sheet and toast for 20 minutes, or until nicely browned. Keep the oven on. NOTE: This step is not needed if you are using premade stuffing cubes.

  • Pour boiling water over the dried mushrooms and let them rehydrate. Chop roughly and save the water.

  • Brown the sausage and onion in a pan, using some of the butter if the sausage is not overly fatty. Add salt to taste (you might not need it), then the sage and parsley. Turn off the heat and let cool.

  • Put the toasted bread, rehydrated mushrooms, sausage and onion, nuts and dried fruit in a bowl and mix well. Add up to 1 cup of the mushroom soaking water, and up to 2 cups of the stock, depending on how wet you like your stuffing; I add a total of 2 cups of liquid.

  • Grind pepper into the mixture, then mix in the beaten eggs. Move all this into a casserole: I use a 10×10 Pyrex casserole. Pack it in tight if you want to be able to cut it into chunks later. Cover and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, then uncover and cook another 20 minutes, or until the top is pretty and browned.

If you are using lingonberries, don’t use more than 1/2 cup because they are very, very tart. You can use up to 1 full cup of other berries.
If you decide to use fresh mushrooms, go with 1/2 pound and cook them with the sausage and onion. 

Calories: 467kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 735mg | Potassium: 342mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 221IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 210mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Source link: by Hank Shaw at

Continue Reading

Wild Game Cooking

Scallion Pancakes – How to Make Chinese Scallion Pancakes

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Not a pancake, nor really a dumpling, Chinese scallion pancakes are really something of a flatbread.

These are one of the highlights of my springtime, since I will often use wild onions instead of store bought scallions. Any green, oniony thing will work here.

A stack of Chinese scallion pancakes
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Long-time readers of this space know I have an obsession with alliums: onions, garlic leeks and such. Every spring I harvest either ramps or huge numbers of our local wild onion, the tri-cornered leek. Mostly I use them as a substitute for garden variety green onions or scallions.

Here with scallion pancakes, the onion is the star, the main flavoring and textural element. It is a fantastic way to celebrate the ephemeral bonanza of spring.

Chinese scallion pancakes are, as you might be able to tell from the picture, not really pancakes. They’re flatbreads. Really, really good flatbreads. I’d never eaten them before I first made this recipe, more than a decade ago, but they’ve become a spring tradition at our house.

Eating one is not really like eating bread. Yes, they are kinda-sorta bready, but these pancakes are chewier, you get a little juicy crunch from the onions. and the aroma of sesame oil and onion is so wonderful it’ll make your eyes roll back in your head. Like my venison potstickers, this is one of those “Oops! I ate them all. Again.” kind of foods.

One tip on rolling out your scallion pancakes: Use a simple tortilla press, which makes flattening the pancakes quick and easy. You can also roll them out with a pin. But the cross cultural use of a tortilla press really does make things much easier.

You can vary the fat — lard and rendered chicken fat are a good options that are used in China — and you can add one or two additional flavor elements, such as ground Sichuan peppercorns.

Stacking a pile of scallion pancakesStacking a pile of scallion pancakes
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

How to eat them? By themselves they are great, but they become sublime with a sweet-spicy dipping sauce. Think Sriracha with a spoonful of honey in it.

Scallion pancakes are also good cold as a trail snack, or something to bring to work or on a long drive.

If you want to make this as part of a larger Chinese meal, you can add dishes like fish stir fry or Chinese braised mushrooms. Another good accompaniment would be Chinese lettuce cups.

  • Put the flour in a large bowl and mix in the salt. Make a well in the center. Bring the water to a boil, then turn off the heat. When the water stops bubbling, pour it into the well in the flour. Stir together with a fork until you get a shaggy mass. Wipe the goopy flour off the fork and knead the mass into an elastic dough, which should take about 3 to 5 minutes. Put the dough into a plastic bag or wrap it in plastic wrap and let the dough sit for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

  • Take the dough out and cut it into four pieces. Put three of them back into the plastic bag. For a work surface, I use a baking sheet flipped over that I’ve lightly oiled with vegetable oil. Roll out the piece of dough into a roughly rectangular shape; it doesn’t need to be precise.

  • Paint the dough with the sesame oil, then sprinkle with about a half teaspoon of salt. Sprinkle minced scallions over the dough generously, leaving about 1/2 inch free space on all sides of the dough.

