Saturday, November 7, 2009

SAVORY BREAD PUDDING with Buttermilk, POM and Pork Sausage Instead of Stuffing

I am going to get on my soap box for this one... DO NOT COOK STUFFING INSIDE YOUR TURKEY THIS THANKSGIVING. There are three reasons for this. First, cooking stuffing inside your turkey raises the risk of serving undercooked food and risking poisoning your guests. If you stuff it too full, restricting airflow, it is difficult for the heat to reach the center of the stuffing. Second, a stuffed bird has to cook a bit longer than an unstuffed bird. With the cavity open, the hot air flows through the bird and adds cooking from the inside out, cutting down on cooking time, and giving you a chance to pull the bird out of the oven before the (overrated, but don't get me started) white meat dries out. How many times have you heard stories of waiting and waiting for the bird to reach temperature. I would bet dollars to donuts if you checked, those LONG cooking birds are stuffed, and the hot must penetrate all the way through the bird and the stuffing before it reaches temperature (internal temperature of the thickest part of the bird AND the center of the stuffing must reach 165 to be safe). And finally, the third reason... TASTE! Take a look at this recipe, and decide if this would have a better taste than seasoned bread crumbs and a can of chicken broth (and maybe a few diced celery stalks).

Here's what I did...

First, just a small confession, I have been making dressing outside of the bird for several years. But this is the first time I made a savory bread pudding. I got the idea from attending the NEW ORLEANS SCHOOL OF COOKING Which I blogged about HERE. That wonderful old Creole cook talked about a savory bread pudding (when we were getting our lesson on the sweet dessert bread pudding). That discussion really peaked my interest, and I started researching what the difference is...

Basically, change the chicken broth you use for dressing to more eggs and milk. This creates more of a custard taste than the bread taste of dressing. I found a recipe I liked, and then pondered about what changes I could make to make it mine...

And this is what happened...

I used one pound of pork sausage, and one pound of bacon diced. I browned this, with a sweet onion, also diced...

I added some Cajun spices. I used the Cajun rub I make myself, but any commercial Cajun brand spice mix will do.

And finally, I added some sliced and diced garlic.

I tore up some of So, I used my one and only recipe for FUGASSE BREAD that you can find by clicking HERE. I made the loaf 3 days earlier, tore it u fresh, and allowed it to get stale. Stale bread makes a better bread pudding. It absorbs the liquid better. The recipe is for a 9X12 Casserole dish. Fill about 3/4 of the way with the bread.

Add some mushrooms and the meat seasoned browned meat (drain the fat first)...

Pour a half a pound of melted butter...

Add 3 cups buttermilk...YUM!

Add a bottle of the POM WONDERFUL Pomegranate juice!

And finally, 6 eggs! And now, get down and dirty, mix well. Use your hands. be careful to not break up the bread any more than you must. You want the flavored bread chunk texture, not the texture of bread crumbs.

And finally, I added a little freshly grated provolone cheese!

Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour. You want to be able to insert a knife and have it come out clean. The taste is incredible... Try it and you will never make stuffing (shudder) again!

And BTW, same night I was serving this, I had a guest who did not eat pork. I made a separate vegetarian savory bread pudding that I will be blogging about shortly...

And another BTW, I am leaving you for a bit... Not as a blogger, I have 7 fresh posts in the can as they say, and will be posting original content each of the next 7 days. But I am having a bit of a family thing going on, and need to spend a week with my sainted Mother (will try to give her a cooking lesson or two, but you know Mothers). So, I will not be able to visit your sites, nor comment on the wonderful things you will be doing. I will miss you all, and will be back in a week (but remember to check back here daily for that fresh content I mentioned).

And consider serving a savory bread pudding for your Thanksgiving dinner... You will not be sorry!

