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Cornbread in stuffing

My standard studding/dressing recipe is as follows:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 pound spicy pork bulk sausage
1 c sliced mushrooms
* 1 cup diced celery
* 1 cup diced onion
* 1 cup diced peeled cored pear
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage

* 8 cups (1 lb ) foccacia
* 1 cup whole milk
* 1 cup low-salt chicken broth
* 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
* 3 large eggs, beaten to blend
assorted nuts and dried fruits

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage; sauté until cooked through and brown, breaking into pieces with spoon, about 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to large bowl. Sautee the mushrooms, add to the sausage. Add celery and next 4 ingredients to drippings in skillet. Sauté over medium heat until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Add mixture to sausage. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Reheat to lukewarm before continuing.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Add bread to sausage mixture. Whisk milk, broth, and butter in bowl to blend. Mix into stuffing; season stuffing with salt and pepper. Mix in eggs; transfer to prepared dish. Add the nus and dried fruit. Bake uncovered until cooked through and brown, about 50 minutes.

Its always a great hit, but t his year I wanted to use corn bread instead of foccacia.. is there anything I should know about how it will work out? will it require more/less egg/fluid? or should it be okay if I just cut it into cubes, and dry it out a bit in the oven maybe and subsitute it cup for cup with my foccacia?

Thank you so much.

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  1. First, I think your recipe sounds WONDERFUL !!!!

    As for the cornbread, I will let others advise you
    but I made a delicious (sounding) cornbread dressing
    for the first time this Thanksgiving and was amazed at how
    DRY
    it was !!!! ACK !!!
    I was a bit upset because it WASN't cheap to make,
    it looked beautiful
    and each of the components tasted marvelous by themselves....

    In the end, although savory and rather tasty,
    it was so dry I couldn't salvage it no matter what I did,

    and ended up tossing half.....
    So sad about that.

    (it made a huge amount, too, which was even worse)
    so now, I don't know if that's the nature of the beast
    or if it's worth a do-over.
    YMMV

    4 Replies
    1. re: oooYUM

      I agree, the recipe sounds great! As far as cornbread dressing being dry, I would certainly use more chicken stock ( well, I use stock instead of broth- don't have any idea if it makes a difference), and make sure the stuff is kind of "gooey" before putting it in the oven. Don't really know how else to describe it, but I always mix it up with my hands, and it is the consistency of wet mud before cooking. It dries out a lot in the oven, but is still moist.

      Never had it become too dry before, but that might be just being lucky. If it did I would think that you could still salvage it by adding more stock and baking some more...

      1. re: Clarkafella

        Mushy dressing is a personal preference thing. I personally cannot stand that mushy stuff. It grosses me out just thinking about it.

        1. re: rasputina

          Oh, I hate that too! What I meant was that it does dry out a *lot* in the oven- much more than you would expect! But if done right it stays moist as opposed to being like sawdust...

      2. re: oooYUM

        I could have written your entire posting about my cornbread dressing this year. Pan of white cornbread and a pan of yellow cornbread made from scratch, cubed and oven dried. all of the regular veggies, turkey sausage and chestnuts, nuts etc. A stick of butter, 4 cups of stock and 2 eggs for moisture and binding. Dry as West Texas in August! Not able to be salvaged. I will never make 100% cornbread dressing again.

      3. Hmm. I've made the Silver Palate's Grand Marnier Apricot Stuffing subbing a pan of homemade cornbread for the "herb stuffing mix" and it rocks!

        http://www.food.com/recipe/silver-pal...

        It's super-moist, delicious and made fantastic stuffins (stuffin' muffins) this Thanksgiving. I always halve the recipe and omit the turkey parts (BLEAHHH, no thanks!) and the nuts. It's similar enough in concept to your recipe (your pear = their dried apricots), minus the eggs and milk. I don't see why you couldn't sub cornbread in your recipe without further modifications. I bake the cornbread the night before, cut it into cubes and let it hang out uncovered in a cold oven.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kattyeyes

          Thank you everyone! This is great advice.. yes, the recipe is honestly very delicious.. its been developed over years of modificaitons and its always a huge huge hit (my fav food on the holiday spread)..I will try it out and see what happens. Thanks in advance!

          1. re: hungryabbey

            Oh, and just in case you don't already have a cornbread recipe you LOVE, please check this one out from Virginia Hanker (no idea who she is, she just makes a mean cornbread in my book). I used it both times I did the cornbread variation on the Silver Palate stuffing and it's delicious. It's also good on its own, of course. :)
            http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/sweet-co...

            Happy holiday to youuuuuu! *<:) So whoop-de-doo and dickory dock, and don't forget to hang up yer sock!
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loXa69...

        2. Hungry if it helps mine is very similar to yours with no mushrooms. I add one recipe of cornbread in addition to rustic Italian bread and toast in the oven for a few minutes before putting everything together. I wouldn't dream of replacing one for the other though.

          3 Replies
          1. re: lilgi

            okay so in total, do you know the total wt of bread you add?

            1. re: hungryabbey

              OOh, no I don't. I add one 8-inch square recipe for cornbread, one that uses some buttermilk and only a tablespoon of flour, and it's not very thick. The other bread I use is rustic Italian round bread that I usually pick up at the bakery and I might use less than a pound. The combination of breads works very well though, I think you'll like it.

          2. I always do cornbread dressing. I make it from scratch, then cube it and toast in the oven on sheet pans before adding.

            1. I've been using cubes of polenta instead of cornbread in a rather lumpy dressing that includes bits of sausage, onion, and other vegetables.