  • Roll the dough into a tight log starting from the longer side of the rectangle. Slice the log in half and pinch closed the ends of the log to keep the scallions from spilling out. Take one half of the log and roll it tightly into a snail. Flatten the snail with the palm of your hand. 

  • Cut up a Ziploc bag or somesuch into large plastic squares that will cover your tortilla press. Place the flattened snail on one piece of plastic, cover it with another. Squash the dough with the tortilla press, or roll it out with a rolling pin to a thickness of 1/8 to 1/4 quarter of an inch.

  • Now you need to fry the pancakes in a little hot oil. I fry and press each one as I go, keeping the finished pancakes in a tortilla warmer lined with paper towels. You could also put them on a baking sheet in an oven set to 200°F. But if you are a beginner, roll out all your pancakes first.

  • I fry the pancakes in a large sauté pan with about a tablespoon of vegetable oil. I prefer peanut oil because it’s used a lot in Chinese cooking. Lard is another good choice. Get the oil hot before you drop the pancake in and cook for about 2 minutes per side, just until you get a little browning on them. Serve by themselves, with soy sauce or with a sweet-spicy dipping sauce.

Scallion pancakes will keep, wrapped in a paper towel, for a day or two in the fridge. They can also be frozen. 

Calories: 219kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1169mg | Potassium: 153mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 332IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Source link: by Hank Shaw at

Continue Reading

Wild Game Cooking

Potted Shrimp Recipe – British Potted Shrimp

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

British potted shrimp are a classic appetizer, usually served on bread or crackers, that is easy to make, delicious and it keeps at least a week in the fridge. I make mine with tiny pink cocktail shrimp, which are one of the most sustainable shrimp you can buy. Easy and tasty!

British potted shrimp on slices of rye toast.

You can actually buy canned potted shrimp, but I’m not a fan. Better to make them from scratch. I love the recipe from the great book The British Cookbook by Ben Mervis, and this recipe is basically his.

The dish is popular in the north of England around Yorkshire, and is made there with what they call brown shrimp. Brown shrimp are cousins of the boreal shrimp we can get here in the United States.

Boreal shrimp, Pandalus borealis, are the tiny “cocktail” or “salad” shrimp you get precooked and preshelled, often frozen. They’re amazing for a recipe like potted shrimp, because their small size makes them good on bread or crackers.

You can buy these little pink shrimp — not to be confised with royal reds, or Key West pink shrimp, which are different — in most supermarkets in the freezer section. I got some from my friends over at E-fish.

A cool thing about these shrimp is that they are sustainably harvested in the US and Canada, so you can feel good about buying them.

Shelled and cooked pink salad shrimp in a bowl. Shelled and cooked pink salad shrimp in a bowl.

If you can’t find pink shrimp, use the smallest frozen shrimp you can find, ideally cooked and shelled, or you can buy larger shrimp and chop them roughly. The idea, as you can see from the picture, is an array of shrimps and butter on your bread.

Once you have your shrimp, it couldn’t be easier: They’re already cooked, so just let the shrimp swim in your spiced butter for a while, then either serve or “pot up” in a jar (I prefer glass Mason jars), with a layer of butter covering the shrimp and it will keep at least a week in the fridge. I’ve kept them for three weeks with no problem.

Serving and Storing Potted Shrimp

You can serve your potted shrimp cool, room temperature or warmed up. Each has its own thing going on. Cool, on hot toast, is fun because the heat of the toast melts the butter. I prefer to leave my shrimp out on the counter an hour, then toast the bread, so the cooler shrimp/butter mix melts fast and doesn’t chill your toast.

Some people prefer to warm the potted shrimp in a small pot before serving, but I don’t love this because the butter gets everywhere.

I urge you to serve your shrimp on good bread. (It’s homemade rye in the picture.) Good toast + potted shrimp = amazeballs. But crackers are OK, too, and I suppose you could serve these over rice or grits if you wanted to.

For storing, if you make sure that the top of the jar of shrimp is covered with butter, the potted shrimp will keep at least a week, and maybe a month at the most. It’ll mold if any shrimp are exposed.

