Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sausage Shrimp Dressing (Stuffing)

     I had my Christmas meal planned in advance.  It included a turkey, greens, candied yams and a ham.  I purposely left out the dressing (stuffing) because I seem to be the only one in my family that eats it.  My hubby and daughter just didn't like dressing and my gluten free son couldn't eat it if he wanted to.  However, around 10 a.m. I decided that I just had to have some dressing (stuffing) even if I was the only one to eat it.  Only one problem, well two I guess:  1) I didn't plan for it so I didn't have all of my ingredients and 2) I now live in Portugal so the trusted grocery store down the road with Christmas hours just wasn't happening.  Okay, to be fair, there may have been one open, but I was almost positive I wasn't going to find exactly what I needed for my usual recipe i.e. Jiffy Cornbread Mix. 
     "What to do", I thought?  I immediately took inventory of what I had on hand.  I had crackers that were very similar to Saltines, shrimp, duck broth (yes you read right), celery, onions, bell peppers and eggs.  I then grabbed my daughter and off we went to the nearest gas station.  There I found brioche bread and Portuguese chouriço.  Chouriço is similar to Spanish chorizo and can be used interchangeably.  Not that I've ever used chorizo in dressing, but hey, I also never used shrimp or duck broth either so what did I have to lose?  Plus, I figured I'd be the only one eating it anyway.  How wrong I turned out to be!  This was a total hit.  I hope you try it or some variation of this yummy make shift dressing. 
(note)  Recipe as is, is not gluten, dairy or egg free.  Perhaps substitutions can be made to make it that way, but I cannot vouch for the taste as I have not experimented with substitutions yet.  

Sausage Shrimp Dressing (Stuffing)

 9 slices of brioche bread (or white bread), toasted and broken into 1" pieces
100 gm (3.5 oz) Portuguese chouriço, Spanish chorizo or andouillie, chopped
250 gm (9 oz) shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
2 tbsp butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
3/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp rubbed sage
3 eggs, beaten
3 cups duck broth or chicken broth (my homemade broth was salted to taste)
36 unsalted saltine crackers, crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Butter 9 x 9 casserole and set aside.

1.  Over medium heat brown the sausage in a frying pan.  Remove sausage from the pan and pour off oil but reserving about 2 tbsp in the pan for sauteing the vegetables. 

2.  Add two tbsp of butter to the pan.  Saute onions, celery, bell pepper and dried herbs over medium heat until soft.  This will take around 8 minutes.  Remove from the heat and set aside. 

3.  Lightly salt and pepper the chopped shrimp.  (about 1/2 tsp salt)

4.  In a large bowl toss together bread, crackers, sausage, eggs, sauteed vegetables and broth, until well combined. 

5.  Pour into casserole dish and bake 45 minutes or until cooked through. 

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