Do you ever get your hopes up for some kind of leftovers, only to find out your sig other (or kids) have finished it off without your knowledge? More on this in a minute.
Stuffing is my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner. I generally prefer a vegetable stuffing, but I don’t mind stepping outside the box a little and adding a little sausage. It’s Nate’s favorite…just ask Momma Marsha 😉 Unfortunately (and fortunately for my waistline) the only time of year that I eat stuffing is on (or near) Thanksgiving – and plus leftovers, if there are any! I came across this stuffing appetizer recipe in Food and Wine and had to try it. It’s basically stuffing in a muffin, hence “stuffin’ muffins”! Lame, I know.
I made these for my girlfriend and myself on Halloween to snack on before we enjoyed our spaghetti squash soup with mushrooms. I loved them, and lucky for me, they didn’t all come out of the muffin pan in one piece. Seeing as though I couldn’t possible serve non whole muffins, I got to have a small snack before she got there 😛 Between the two of us, we ate about 6 of these suckers, meaning there were ample amounts of leftovers. I ate two. Nate polished the rest of them off as a lunch over the weekend 😦 I was sorely disappointed as I counted on one or two on Sunday night, only to have my hopes and dreams dashed when he told me there were no more left.
Long story short (too late), I loved these stuffing bites. I thought the hot turkey sausage was a perfect complement to the sweet-tart apple. Certainly any kind of sausage would work, pork, turkey, chicken – sweet or spicy. These would be an excellent appetizer at any party over the holidays. Everyone loves stuffing!!
Sausage-and-Apple Stuffing Bites
Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: Makes 24 mini muffins
4 oz white country bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup olive oil salt and pepper
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2/3 cup finely
2/3 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 pound hot Italian turkey sausage (use your favorite sweet or hot sausage, turkey or pork will be fine)
6 cloves garlic
3/4 tsp sage
1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled and finely chopped
4 large eggs, beaten
2 tbsp low-sodium chicken broth
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease mini-muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. On a baking sheet, toss the bread with 2 tbsp of olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 10 minutes, until bread is toasted. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
3. In a large skillet, melt the butter in the remaining 2 tbsp of oil. Add onions and celery and cook over moderately high heat, until golden, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sausage, garlic and sage, stirring and breaking up the meat, until no pink remains, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add sausage mixture, apple, eggs and broth to croutons and mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed; season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 5 minutes.
4. Pack the stuffing into the muffin cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden and slightly crisp on the top. Set pan on wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Loosen the muffins with a sharp paring knife and left them out. Serve warm.