Cary, NC — Tired of sausage and sage in your Thanksgiving stuffing? How about a little prosciutto and a bit of fall pear? Pears lend a lovely sweetness, and the prosciutto a salty less heavy flavor than traditional sausage.
Pear & Prosciutto Thanksgiving Stuffing
- 5 cups crumbled cornbread
- 3 cups cooked rice, cold (I use Thai jasmine rice, because I love the fragrance it adds)
- 9 tablespoons butter, plus more for pan
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (3/4 cup)
- 1 cup chopped shallots
- 3 ribs celery, strings removed, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 medium green pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1/2 cup)
- 1 1/2 pounds prosciutto, chopped
- 2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped sage
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 3 to 4 cups chicken stock
- 3 firm pears, peeled, cored, and chopped into cubes
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine cornbread and rice, and set aside.
- In a large skillet, melt 5 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat.
- Add carrots, and saute until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes.
- Add shallots and celery, and saute until shallots are translucent, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add green pepper, and saute 1 minute.
- Combine vegetables and cornbread mixture.
- In same skillet, sauté prosciutto over medium heat, stirring frequently, until browned. Remove prosciutto with slotted spoon; mix with cornbread mixture, along with poultry seasoning, sage, salt, and pepper.
- Discard rendered fat from skillet.
- Add stock, 1 cup at a time; mix. (You may not need all stock.) Stuffing should be well moistened.
- In the meantime, drizzle pears lightly with olive oil and roast in 375 degree oven.
- Gently toss in with prepared stuffing and season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer to prepared baking dish.
- Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter; drizzle over top of stuffing.
- Bake until top is golden and stuffing is heated through, 45 to 50 minutes.
- To reheat, bring to room temperature, and cover; bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove cover; bake until heated through, about 10 minutes more.
This recipe will feed the usual Thanksgiving army and will go along with a 15- 20 pound turkey. Or a smaller crowd with plenty of leftovers.