And now a couple bits of advertising/reminders. I have had terrific response to The O Olive Oil contest announcement. (for me) a record number of people commented, and my second most popular post ever (that "post that must never be mentioned again" was my most popular... But you can go to by clicking HERE)). The Good folks at O Olive Oil are allowing me to give away 3 SETS (not three bottles, but three sets of bottles) of their gourmet top quality oils and vinegars. Each set is worth over $30, and $100 plus worth of oil will be given to the winners. Stop over at this post (CLICK HERE to get there), if you haven't yet, leave a comment, if you haven't yet, leave a recipe link. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO POST AN ORIGINAL RECIPE ON THE COMMENT PAGE, POST a LINK to your site, with the page you think the judges would like. right now, I only have a handful of recipes, best odds to win go for recipe posters and that is the BEST prize (one of their seasonal collections, YOUR choice). TOP TOP TOP quality, and a terrific opportunity to try their products FREE!

I mentioned several gadgets during this post, as well as books... Pus, I am including links for Julie & Julia pre-release (and even a link for a free JULIE & JULIA shopping bag with your pre-order). Take a look at the discounts offers (have I mentioned I am cheap, save a little here and there and you can live and eat like a king!


  1. I promise not to stuff my bird this Thanksgiving! :-)

  2. "serving undercooked food and risking poisoning your guests."

    This reminded me of the first comment on my recent thermometer post when Lord of the Wing replied "I just don't care about my friends and family". Cracked me up.

    Hope Mom is okay, have a safe trip!

  3. That is one kicking dressing. Wow!! Never knew that about the adding more eggs. I'm certainly going to do that this time. I'm surprised I'm not dead; through all my years we've only had stuffing cooked inside the bird, but of late I've taken to cooking it outside. Even the Bells packages showed the stuffing spilling out of the turkey. Oh, well, times change as we learn more.

  4. You are preaching to the choir - I do not Stuff the turkey. Have a safe trip.

  5. I bet this is awesome! I'll definitely give it a try, but speaking of mothers I better not make it for Thanksgiving, she gets so mad if I change the traditional dishes. I'll whip up a batch to go with the leftovers.
    Hope everything is ok with your mom. See you when you get back :-)

  6. This sounds awsome, Dave! I wouldn't have thought of using POM, but why not!
    I've never stuffed the turkey because it cooks faster unstuffed, and I really am afraid of it not getting done.

  7. I watched Alton Brown on this too.. I've been brining turkeys for 15 years, and only recently did a test of inside/outside the bird stuffing/dressing... The result was- they were both equally good, with the outside slightly edging out the inside(more texture contrast)..
    Shorter cooking time for the bird increases the odds of a juicier bird- without a doubt! If you are deep frying or smoking turkey-stuffing in bird is not even an option!

  8. This is the one I have been waiting for, YUM. I will be making this for Turkey Day!

  9. The bread pudding sounds super - I like to use dinner guests as guinea pigs and they are used to it. Rather than our usual and oyster dressing, it will be our usual and this recipe - looking forward to trying it.

  10. I've been making savory bread pudding for quite a while( see my recent posting of mushroom bread pudding) but I have to confess I stuff my turkey. Have been doing so since the 60's and my mother and grandmother before her. Nobody has gotten sick yet and I love the way the stuffing soaks up the turkey juices. (I especially love that little gem of skin and stuffing where the turkey neck was!) Whatever is left over from stuffing, I put in a casserole and bake separately.
    I know all the warnings, but there are warnings for just about everything now. I swear, it's a wonder we all grew to adulthood!

  11. Thankfully I have never stuffed my bird!! My recipe is a bit more traditional, but I might have to try yours this year. :)

    Here's my recipe for Oatnut Sourdough Herb Dressing.

  12. My favorite thing to do with good olive oil recipe:

  13. I always felt eek about eating the stuffing from inside the turkey, therefore made sure to reserve some for serving on the side. A Savory bread pudding however is OUTRAGEOUS ! and spiked with POM Juice ? I can just imagine how amazing this would have tasted... Thanks to all the new things I've learnt from my fellow foodie friends since becoming a food blogger,... my thanksgiving table this year is gonna be SOOOO GREAT !

  14. I love the looks of this bread pudding, and I love that you put POM in it!