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Sheila Lukins
Cookbook Author, U.S.A. Cookbook

Cherry Cornbread Stuffing
Adapted from Sheila Lukins, U.S.A. Cookbook
(Workman Publishing, New York 1997)

Yield: About 16 servings, or 16 cups: enough for a 20- to 24-pound turkey

2 recipes Country Cornbread (see recipe below), prepared 1 day ahead and left
loosely wrapped, at room temperature
4 1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, or 1 Tablespoon dried thyme
2 pounds bulk pork sausage
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups onions, chopped
6 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries
1 cup pitted prunes d'Agen
4 Tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves, or 2 teaspoons dried sage
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 cups defatted chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Cut the cornbread into 1-inch cubes. You should have about 12 cups. Place the cubes in a large bowl with
2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 tablespoons of the thyme, and salt and pepper; toss well. Spread the
cubes out on two baking sheets. Bake until slightly toasted, 15 minutes. Let cool at room temperature,
30 minutes. Return the cubes to the bowl.

Meanwhile, cook the sausage in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, breaking the meat up with a
spatula, until cooked through and lightly browned, 15 or 20 minutes. (Pour off the fat if too much of it
accumulates during cooking.) Using a slotted spoon, add the meat to the bowl with the cornbread
(breaking the meat up more if necessary).

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the butter in a heavy saucepan. Cook the onions and
celery over medium-low heat, stirring, until wilted, 10 minutes. Then stir in the cherries and prunes, and
cook another 5 minutes. Fold the mixture into the cornbread.

Using a rubber spatula, toss the remaining 2 tablespoons thyme, the sage and parsley with the cornbread.
Slowly drizzle in the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, until the stuffing is moist to your liking. Adjust the seasonings to
taste. Cool completely to room temperature before stuffing the turkey.

Note: Cook the stuffing in the turkey; any extra can be cooked in an ovenproof dish, covered, at 350°F for
20 to 25 minutes.

Country Cornbread

Yield: 6 servings

1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup plain low fat yogurt
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup creamed corn

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.

Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir well.

In another bowl, combine the milk, yogurt, melted butter, oil and eggs. Add this to the cornmeal mixture
and stir until just combined. Then stir in the creamed corn.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and bake in the center of the oven until the top is golden
brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out just clean, 45 minutes.

Cool in the pan on a rack for 15 to 20 minutes. Then remove the cornbread from the pan and let it cool
completely on a wire rack. Cut it into squares to serve.

Wine suggestion
Russian River Valley (CA) Gewürztraminer or Willamette Valley (OR) Pinot Noir

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