I'm looking for the world's best cornbread stuffing recipe. It can't include bacon, ham or other meats. I'd also prefer that it be able to be cooked outside the bird. Please email me directly with yours.
Thanks. And happy holidays to all.
1 1/2 -2 C. stoneground corn meal. Preferably white but yellow will do.
1 C. buttermilk
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 3gg beaten
Preheat your oven to 375 F. and place in it while it is heating an 8" cast iron skillet with 3 Tbs. lard. You want the pan and the lard smoking hot.
Mix the cornbread ingredients, pour the hot lard into the batter mix and then pour the batter into the smoking hot skillet. Bake about 25 minutes.
Note: no sugar and no flour
I have never measured the celery and onions so I cannot tell you exactly. Usually I melt 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter in pan and add probably a couple of stalks of chopped celery and a chopped yellow onion. Sometimes I will add mushrooms too. Then salt and pepper and Bell's seasoning to taste. If I have some fresh sage in the garden i might add some of that too. I put in about a cup of the French vermouth and then start adding the toasted cornbread and stirring. You could cut the vermouth with chicken stock if you feel the flavor might be too strong. Keep adding crumbled cornbread until the dressing is neither soggy or too dry. I now this all sounds a bit vague but it is the way my mother made it and the way I have been making it for almost 30 years. I put the whole thing in a casserole and bake. It also microwaves beautifully too. As I said in this thread I sometimes add browned sausage or oysters too.
e-mail me if you run into a snag. I keep a computer in my kitchen and will get back to you right away.
I saute the celery and onions in butter, too. I use chicken broth for the liquid, but dry vermouth is an interesting choice. Last year I started toasting the cornbread for a few minutes before adding the other ingredients. Is your stuffing all cornbread or do you mix it with white bread as in some recipes I've seen?
I make cornbread using the recipe on the back of the bag. Make it a day or two ahead of time, and let it "dry" out a little bit.
Then, for an 8 inch square pan of cornbread, cook in at least a half a stick of butter 3 or four celery sticks, chopped really fine (I use the leaves as well), a good size onion, chopped fine, and a half a green pepper, chopped fine. (Some people leave out the pepper.) Let it all cook till soft but not browned. Crumble the corn bread in a large bowl. Add the veggies, and all the butter and stir. Put some sage. I start with about a tablespoon full, and add it to taste. Then pour warm chicken broth over it; start with about a cup. Keep adding in small increments until it is good and moist but not too wet, or it will be gummy. Taste. Add salt and pepper as needed. Also more sage. Then put it in a buttered 9 x 13 casserole. I like to make it a day ahead, then put it in about an hour and half before ready to heat. Cook it covered at 350 degrees. About half way through remove the foil cover and check it. If it seems to be getting too dry, you can put a little of your turkey drippings over it; that also adds a lot of flavor.
In the south there is always a discussion about whether or not to put eggs in it. I do not, because I put an egg in the cornbread when I am making it. I cant tell the difference.
There is also a very good recipe for cornbread and for dressing in the Edna Lewis/Scott Peacock cookbook, The Guift of Southern Cooking.
As a child of the South, it's dressing. But hey, who cares.
My mother's dressing:
Sorry that this is "a pinch of this and a dab of that" recipe. One pan cornbread, several ( 6 or 8 ) pieces of toast, allowed to air dry and get hard, chopped onion and celery, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, turkey stock (she makes it with extra skin, the neck and giblets)and one stick of melted butter. Mix together all ingredients and taste, taste, taste until you find the salt/pepper/poultry seasoning combo that suits you (we like LOTS of poultry seasoning), adding enough stock to create a wet, stirrable mixture and bake uncovered @ 350 until the top browns.
Man, I can't wait until Thursday!
re: tee crenshaw
I asked about the eggs because I am planning on making the corn bread dressing from Cuisine at Home magazine for Thursday, and their recipe sounds similar to yours, but they call for three eggs. It says that the mixture will be wet, but will set up as it bakes, I presume that is from the eggs.
Ok, so I called Mom to ask about the egg/no egg conundrum. She said she USED to put eggs in her dressing but stopped because my sister and I always wanted to taste the dressing as she was making it (for the proper spice mix, as I stated before) and she was afraid to have us taste raw eggs. Now, you may ask why did she not put the eggs in AFTER we completed the taste test, and I can't answer that! Regardless, the dressing has been made sans eggs for years, and we all love it!
Danna, she thought your oiled pan idea was terrific and we will try it Thursday. We love CRUST!
She also said that one of her friends makes her dressing in muffin pans so everyone gets an individual serving with full crust and the little dressing "muffins" freeze well and are easy to thaw and serve later. Happy Thanksgiving.
re: tee crenshaw
Also a child of the south, here are the very minor differences in our family's DRESSING.
To the cornbread and toasted loaf bread, we add biscuits. About 1/3 each. Instead of poultry seasoning, just sage. Zero melted butter. A couple of eggs, beaten, to help it set up.
Tee, do you heat your pan in the oven w/ oil in it before you add the dressing? Take it out, swirl the oil to get it on the sides of the pan as much as you can, then add the dressing so you get a little "fried" crunch on the outside. People fight over the edges of the dressing at my grandmother's house.
We have never tried the oiled pan trick but it sounds terrific. Do you use vegetable oil? My mom always made 2 pans of dressing, one cooked just until the top was brown and one WELL DONE for those of us who really are into crunchy. I am firmly in that camp, so I really like the oiled pan idea. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We are headed up to the cabin tomorrow night, I can't wait!
another redneck here. Here's my moms and grandmothers (although I doubt the pepperidge farm was used in the old days).
Cooking Time: 30 45 min. at 450 degrees
One small package Peppridge Farm Herbal Mix
5 corn bread muffins or 3/4 a skillet of cornbread (crumbled)
Pinch of sage
4-5 whole eggs
one small white onion chopped finely
Pinch of parsley either dried or fresh
Finely cut tops and stems of celery leaf
about a big handful
one can of chicken broth
Black pepper - about one teaspoon
Buttermilk--pour until mix is soupy
l/2 teaspoon of baking soda
l teaspoon of baking powder
2 cups of turkey broth if you bake your
turkey or one more can of chicken broth
to make: Mix Pepperidge Farm mix and finely crumbled corn bread, sage,
diced onion, parsley, celery tops, pepper and chicken broth together.
Let lt stand for about 30 minutes so flavors can mix.
Next add all other ingredients. Add other turkey broth about 2 cups.
Add buttermilk until your mix is creamy.
Pour into a pam-sprayed pan about nine by twelve about half full. Cook until brown on top.
Personally I like to coat the pan with crisco or bacon grease.
Amazing. The Southerners seem to be working from the same base recipe. I'm 5th generation myself. For everyone else FYI--real Southern cornbread contains no sugar. If it has sugar it's not cornbread, it's corn muffins. There has been an infiltration of sugar into cornbread over the decades along with the mobility of the masses.