Dressing with Mom…(wait that doesn’t sound right)


All photos by Ray Hydrick

I hope you’ve read 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 southern side of the Mason-Dixon Line to declare that cornbread dressing is far superior to its northern counterpart, bread stuffing. Here’s my beef with stuffing, you’re basically making a dish with sage-flavored salad croutons.  They throw in some celery and whatever in the hell they have left in the kitchen and call it a side item. I mean, even the name is gross – stuffing – it’s a very harsh verb. Yes, dressing is a verb too, but dressing sounds like you are helping a pretty girl get ready for a party. “Where is Patricia?” “Oh, she is dressing.” It just sounds very southern belle. Ask that same question in the north, “Where’s Pat?” “Oh, she’s stuffing”. Just sounds like she’s Snookie on the Jersey Shore getting ready for a rave party. 

I am here to strengthen dressing’s foothold on the South by sharing my family’s take on this classic. Cornbread dressing is one of those recipes that each family takes and makes it their own – like sweet potato casserole, corn bread or guacamole. I took over the duty of making dressing several years ago, so at my house, cornbread dressing is not a dish but an event. I may have not mentioned before, but I come from a large family which means we cook everything in large quantities. So the dressing I prepare is basically made in a huge roasting pan. Seriously, I do believe I could add wheels and pull it behind the truck like a trailer. For you guys, I greatly reduced the amount to make a normal portion and not that of a small Guatemalan army.

This is a special post for me. My mom was staying with me the night I made this recipe, I thought it would be cool for her to help me, so let’s get started.

Cornbread Dressing – Southern Style
2 loaves of cornbread (I use Martha White and baked in a cast iron skillet)
4 stalks of celery, diced
4 scallions, sliced thin
1 20 oz. package frozen cream corn (tastes better than canned)
1 can cream of celery soup
1 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 eggs
1 1/2 cartons of chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Prepare you casserole dish by spraying with some cooking spray. In a sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add celery and scallions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until tender, approx. 3-4 minutes. Add sage and poultry seasoning. Cook for 1 minute. Add 1 carton of chicken stock and the can of soup. Stir to combine. Turn stove down to low and let it simmer.

Adding the sage and poultry seasoning now will let them heat and release more flavor.

Now let’s check on mom and see what she is doing to help. Well, she’s reading the Spirit of Giving in the Reader’s Digest. Yep, that’s helping.

Next in a large bowl, crumble the corn bread to prevent large pieces. Go ahead and add the cream corn.

This is the brand I used.

Now, slowly pour the hot liquid from your sauce pan over the cornbread. Stirring to combine.

Cooking this ahead of time helps in the dressing cooking time.

Once combined, add the ½ carton of chicken stock and eggs. Mix thoroughly.

Ray is getting better at these action shots.

Let’s check on Mom again. Yep, still there, but she’s now on to A Miracle on Christmas Eve.

Pour mixture in prepared backing dish. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. 

Cover it for its protection

Next Day Ideas
Take the cold dressing and place in bowl. Add one egg and mix thoroughly. Using your hands, pat the mixture out into patties. Heat a non-stick skillet with a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Fry on each side for 3-4 minutes or until brown. I served mine with a warm cranberry compote.

Dressing cakes with cranberry compote

Whether your mom helps you or not, this dish is a great side for Thanksgiving Day turkey, Sunday roast chicken or even Tuesday baked pork chops. Now, I’m off to clean the kitchen…apparently, mom is too busy to do the dishes as well. Thanks for your help Mom! 😉



10 Responses to “Dressing with Mom…(wait that doesn’t sound right)”

  1. David Says:

    Too funny! That Mom of yours is AWESOME!!

  2. Jamie Says:

    Sounds great – I like the idea for the Dressing Cakes the next day. Where is the recipe for the cranberry compote?

    • Matthew Says:

      I made it up by heating up a can of whole cranberry sauce (don’t judge!) with the zest and juice of one orange and tablespoon of white wine vinegar. Add a little salt and pepper, maybe a pinch a red pepper, if your daring. Want to punch it up? Add a little orange liqueur 😉

      Daddy likey.

  3. Erin Winchester Says:

    I love reading your posts! I’m hosting a big Thanksgiving dinner this year. I’m so excited to bring Southern cooking to La La land including the cornbread dressing I grew up eating at holiday time. Thank you for always including such fun wit with every post. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Matthew Says:

      Erin, we’re so glad you enjoy the posts. Good luck on hosting this year! Remember mischief happens, but you can make it through. But if it does happen, we would love to hear about it. 😉

  4. Kim Says:

    !!! Love it, I have the same thoughts on the dressing/stuffing debate. I even started feeling a little guilty like I was maybe being close-minded about someone else’s traditions, but then I saw the bag of croutons in the store for stuffing, and I really had nothing nice to say about the crunchy little bread rocks. I got our family recipe through email, so I’ll be going it alone, too. The good news is we’re in Alaska this year and we’ll get to educate some folks about dressing. We’ve already taught them how to fry chicken and eat grits and beer batter is outta sight on halibut. 😀

    • Matthew Says:

      Kim, thanks for reading. Don’t feel guilty for not liking the stuffing…because you’re right, it’s a bag of dried bread rocks. People in Alaska need to know what real dressing taste like…so glad you are there to show them the way!

  5. Randall k. Warren Says:

    Mom is my bride of 44 years this June 28th, 2012
    So proud of my son Matthew. He can accomplish anything he sets his mind to. Ray is my boy also. He keeps Bo straight. Josh keeps both of them straight. Love em all.

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