If you liked this recipe, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and a comment below; I’d love to hear how everything went. If you’re on Instagram, share a picture and tag me at huntgathercook.

Source link: by Hank Shaw at

Continue Reading

Wild Game Cooking

Pasta Primavera Recipe – Classic Pasta Primavera

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Pasta primavera is an icon of my culinary childhood. My mom used to make it all the time, not just in spring, almost always with angel hair pasta. Here’s a walk down memory lane, with the original, 1970s recipe for this classic dish.

Two bowls of pasta primavera
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

There was a reason Mom made pasta primavera so often: She first ate this iconic dish at the legendary Manhattan restaurant Le Cirque back in the 1970s, and, when the New York Times printed the recipe in the early 1980s, she clipped it and pasta primavera became part of our family rotation thereafter.

I learned this recipe quickly, and it became a main part of Hank’s Date Night Dinners back when I was a student at Stony Brook University. Then, at some point, likely when I started working in professional kitchens myself, I stopped making pasta primavera.

So did everyone else, apparently. But this vegetable-filled fusion of French and Italian cuisine deserves to live again.

Pasta primavera is at its core a mix of spring vegetables, mushrooms and long pasta. I chose spaghetti here, because, well, while Mom preferred angel hair, I like a good spaghetti more. Angel hair, to my mind, requires less “stuff” in the sauce to really work.

What follows is, more or less, how Le Cirque made pasta primavera. It is mildly involved, but not overly so. I’ll also give you shortcuts for weeknights.

A bowl of pasta primaveraA bowl of pasta primavera
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

How to Make Pasta Primavera

First, you need to blanch your vegetables individually, so each is cooked al dente when they’re tossed in the pasta. The chefs at Le Cirque would toss the salted water after each vegetable, but that’s insane. Easier to get a big pot of salty water rolling and move your vegetables in and out as needed.

What vegetables? Broccoli or broccolini or broccoli raab are a must, as is asparagus. Fresh or frozen peas are vital, too. You could throw in some thin green beans, too. Garlic, plum tomatoes and herbs like basil and parsley are also traditional.

As are mushrooms. Regular button mushrooms are fine, but I use whatever fresh wild mushroom that happens to be popping at the moment. I used blewits in the pictures. Morels are another great choice.

After all your ingredients are ready, you finish your pasta primavera with lots of grated parmigiano cheese and yes, cream. Heavy cream, to be exact. This is not a low-fat dish. It’s a celebration of spring. Alas, pasta primavera does not keep well, although you can reheat it maybe once.

For some other fun spring pasta recipes, try my Ramp Pasta with Morels, Arugula Pesto with Pasta, or Linguine with White Clam Sauce.

  • Get a large pot of water boiling, then add enough salt to make it taste salty. Boil the asparagus spears for about 1 to 2 minutes, then remove and slice into bite-sized pieces. Boil the broccoli florets for about 3 minutes, remove and spread on a baking sheet to cool. If you are using green beans, boil them for about 2 to 3 minutes, then add them to the baking sheet. If you are using frozen peas, set them out to thaw. If fresh, boil them for 1 minute, then move to the baking sheet.

  • When this is done, dump the water from the pot and refill it to boil the pasta. You’ll need to add more salt, too. You don’t want to use the vegetable water for the pasta because it’ll give it an off taste. Cook the pasta until it’s almost done — just a shade too much al dente to enjoy, but still mostly cooked.

  • Meanwhile, get a large saute pan hot and add the olive oil and sliced mushrooms. Toss to combine and sear the mushrooms over high heat. Sprinkle salt over them now. You want them to release their water. When that water has mostly boiled away, move to the next step.

  • Add the butter, red pepper flakes, garlic and tomatoes and toss to combine. Cook this with the mushrooms for 2 minutes, then add all the vegetables and toss to combine. Pour in the chicken broth and get this boiling.

  • To finish, add the herbs, pasta, grated cheese and half the cream. Toss to combine well, and add the rest of the cream if the sauce looks dry. Grate lots of black pepper over everything and serve.

Calories: 526kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 219mg | Potassium: 659mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1878IU | Vitamin C: 50mg | Calcium: 165mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Source link: by Hank Shaw at

Continue Reading

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Join our subscribers list to get the latest news, updates and special offers delivered directly in your inbox.