Chorizo Dressing with Gravy

Here comes the season for food favorites and traditional casseroles! Don't you just love the holidays? It becomes the permissible time to buy pants with elastic waistbands and eat as much as you'd like. Haha, all joking aside, one of my favorite dinner sides is a traditional holiday dressing. This year, I decided to spice up the dish with chorizo and hoped for the best. The dish was a success, but test it out for yourselves, and maybe it'll become your new holiday staple!

Chorizo Dressing

16 Servings
Prep Time: 30 Minutes

3 8oz Sourdough Loaves, Cubed to 1" (approx. 20 cups)
1 Red Pepper, Diced
1 Onion, White, Diced
6 Celery Stalks, Chopped
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/8 Cup Cilantro, Chopped Finely
2 Tsp Chipotle or Cayenne Pepper
7oz Chorizo Sausage, Uncooked
2 1/2 Cups Beef Broth
2 Eggs, Beaten

3 Cups (approx.)
Prep Time: 15 Minutes

3oz Chorizo Sausage, Uncooked
1/4 Cup Flour
3 Cups Beef Broth

Celery, Red Pepper, Onion, Sourdough Loaves
Separating and preparing ingredients before I cook has been one of my habits to minimize clean-up and the overlap of various products. Anytime I make dressing, I purchase and cube the bread at home; the food takes on a heartier texture. I'll let the bread air for a day or two to harden, but if not dry by the time I'm cooking there's a simple fix: 200 degrees, spread evenly on a cookie sheet and baked until dry (20 minutes or so). I usually dice some of the punchier veggies (onions, peppers) and finely chop the strong flavors (cilantro). The beef broth used in the dressing is to moisten and draw out the flavors of the drained chorizo, but please add to your desired preference. I also prefer beef broth in this recipe to add a bold kick to the dish, and it can easily be made from bouillon.  If it's a bit too heavy for you, use chicken broth instead for a lighter taste.

Celery, Red Pepper, Onion (Diced) and Sourdough (Cubed)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place cubed bread in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle a large skillet with EVOO and saute the celery, onion, and peppers until softened and set aside. Cook the chorizo until the fats separate and the meat darkens; remove excess oil. Pour all cooked ingredients into the large mixing bowl. Toss bread with cilantro, cayenne or chipotle pepper. Mix broth and beaten eggs together. Pour liquid slowly over dressing and toss until evenly distributed. Place into a greased 13" x 9" pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes covered with foil and an additional 15 minutes uncovered until golden and crisp.

Prepared Chorizo Dressing
Dressing Nutrition Info: (1 Serving)
Calories: 203, Total Fat: 8.6g, Sat. Fat: 3g, Cholest.: 43.1mg, Sodium: 460.6mg, Carb.: 23.5g, Fiber: 1.5g, Sugars: 1.6g, Protein: 7g

Cook 3oz of chorizo in a medium saucepan over medium to high heat. Once browned and fats separate, whisk in flour until thickened. Slowly whisk in broth until smooth and cook at a medium to low heat to simmer and thicken. Add pepper to taste.

The gravy will have a rich flavor and a tart punch from the chorizo and requires very little additional spices. It pairs nicely with the dish and is quite simple to make. Be watchful though, overheating the gravy could thicken it a bit too much to be palatable. 

Note: If gravy doesn't thicken to desired consistency, there's the ole standby: dissolve 1 teaspoon of corn starch in 1/8 cup of cold water and pour into gravy to thicken.

Gravy Nutrition Info: (1/4 Cup)
Calories: 48, Total Fat: 3g, Sat. Fat: 1.4g, Cholest.: 9.5mg, Sodium: 491.3mg, Carb.: 2.8g, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugars: 0.6g, Protein: 2.5g