Cornbread stuffing question
I've decided to go with a cornbread/sausage/sage/onion stuffing for turkey day. I've always made bread or rice stuffings, so this is new territory for me. I've purused many a recipe and I am going to go with a combination from several sources. I'm buying a loaf of cornbread from a local bakery.
When I make bread stuffings, I usually will let a loaf go stale then I cut it into cubes and stick it into the oven to dry it out some more.
For the cornbread stuffing recipes, some recipes say to cube and dry in the oven. Other recipes skip that step. Also, none of the recipes say to use stale cornbread. Some even have me baking my own (not going to happen) and then drying it out in the oven.
Should I let the cornbread go stale?
Also, which would get the better result?
1) dry it out in the oven
2) skip this step and just make the stuffing
I've been making this stuffing for years...my favorite....I cube the bread and let it dry out for better texture...I'm sure it will taste great either way
Yes, I know it's kind of a pain to make your own cornbread. However, the cornbread recipes that usually accompany the dressing recipes make a much drier product than what you would otherwise want to eat. There are two recipes that I use, each has it's own cornbread recipe attached and each produces a very dry rather flavorless product, but it works great in the dressing. I usually make mine a day or two in advance and that step is done with.
I make my own cornbread and let it age for a couple of days before I make the stuffing. I also use a hybrid recipe which has cornmeal with some flour (Northern) but no sugar (Southern) so I have a slightly moister cornbread than true Southern but not sweet. One year I made Southern cornbread and loved the full corn flavor but found it very dry so I've been making my in-between version ever since.
I don't let it dry out or toast it before making dressing. BUT, I make a from-scratch cornbread that has little flour, no sugar, and plenty of bacon grease in it. So you might want to judge the texture of your cornbread...is it cakey? Soft, spongy? If so, let it get stale. Dry, sturdy, crumbly cornbread doesn't need to be dried out or toasted.
The other day a local grocery deli had tasting samples of their cranberry cornbread stuffing. I heard a customer ask if they put anything spicy in the stuffing. The answer was no; just cranberries, etc. Then someone realized that they had used leftover jalapeno cornbread. The bite didn't jump out at the first taste, but was evident in the aftertaste.