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Cajun Stuffing

1 lb Jimmy Dean sage sausage
1 lg Bell pepper, chopped into 1/4" to 1/2" pieces
Green onions (large bunch), cut into 1/4" thick pieces
Parsley (1/3 bunch), fresh, chopped finely
2 md Celery stalks, cut lengthwise into 3 sticks, then cut into pieces 1/4" thick
1/2 c Butter
1 lb Shrimp, peeled and de-veined, but not cooked 2 3/4 c Water
1 ts Garlic flakes (dried)
1/4 ts Cayenne pepper flakes (crushed), or more to taste (we use about 1 T)
1 pk Pepperidge Farm Cornbread stuffing mix (cellophane bag, brown-labelled)
1 pk Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing Mix (cellophane bag, blue-labelled)

In a large pot or Dutch oven (at least 6-quart),cook the sausage over medium heat until lightly-browned, breaking it up into small pieces. Saute the vegetables in the sausage drippings in the pot with the cooked sausage. The vegetables will brown lightly while the sausage gets browner than it was. Add the butter to the pot and stir the pieces around until they are melted.

Add the shrimp and cook for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring constantly. The shrimp should turn pink all over and be done, but just barely done. Break one in half and make sure it is opaque in the center. Turn the heat off, but leave the pot on the burner. Add the 2 3/4 C water, the dried garlic and the cayenne pepper flakes; stir well.

Add both bags of stuffing mix to the liquid mixture. Blend all ingredients together well. Lightly spoon the stuffing mixture into a greased 9" x 14" pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes. Serve at once (with Burgundy mushroom gravy, if desired).

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