From a grocer’s produce aisle to an Alaskan salmon cannery and a Maryland restaurant, Louis Tamasi has lived a life revolving around food and travel.
“Well, I’ve always been the adventurous kind of person,” Louis said. “I’m not going to get nailed down to one area too too long.”
After losing his mother, he decided to take on one final major adventure – head to the Philippines to meet a woman he clicked with online. They’ve been married for eight years and live in Jacksonville, FL, where he’s a Shipt shopper.
“(My wife) was the silver lining in the clouds,” he said.
Because of Louis’ experience as a chef back home in Maryland, he does the cooking in the household. Plus, he was excited to introduce Thanksgiving to his wife, who has embraced it wholeheartedly. After eating, they put up their Christmas tree.
“For us (Thanksgiving is) just the two of us. All of our family lives in other places in the United States,” Louis said. “We kind of keep it a relatively simple affair.” They enjoy turkey, and he also enjoys making pumpkin meringue pie and a sweet potato souffle with pecan topping.
He loves trying these dishes from his grandmother’s recipe book, filled with newspaper clippings, recipe cards and typewritten note cards. His signature dish is an apple sausage stuffing. He thinks the recipe goes back to the 1940s and is a Pennsylvania Dutch/Amish style.
He picked up the tradition of making this dish after his grandmother passed away and he discovered the book. He said it’s a simple recipe, and he’s been making it for about 20 years.
“When I looked at the recipe, I decided I wanted to try it, because I was getting sick of the regular old sausage stuffing that we always seem to make around Thanksgiving,” Louis said.
Ready to try a new take on your stuffing this Thanksgiving? Here’s Louis’ recipe.
Amish Style Apple-Sausage Stuffing
1 lb sausage (breakfast sausage is ideal)
½ lb bacon, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 cup chopped celery
½ lb mushrooms, sliced
2 apples, cored and diced (don’t skin)
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp sage
1 tsp thyme
1 (1 lb) loaf firm white bread, cubed
2 cups of chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet, fry sausage and bacon until crisp and brown. Add onion, mushrooms, celery, apples, parsley and herbs. Saute for five mins, stirring occasionally. Add to bowl of bread cubes, add chicken stock and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Tips: After combining you can stuff this in your turkey, but Louis suggests baking in a casserole dish at 350 degrees for one hour. He’s also seen stuffing baked in a bundt cake pan for a crispier outside.
Breakfast sausage is ideal for this recipe. He said that the apples shouldn’t be skinned. After all, that’s where the nutrients are, and during this time period it was definitely “waste not, want not.”