I love this stuffing! It's warm, moist, soft, meaty, profound in flavor - all the good things. Who knew that taco shells could crumble up to make such a great dish? I do like to cook it outside the turkey, instead of inside the bird, to better control its cooking time. If you want a better flavor mingle between stuffing and bird, don't hesitate to dribble some turkey pan juices over the stuffing.
1 1/2 pounds fresh Italian sausage (sweet or hot)
9 crispy corn taco shells
6 large eggs, beaten
Scant 1 cup bread crumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons rubbed sage
3/4 teaspoon pepper
Dash of nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Remove the sausage meat from the casings. Discard casings. Break the meat into chunks and sauté them in a skillet for about 10 minutes over medium-high heat, or until the chunks are golden brown. Remove the sausage chunks and place in a mixing bowl.
3. Break up the taco shells with your fingers until they resemble oatmeal. Add the flakes to the sausage meat. Add eggs, bread crumbs, sage, pepper, and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly with your hands to form a slightly wet mass that holds its shape well.
4. Butter a casserole dish that just holds the stuffing in a fairly thick layer. Place the mixture in the dish, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Serve hot.
Adapted from It's All American Food by David Rosengarten (Little, Brown 2003).
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