Put Spice and Color in that Stuffing

Photo by Lorelle Del Matto

 Green Chili Stuffing with Chorizo, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Jalapenos 

There is one thing I like about football season – my husband Brad volunteers to make the Thanksgiving stuffing the Saturday before Thanksgiving while watching a series of his favorite college football games.  Since he’s cooking, we make his favorite stuffing, a very colorful, spicy Latin-inspired recipe I adapted from a Gourmet magazine recipe published a very long time ago.  Turning over the stuffing to a football fan does have risks.  One year Brad was watching an exciting game and lost track of the jalapenos, adding at least twice the amount called for in the recipe.  Of course we didn’t discover the “adaptation” until we sat down to eat.  It really enlivened the group at the table and water flowed like wine generally does. 

 I recommend getting two football fans in the kitchen as making stuffing can be labor-intensive, or do as we did this year and make a double batch. The second went in the freezer to pull out at a later date; it would be delicious with a chili-spiced roasted pork loin.  Great stuffing is too good to limit to Thanksgiving.  Happy Holiday!

Green Chili Stuffing with Chorizo, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Jalapenos

photo by Lorelle Del Matto

To keep this healthful, I use 65% reduced-fat, nitrate- and nitrite-free and ready-to-use chorizo made by a company Garrett County. I have also used Trader Joe’s lean jalapeno sausage.   One of the soy-chorizo products might work well, but I haven’t tried it.  For the bread, I like whole wheat Tuscan pane from Trader Joe’s (TJs). It’s not sweet like so many whole wheat breads.

 2 to 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

2 cups chopped yellow onions

1 red bell pepper, chopped (or 1/2 red and 1/2 a yellow or orange pepper)

1 large carrot, peeled and chopped

2 links ready-to-use reduced-fat chorizo or jalapeno sausage, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 cans (4 ounce) chopped mild green chilies

1/4 cup drained, chopped sun-dried tomatoes

2 pickled jalapenos, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon each: dried oregano, sage and marjoram or thyme

1 1/2 pounds whole grain bread, crust trimmed, cubed and oven-toasted until dry*

1 to 1 3/4 cups sodium-reduced chicken broth

3/4 cup toasted pine nuts or chopped pecans

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste (optional)

 Heat oil in Dutch oven or large deep skillet over medium heat.  Add onions, bell pepper, carrot and chorizo.  Cook, stirring often, until onion is soft.  Add cumin and chili powder; stir until fragrant.  Remove from heat and stir in green chilies, sun-dried tomatoes,  jalapenos and herbs. Transfer mixture to large bowl; stir in bread cubes. Stir in enough chicken broth to moisten bread cubes without making them soggy.  Add salt and pepper to taste, if needed.  Stir in half of nuts.  Spoon into oiled 3-qt. casserole.  Sprinkle with remaining nuts. Cover and bake at 350˚ for 30 minutes; remove cover and continue baking 20 to 30 minutes to crisp top. Makes about 10 servings.

 *Spread bread cubes on a large baking sheet and heat at 325° for 20 to 30 minutes or until dry, stirring once or twice.

 Copyright © Lorelle S Del Matto 2011

lorelle About lorelle

Crazy about cooking, eating and sharing good food – my work and leisure revolve around the kitchen. As a culinary dietitian my professional life encompasses nutrition counseling and education, recipe development, product development, food and nutrition writing, marketing communications, corporate test kitchen and consumer affairs management, food styling and work as a product spokesperson.

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