Sunday, November 21, 2010


This recipe came about about 17 years ago in Montana when the Mother of two of my Grand-daughters asked if I put bread in the mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving.  I looked at her strangely as I had never heard of putting bread in mashed potatoes and told her no I wasn't going to put bread in the mashed potatoes.  She did not like bread in her potatoes and was happy.

When my children married, I made a point of collecting the recipes of their spouse's families so I could put them in the family cookbook.  In talking to my son's mother-in-law, I learned she was raised in Pennsylvania Dutch country and that her mother made something called Potato Filling.  It is mashed potatoes made into a stuffing/dressing. 

In looking through Pennsylvania Dutch cookbooks, I came up with the idea of making the stuffing/dressing/filling into balls so that the mixture would cook quickly.  Doing the mixture in balls allows you to cook the stuffing/dressing/filling after the turkey was out of the oven resting so the balls don't take up precious oven space while the dinner is cooking.

A unique way to serve dressing and it bakes quickly too.

Stuffing is defined as the mixture you stuff into the turkey and cook.  Dressing usually means the stuffing mixture is cooked in baking dish instead of in the turkey.  I worked for over 8 years in a food processing plant where live gobbling turkeys were turned into turkey hams, turkey breast lunch meat and other things.  With modern processing methods, I do not recommend stuffing a turkey.  An unstuffed bird cooks much quicker, no getting up at 4am like my Grandma and Mom to get the bird in the oven.  If a bird is stuffed, to get the stuffing inside the bird to a safe and the proper temperature, the bird itself gets over-cooked.

 All you need is some turkey and gravy.  The cranberry relish is the Family Friendly Cranberry Apple Relish from earlier on the blog.  Enjoy!!!!

This recipe came be made into Traditional Dressing as it is my old recipe for dressing or with the addition of mashed potatoes it becomes Pennsylvania Dutch Potato Filling.  Fruits, different meat, or other ingredients came be added to this dressing mixture, but the older I get the more I crave the old traditional flavors.


2 large potatoes, about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ lbs.
½ to ¾ lb. breakfast sausage
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
4 to 6 ribs celery with leaves, finely chopped
½ pkg. (1 lb) Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing Mix, the crumbly kind not
crouton-style, if only crouton-style available, crush with rolling pin.
4 T fresh parsley, chopped
2 eggs
Turkey or chicken broth

Ingredients: Herb stuffing Mix, celery, onions, breakfast sausage, fresh parsley, eggs, turkey or chicken broth, potatoes, warm milk and butter. 

Peel and cook potatoes. Mash with some butter and warm milk. Set aside. Brown sausage and break up into little pieces. Cook until no pink shows and drain. Saut√© onion and celery in a little sausage drippings. Add parsley and stuffing mix to onion and celery mixture. Add sausage to mixture. Mix and add broth to moisten. Add eggs and mix. Stuffing should be moist but not runny. Fold in mashed potatoes. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop filling into balls and put in greased pan. Bake in preheated oven at 375° for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and a little crispy on top. NOTE: Uncooked balls can be frozen, to serve, bake the unthawed balls at 375° for 45 minutes.

Crumble and fry the breakfast sausage.

Drain and leave a little pork fat in the skillet.

Clean celery and onions.  I ended up only using 2 onions.

To chop the onion, cut in half; make horizontal cuts into onion.

Cut into onion to cut it in half again.

Slice through the onion to chop.

Chopped onion, celery and celery leaves; put into skillet with pork fat and cook until softened.

I use a half a bag as this bag makes much more stuffing than I would use.

Put stuffing into a bowl.

Put drained sausage with stuffing mix.

Chop parsley.

Put parsley in with sausage and stuffing mix.

Add cooked celery and onion to stuffing mixture.

Add two eggs.

Add turkey or chicken broth to moisten. 

To test seasoning of stuffing mixture, fry a little patty so you are not eating raw eggs when tasting.

My Son does not like Potato Filling so I made him a bowl of the Traditional Stuffing/Dressing.

Wash potatoes.

Peel potatoes including the green part.  This potato was exposed to light which causes a reaction and results in green color.

Cut potatoes in equal sized pieces.  Cover with cold water and cook until potato flakes easily with a fork.

Drain well.

Put potatoes back on the heat and shake the pan to eliminate any remaining moisture.

Turn off flame.  Put a dish towel over the pot and cover to help remove even more moisture for dry and fluffy mashed potatoes.

Coarsely mash potatoes. 

Heat some milk and butter.

Pour some warm milk and butter into potatoes.

Complete mashing.

Add mashed potatoes to stuffing mixture.

Gently fold the two together.

Make stuffing balls.

Using an ice cream scoop make the balls and put them on a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

Brush tops of balls with butter.

Bake in preheated 375° for 25 minutes or until brown and crisp on top.

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