I love a cornbread base. and spicy sausage like andouille or chorizo goes so well with it. A combination of raw onions and peppers with sauteed garlic and shiitakes creates contrasts in texture and flavor that make people stop and think.
The cornbread is best made a day in advance.
From the story: To the table, and be slow about it
Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl and toss with a fork to blend. Combine the buttermilk, oil and 2 of the eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly mixed but still lumpy. Oil a 9-inch-square baking dish and heat it in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the batter into the pan and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until browned and firm. Cool completely before proceeding.
Cut the cornbread into 1-inch cubes and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the onion, celery, red pepper, sage and parsley.
Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until softened, about 2 to 3 minutes, then add the shiitakes. Cook until soft but not browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the garlic-mushroom mixture to the bowl with the cornbread.
Melt the remaining butter in the saute pan and brown the sausage. Add it to the cornbread mixture. Toss until the ingredients are well blended, then season lavishly with salt and pepper to taste. Cool completely.
Fill the neck and body cavities of the turkey with the stuffing.
Beat the remaining eggs with the milk and mix with the remaining stuffing. Transfer the pudding mixture to a shallow nonstick baking dish and bake at 350 degrees until set, about 30 minutes.
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