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Recipe of the Week: Cranberry Pear Chutney and Chestnut Sausage Stuffing

By CHEF LORETTA PAGANINI - | Nov 10, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Chef Loretta Paganini

The Thanksgiving holidays will soon be upon us, and many families are getting ready for the traditional celebration dinner with lots of shopping trips to procure all the ingredients for the special feast, cleaning, decorating and setting a festive table, brining and cooking the turkey, lots of chopping for getting the side dishes ready. The thought of it can all be quite exhausting. Unfortunately, this year things will be a little different due to the COVID-19 pandemic with social distancing to worry about and travel restrictions that are keeping most of us home. Most people these days are actually looking forward to the traditional Thanksgiving cooking preparation, probably because it will give them the sense of normalcy when they feel that they have no control over the situation they are in. In my family, we celebrate with an Italian flair — a blend of traditional dishes with Italian favorites. The family gets together at my house and everyone contributes by bringing a dish to share. Enjoy these recipes with your family. They are guaranteed to make your Thanksgiving holiday extra special.

CRANBERRY PEAR CHUTNEY

(serves eight)

This cranberry chutney is the perfect flavor combination of sweet and tart and it pairs perfectly with roasted turkey. It can also be used with leftover turkey to create the best sandwich. (Chef tip: Make it at least two days before serving to blend the flavors together and keep chilled in the refrigerator in a sealed container.)

2 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar

3 Bosh pears, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 oranges, zested and juiced

12 ounces fresh cranberries

1 cup granulated sugar

Zest the oranges. Cut away and discard peel and pith from each orange, then cut sections free from membranes. Squeeze out any remaining juice.

Whisk zest, juice and brown sugar in heavy large saucepan. Boil over high heat add pear pieces, cranberries and granulated sugar. Cook until cranberries begin to pop, about 15 minutes. Stir over medium heat until heated through. Transfer chutney to a bowl and chill.

CHESTNUT SAUSAGE STUFFING

(serves eight to 12

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, without casing

10 fresh, peeled chestnuts

1 cup celery, finely chopped

1 cup onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

8 cups unseasoned bread cubes

1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped

2 cups de-fatted chicken stock, more if needed

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter in a large pot. Add sausage and cook until no longer pink. Add celery, and onion and sauté until onions are transparent. Add garlic and cook one more minute. Add remaining ingredients and toss together to fully saturate bread cubes. If mixture feels dry add chicken stock to moisten. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Place in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and bake in a 350°F oven for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and crispy.