Saturday we had my family over.  I love these gatherings, because I enjoy their company and second they love to eat.  It makes me happy to feed people; especially because I love to cook and bake.

Everyone of them loves my Thanksgiving stuffing.  It has incredible flavor and texture.  Well, truth, it’s not my recipe it’s Raffey’s stuffing recipe.  Who is Raffey? Giada De Laurentis’s Aunt.

Now remember I am not a food blogger, but I enjoy sharing recipes that I love…and you’ll see below the original recipe, along with any things I add or change to create the “meatloaf effect”

Here’s the recipe for the “stuffing”:

1 medium green apple, cored and diced into 1-inch cubes
1 medium red apple, cored and diced into 1-inch cubes
1 medium onion, diced into 1/2-inch cubes (I substitute shallots)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons cubed
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 (6-ounce) bag dried cranberries
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage, meat removed from casing
8 ounce jar steamed whole chestnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 pound day old cornbread or bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes **(for my version I use dried cornbread cubed stuffing from Pepperidge Farm) Tastes excellent, trust me
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a medium sauté pan add the apples, onion, 1 tablespoon oil and butter cook over a medium low heat for 10 minutes to soften. Add the wine, cranberries, and salt and pepper, simmer for about 5 minutes. Take off the heat and allow the mixture to cool.

In a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and turkey sausage meat and break up with a wooden spoon and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 8 to 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl toss together the fruit and onion mixture, the sausage, the chestnuts, the cornbread and red pepper flakes. Combine all the ingredients.

Add the chicken stock, and 3/4 cup of the Parmesan. Gently place into an 8 1/2 by 8 1/2- inch glass Pyrex baking dish and top with the remaining Parmesan. Dot with butter. Place in middle rack and bake until top is golden brown, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

* *NOTE:  Since I use the bagged stuffing I use and 9×13 casserole dish.  I add the stuffing to a 9×13 lightly buttered dish and add a box of low sodium chicken stock to moisten the stuffing.

I then add the cooled ingredients slowly to the stuffing and combine well.  Before placing in the oven I add the additional softened butter in small cubes to the top of the stuffing and bake.

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Now, when I decided to make this, I knew I would have to make this more like a meatloaf then a stuffing.  

I used the same recipe with a few changes.  Follow the first part of the recipe.

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I also cooked two additional pounds of turkey sausage out of the casing to have the consistency of meatloaf.

Next, instead of the cubed stuffing, you need breadcrumbs.  I purchased the bag of stuffing in cornbread flavor but this time in crumb version.  I did so to save me a step from having to crumble it.

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I added two lightly beaten room temperature eggs and mixed lightly into the crumbs.  I saved a bit of crumbs to place on top of each meatloaf.

The cooled sausage meat and the rest of the ingredients were then added to combine and bind together with the crumbs.

Once combined I add the ingredients to individual ungreased spring form pans.  I left room on top for the saved crumbs to place on top and dolloped each meatloaf with two small cubes of butter to get a crust.

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I placed them in the refrigerator overnight to allow all the ingredients to bind well.

Bake at 400 degrees with each pan tented with foil for 45 minutes.  Then take the foil off and bake for an additional 10 – 25 minutes for the crumbs to get a bit crispy.  Let the pans setup for 10 minutes and release from the pans.  The bottoms of the spring form pans will come off with the tip of a knife easily.

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Hope you try this recipe.  Everyone loved them!

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