- Remove sausage from casings. Place sausage in a nonstick frying pan set over medium heat and cook just until it loses its pink color, about 8 minutes. Use a fork or spatula to break up meat into small pieces while cooking. Remove from heat and drain off any fat. Leaving sausage in frying pan, pour in water and stir to scrape up any browned bits from pan bottom.
- Place stuffing mix and contents of seasoning packet in a large mixing bowl. Stir in sausage-and-water mixture. Then, add chopped cranberries, orange peel and eggs. Mix until evenly combined. Let stand for 5 minutes so moisture is evenly absorbed.
- Form stuffing mixture into 32 small balls, each about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. To bake stuffing balls, place oven rack on highest level and preheat oven to 425F (220C). Melt butter and brush a little onto a large baking sheet. Place balls on sheet, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Using your fingers or a spatula, flatten into small pancakes about 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) thick. Brush pancakes with remaining butter and bake on upper rack of preheated oven until golden and crisp, about 10 to 12 minutes. To sauté, melt 1 tablespoon (30 mL) butter in a nonstick frying pan set over medium-low heat. Add half of stuffing balls to pan and press down into dollar-size pancakes using a spatula. Sauté until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining butter and stuffing balls. Serve warm, along with a bowl of light sour cream for dipping.
Guests will gobble up these terrific little stuffing cakes and not even miss the turkey. Chopped cranberries add festive flavor to this fast ‘n’ easy appetizer.
Cooked cooled stuffing balls can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen. To serve, place chilled defrosted balls on an ungreased baking sheet and bake in a preheated 425F (220C) oven until piping hot, about 8 minutes.