Old California-style Turkey Stuffing
The best I have ever had, this recipe, featuring ground pork, dried fruits, pecans, seasoned cornbread stuffing, butter, and spices, originated in Spanish California before it became part of the United States, so it is very old. (Please note that if you prepare the stuffing up to the point before you add the dried cornbread stuffing, you will have a delicious taco filling). Serve the stuffing with the Mexican-style Roast Turkey and the Fresh Cranberry-Jalapeño Jelly.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup finely chopped onions
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
¾ pound ground pork
1 14 ½ ounce can tomatoes, drained
¼ cup juice from the tomato can
½ cup finely chopped pecans
1 ½ cups finely chopped mixed dried fruits, including pears, apricots, apples and raisins
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
½ teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 cups Pepperidge Farms dried cornbread stuffing, or a similar product
1 stick melted butter
1. Saute the onions and garlic. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil and sauté the onion until it is soft but not browned. Add the garlic and cook one additional minute, stirring constantly.
2. Cook the pork. Add the pork and continue cooking, stirring and chopping with the spoon to break up the meat, until it has just cooked through.
3. Add and cook the tomatoes, fruits, nuts and spices. Add the tomatoes and juice from the can, then add the pecans, fruits, thyme, marjoram, sage, and the salt, and cook, stirring frequently and breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon until most of the juice has either evaporated or thickened, about 10 minutes.
4. Finish the stuffing. Place the cooked ingredients in a large bowl, stir in the dried stuffing, and melted butter. The stuffing can either be placed inside the turkey just before roasting, as you would any other stuffing, or you can put it in a baking dish with a cover and bake it, covered, in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Serve the stuffing with the cranberry-jalapeño jelly.