Prepared by Chief Petty Officer Megan Mullen
Culinary Specialist “A” School
Training Center Petaluma
2 ounces dried wild mushrooms
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, warmed
1-lb. loaf French bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1 1/2 cups prepared walnuts, chopped (Substitute with any nut variety)
12 ounces mild fresh Italian sausage, casings
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a bowl, combine the dried mushrooms and hot broth and soak for 1 hour. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the broth.
Roughly chop the mushrooms.
Preheat an oven to 375°F. Butter a baking dish or small Dutch oven.
In a bowl, combine the bread cubes and olive oil and stir to coat.
Spread the bread cubes out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden and crunchy, 15 to 20 minutes.
In a sauté pan over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onion and celery and sauté, stirring often, until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes.
Add the walnuts and cook for 2 minutes.
Transfer the onion mixture to the bowl with the bread.
Return the pan to medium heat and melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the sausage and cook, stirring and crumbling until the sausage is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Add to the bowl with the bread and stir in the parsley and sage.
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the reserved broth.
Add enough broth to the bread mixture so it is moist. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the dressing to the prepared baking dish and bake until crispy and golden, about 1 hour, covering the dish with aluminum foil if the dressing gets too dark.
Make-ahead tips: Assemble the dressing and place in the baking dish up to 1 day in advance, but do not bake. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before baking.