…or "dressing" as we call it down south …
The last three days have included regular routine, recuperating from the Auction weekend, and best of all, doing the preparations for our upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. It's been nice to have the kids home in the afternoons, watching TV and movies, playing games (I can feel some Yahtzee coming on!), cooking together, and re-enacting SNL sketches. We have been laughing a ton! I have to tell you, in case you aren't aware, that it doesn't get much better than that!
In between lattes in my new gift mug … (and various other drinks, depending on the time of day)…
…I got the pies baked, the casseroles prepped and refrigerated till baking, the rolls baked and waiting another cozy visit to the oven… The turkey is happily brining away in the big cooler, and I'm now relaxing … I love this time of day and this point in the preparations.
A friend on Facebook, Elizabeth, asked for a Cornbread Dressing Recipe. Do you know what Cornbread Dressing is? It's like bread stuffing, but it's made from cornbread and I usually bake mine separate from the bird.
I make a 'pone' of cornbread. A pone is a recipe of yellow cornbread, baked in a (10-inch) cast-iron skillet. It can also be baked in a square baking pan, but I love the crust that forms when it is baked in cast-iron.
I make it ahead of time, using this recipe:
Heat oven to 450°F. Mix the following and pour into a heated, oiled, cast-iron skillet:
- 1 ½ cup cornmeal
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 t. baking powder
- 1 t. sugar
- 1 t. salt
- ½ t. baking soda
- 1 ½ cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup shortening (Heat the ¼ cup shortening in the cast-iron skillet till it barely starts smoking. Then add it to the other ingredients and mix.)
Then pour it all in the hot skillet.
Place in the hot oven for 25-30 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a large plate.
Let cool (even overnight), then crumble it up quite small. I do not like large pieces of cornbread in the dressing! You can make it as far as 2-3 days ahead, but if you make it earlier than that, be sure to refrigerate it or freeze it because it will sour.
Melt ½ cup of butter in a large skillet and add 7-8 chopped stalks of celery and 2 medium, chopped onions. Top with 1-2 teaspoons of salt and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper.
Cook on medium until the onions become translucent and everything starts to brown. Add Poultry Seasoning, or a Tablespoon each of thyme and marjoram, and a ton of sage … like 3-4 Tablespoons. I usually add the seasonings until it tastes the way I like it. I really have NO IDEA how much.
When the onions and celery are done, pour them over the crumbled cornbread.
Mix in well. Then add 2 beaten eggs.
Pour in chicken/turkey broth until it doesn't seem dry anymore.
When it tastes seasoned-enough and seems moist enough, pour into a baking dish.
When you're ready (either immediately or the next day or day after!), bake for about 30 minutes or until the top is browned.
Some people add dried cranberries or pecans or even hard-boiled eggs (blech!), but this is my method and I love it!