Stove Top is for Cowards

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Sucks so bad, they sell it in a cup.

As a Southern boy, I don’t believe in “stuffing.” Stuffing is a culinary carpet bagger, a suspicious stranger from North of the Mason-Dixon Line. Wild rice? Oysters? Chestnuts? Not on our Thanksgiving table, Mister. The image of “stuffing” cascading out of the cavity of a 12-pound bird is iconic, but it just doesn’t set right with this ‘un. It’s like your main dish is giving birth to your side dish. Foul. And speaking of foul,  let’s not EVEN talk about “Stove Top.” You might as well eat hot dogs on Thanksgiving.

I grew up with Dressing, of the Cornbread variety, baked in a separate pan from the turkey, yet bathed in its lovely drippings. We’ve gotten several requests for stuffing-dressing ideas, and this is the only one I can offer, because it’s all I’ve ever had. And I’m not complaining…it’s delicious. But before I delve into the recipe, I must say that i watched Giada from the Food Network prepare a really good-looking “stuffing” the other day…Ciabatta Stuffing with Pancetta and Chestnuts. If you’re looking for a bread-based stuffing, this looks great, and her reviewers love it. If you’re looking for an oyster dressing recipe, go to Google. When you find it, send it to me. Honestly, the idea of squishy sea creatures in my dressing kinda freaks me out, but there has to be something awesome about it, right? Make a believer out of me.

All that being said, here’s my family’s Thanksgiving staple. I already passed this along to our RPM instructor, Betsy. I guarantee I will be enjoying way too much of it this season…and pedaling it off! ;)

Southern Cornbread Dressing
Okay, here’s the rundown. First, you have to get the cornbread baked. You can do this the night before. Then you do the rest. You can actually do the whole thing the night before and reheat on the Big Day.

Cornbread Ingredients:
4 cups cornmeal
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup canola oil (i have subbed olive oil mayo with consistently good results)
2 eggs
Mix and bake at 425 for 25-35 minutes in a 9×13 casserole dish. Cool and crumble into a BIG bowl. A REALLY BIG bowl.
Other Ingredients:
1 large onion, rough diced (about 1.5 cups)
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 1/3 cup celery, chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
1-2 cups of chicken broth
2 eggs, beaten
Saute the onion, celery, and bell pepper in olive oil (seasoning with salt and pepper) until soft. Add to cornbread, along with broth, then stir. Taste at this point to see if it’s seasoned enough. Add egg, stirring to incorporate. If it seems dry, add a little more broth. Dump/spoon in a large pyrex (the earlier 9×13 may work). Bake uncovered at 400 for an hour. Then hooray! You made Cornbread Dressing!

Important Note: You can add/substitute turkey drippings (from the roasting pan) for some of the chicken broth. One year, we covered our turkey with bacon, then crumbled it and added that to the dressing. My-oh-MY that was delicious! Use this recipe as a base and add whatever you want. Get mischievous!

Coming Monday…
I’m sure Matthew has some great ideas for dressing…he’s really good at “turning up the volume” … hee hee! Love you, girl. Check back on Monday for his spin on Cornbread Dressing. You know it’s going to be good!

Oh Yeah, and for Tuesday…
I played Cheesecake Factory this past week, and developed a great recipe and some cute ideas for you. Dressing took precedence, so I’ll share pics and recipes for Thanksgiving Dessert on Tuesday.

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13 Responses to “Stove Top is for Cowards”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    That cheesecake was awesome! Love being a guinea pig. BTW, we grew up with stuffing and this year I think Ben will be making my mom’s recipe. He grew up with cornbread dressing.

  2. David Says:

    I swear I’m gonna weigh 300lbs before January gets here. I’m gonna have to pedal my butt off!! HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!! I’m thankful for MISCHIEF!!!

  3. Amy Says:

    Thanks for the dressing recipe! I was looking to branch out from our grandma’s recipes. I’ll give yours a try! Mmmmm, bacon….

  4. Aunt Fran Says:

    Don makes oyster stuffing every year and I can barely stand the smell of it. Josh, it is awful! This year we are brining and smoking the bird so at least it won’t be birthing oysters.

  5. Laurin Says:

    Love the commentary on “stuffing”! Hilarious. Must be a Southern thing.

    This year I helped my mom make her famous dressing because apparently it’s going to fall on my shoulders to recreate some day. The recipe came from Lula, who was my grandparents’ “help.” (I cringe using that term.) It is the best dressing I’ve ever tasted.

    Lula’s dressing is similar to your recipe, but no sage, no bell peppers, and definitely no chicken broth. (All turkey broth!) Also, there are a couple of tricks with the cornbread. We use the old-timey cornsticks. The cornmeal is mixed with buttermilk rather than regular milk, and the cornstick molds are greased down with bacon grease and heated before pouring the cornmeal in. So basically they’re like little cornsticks fried in bacon fat. Very healthy!

  6. Tiffany Ivey Garrett Says:

    LOVE LOVE dressing…with a little cranberry sauce especially. I will definitely keep a copy of this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    P.S. What is this thing called “stuffing” you speak of??

  7. Thanksgiving: The FINAL COUNTDOWN! « Kitchen Mischief! Says:

    [...] Kitchen Mischief! A Chronicle of Culinary Mishaps and Masterpieces « Stove Top is for Cowards [...]

  8. Robin Hart Says:

    Josh, last year while trying to prepare rolls and turkey and casseroles and … you get the picture… I found that you can put dressing in the crockpot on low and it cooks well. Such an oven saver! I usually put a little left over baked chicken in mine. I almost always have a chicken from the deli a few days before thanksgiving and boil the leftover for broth and to put in the dressing. yummy.. just saying.

  9. Dressing with Mom…(wait that doesn’t sound right) « Kitchen Mischief! Says:

    [...] Josh’s post last Thanksgiving about his family’s dressing, if you haven’t – click this link and read…it will make you laugh.  I am here to state it now, I stand firm with Josh on the [...]

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