For this Thanksgiving, Katie Matt, Al and Ann thought they’d share some of their favorite side-dish recipes with you. On “Today,” Katie kicks things off by making a dish that’s a family tradition in her house. She calls it “Katie’s Mom’s Pear Delight.” Matt takes over with his favorite stuffing recipe called “Fresco Italian Stuffing.” Al joins in with a traditional Thanksgiving dish his mom always made extra special in his home — “Sweet Potato Poon.” And Ann joins the gang with one of her family’s favorite cranberry sauce recipes. Sample the recipes below.
MATT’S FAVORITE “FRESCO ITALIAN STUFFING”
Most people use bread crumbs to make stuffing. This is different. This is a traditional European stuffing using rice. It’s so delicious that you’d never have enough if you were to stuff some in a turkey. You can put it inside the turkey, but it has to be done that day, since it cooks inside the turkey. The ingredients are also pre-cooked, so putting it inside a turkey is not really
recommended. Instead, your best bet is to cook the stuffing in a baking dish.
You can cook the Italian sausage in different ways. You can fry it in olive oil, bake it, or broil it. When it’s brown on one side, roll it over on the other side for even browning. Slice it into 1/4-inch slices. Sometimes the sausage lets off so much liquid that you don’t have to add chicken broth (optional) when you mix it with the other ingredients.
You slice and cube the mozzarella so it’ll melt easily while baking. When it’s done, it’ll be a little brown on top and all the cheese will be melted.
FRESCO ITALIAN STUFFINGStefano Battistini
Makes 6-8 servings
Combine everything in a big bowl and add a quarter cup of chicken broth to the mix.
Lay combination in an oblong dish.
Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.
912375960575286776048272810rice1pound1 lb. boiled rice al dente (Add salt to the water when cooking the rice. It brings out the flavor.)Italian sausageFried Italian sausage (or you can boil or bake it until browned and then slice it into 1/4-inch thick slices)mozzarella1.5pound1 lb. to 1 1/2 lbs. mozzarella sliced and cubedchicken brothChicken broth
Recipe by Executive Chef Stefano Battistini of New York City’s Fresco restaurant. Copyright 2001. Reprinted by permission.
ANN’S HOMEMADE CRANBERRY SAUCE
Of course, what is turkey without the traditional cranberry sauce. Ann discovered after years of adding canned sauce to her turkey that this easy-to-make cranberry sauce, taken straight from the “Joy of Cooking” cookbook (with a few personal adjustments), actually tastes a lot better.
It’s a very simple recipe that’s quick to make while the turkey is getting ready to be carved.
Copyright © 1997 by Simon & Schuster Inc., The Joy of Cooking Trust and The MRB Revocable Trust.