Cornbread Dressing

31 Dec

J made this both at Thanksgiving and at Christmas and it was gobbled up quickly on both holidays.  It makes a nice alternative to the traditional dressing – just something a little different! This recipe is from the Joy of Cooking, a book that gets a fair bit of use in our house. This is a two-step process so first I’ll lay out the recipe for the cornbread, then on to the dressing it is.

Serves 8.

Southern Cornbread

Ingredients

1 tb butter/bacon fat
1 3/4 c  cornmeal
1 tb sugar
1 ts baking powder
1 ts baking soda
1 ts salt
2 eggs
2 c buttermilk

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 450F and coat a 9″ cast iron pan or 8″ glass baking dish with the butter/bacon fat. Place the pan or dish in the oven until the fat smokes. The hotter the better as that’s what gives you a great crust.
2. Whisk together the cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until they are foamy. Whisk in the buttermilk.
4.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until just blended.  Remove your pan from the oven and add all the batter at once.
5. Bake until top has browned and the centre feels firm when pressed, roughly 20 – 25 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Cornbread Dressing

Ingredients

1/3 c butter, unsalted
2 c onions, chopped
1 c celery, chopped
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c parsley, minced
1 ts dried sage OR 1 tb fresh sage, minced
3/4 ts salt
1/2 ts black pepper
1/2 – 1 c chicken stock
2 eggs*

Directions

1. Crumble the cornbread into bite-sized cubes with your hands.
2. Heat a large skillet to medium high heat and add butter.
3. Throw in onions, celery, peppers, garlic and cook til softened – roughly 5 minutes.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parsley, sage, salt and pepper.
5. Add the bread cubes and toss til well combined.
6. Stir in the stock until the dressing is moist, but not packed together.
7. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
*8. (Only do this step if you are NOT stuffing the bird.) Beat the two eggs and add to the mixture.
9.  Preheat your oven to 350F. Spoon the dressing into the bird OR moisten with additional stock and bake separately until the internal temperature reaches 165F, approx. 30 minutes.

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