Thanksgiving Stuffing Bites

IMG_8794Every November, I like to throw a Friends Thanksgiving. I’ve done everything from a full blown Thanksgiving, sit-down dinner, to cocktails out on the town to just have a gathering of friends. When I decided to tackle a Thanksgiving Cocktail Party, I was presented with a new challenge. I wanted to serve traditional Thanksgiving food, but it had to be finger-food friendly. Turkey was easy – sliced turkey breast with homemade cranberry sauce on mini butter rolls. Mashed potatoes could be served in small appetizer cups. But the stuffing was throwing me a curve ball. How could I keep the traditional flavors of a hearty stuffing, while adding a new, exciting edge to this Thanksgiving classic? And then it hit me. Let’s stuff the stuffing into the bread! Using my family’s stuffing recipe, I modified it by omitting the twelve grain bread. And instead, I used Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry flaky, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth dough as cups to hold the the savory sausage stuffing. There you have it folks – the Thanksgiving Stuffing Bite. You’re welcome.

IMG_8705Ingredients 

  • 1 Package Jimmy Dean Sausage
  • 1 Small Vidalia Onion, diced
  • 4 Stalks Celery, diced
  • 1.5 tbls Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • 1/2 Stick Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Turkey Broth
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Pepperidge Frozen Puff Pastry Cups

Over medium heat, sauté  the diced onions and celery with the butter and a bit of olive oil, enough to coat the pan. Carefully turn the onions and celery, ensuring not to let them caramelize. Cook until the onions become translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the sausage, turkey broth, garlic and thyme leaves. Cook the meat until fully cooked through, about 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper. This can be done a day in advance, and reheated on the stove top over low heat before serving. The flavors will develop better if given time to sit. IMG_8707When ready to serve, reheat the stuffing until the sausage mixture is hot. In the meantime, preheat the oven to the instructions on the frozen Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Cups. Bake according to the instructions. Once baked, fill each pastry dough cup with the sausage mixture. Serve hot. Happy Thanksgiving!
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