I am blessed in my friendships— I have such wonderful friends around the globe. I’ve been helped out of many a mess; shared in fun times; been proud of their accomplishments (I truly have some super-women friends); and inspired by so many of them. One area (not surprisingly) in which I have been inspired, is in my cooking and baking. I love cooking with friends too — my house or theirs, I find it a fun thing to do together with a glass of wine or cocktail in hand and fresh news to share.
Two of my girlfriends are a constant in inspiration and cooking camaraderie. One (AK) has 3 kids and one (SO) 2 kids— all that eat well (as in, they like our food). I love when we can all get together and cook/eat/play. We always have fun.
Recently for SO I tried out one dish that AK had cooked for my family- stuffed pork roast— which is stuffed with stuffing (as in traditional Thanksgiving-style sausage stuffing). I think my girlfriend made it better than I did, but it was still quite good. I was too afraid of getting the stuffing mushy that I erred on the side of too little stock to moisten the stuffing so it was too dry. The pork itself was great.
I also introduced SO and her girls to kale chips which my boys and I love. I made some with sesame oil, canola oil and salt and some with olive oil, salt and pepper. The boys were cheerfully exclaiming, “kale chips!” when they saw them.
Simple Sausage Sage Stuffing
4 links, casings removed, Italian sweet sausage
1-2 stalks celery, diced
1 small onion, diced
4 cups croutons
Handful fresh sage, chopped
Approx 1 cup chicken or veg stock
salt & pepper
In a large stock pot sauté the sausage until cooked. Set aside. Then sauté the onion and celery in olive oil (or sausage fat) until onions are translucent. Add sausage back in with croutons, sage, ½ tsp salt and pepper. Mix well and slowly add stock until stuffing sticks together nicely but isn’t too mushy. Add more salt if necessary. Let cool then stuff your meat/bird. (Tie if necessary to keep in the stuffing.)
I’d never stuffed anything with this type of stuffing besides a turkey or chicken. Now, I figure I’ve tried something new thanks to my friend. And this is only one of many dishes/desserts these two are introducing me to…and inspiring me to do it too.