Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Thanksgiving Dressing (Stuffing)

It's that time of the year again. My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving and I do the majority of the cooking. I came up with the "stuffing" recipe a few years back. Although we call it dressing.
I have never stuffed a bird of any kind. I don't like the idea of putting something I will eat in the raw cavity of a a turkey, duck or chicken. I know plenty of people do the stuffing but not me. I do, however, make an incredible Thanksgiving dressing that everyone raves about, so I thought I would share the recipe.

Thanksgiving Cornbread Dressing

2 cups crumbled corn bread
6-7 slices dense Oatmeal bread, or brown bread, lightly toasted to dry out and cut into cubes
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 package fresh shitaki mushrooms, chopped
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup raisins
1 medium sweet onion chopped
5-6 stalks of celery shopped small
1 clove garlic, minced
Large Handful fresh sage leaves, chopped
Small Handful fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley and sage each
1/2 teaspoon more or less of celery salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
2-3 cups chicken or vegetable broth ( use vegetable broth if you want a vegetarian dressing :)
2 eggs
Olive oil

Cook the onions and celery in a little olive oil until soft. Pour into a large mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients except the broth and eggs. Beat the eggs and add broth to egg mixture. How much broth you need is determined by how dry the bread is..... start with 2 cups- you can always add more over the top of the dressing. It's better to add more liquid than not enough if you aren't sure.
Pour the egg/broth  mixture over the bread mixture. Mix well so that all the bread is well coated. Turn into a buttered casserole pan, dot the top with butter pieces and bake at 350 degrees or until the top is toasty. About 25-30 minutes. Do not overcook or it will be too dry.

Note: Save a little of the dressing aside before baking it, about 1/3-1/2 cup. I put this in my mushroom gravy I make to go with the turkey and mashed potatoes. It makes the gravy taste fantastic! My younger sister goes crazy for my gravy every year and even asked how I made it (although she doesn't cook!) The secret is mixing in a little of the dressing mixture - it just does wonderful things to mushroom gravy. Try it!

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