I’m going to go ahead and share some of my favorite Turkey Day recipes over the next few days, just in case any of you are at a loss, want something new to bring to the table, or if you’re simply curious about what foodie types put on their own tables.
This one is a throwback from our 2014 Thanksgiving Dinner. I think that is the last time it was my duty to bring it to the family gathering. I had to jump back into the “Eatclectic” files to retrieve it…
We are a working bunch of people, so some of our holiday meal will be catered this year. It’s weird to me, but whatever. I’m open to anything that makes life a bit less complicated these days.
I know. That’s almost weird in itself, as I used to be Mizz Complicated in the food arena. This from scratch. That from scratch.
Just think in terms of Pumpkin Streusel Cheesecake with Ginger Snap Crust, and every side dish from Mashed Redskins, Creamed Asparagus, Scalloped Corn and Candied Yam Casserole, to of course, homemade Cranberry Relish and Yeast Rolls. Yup. We used to do it like that.
My daughter actually called me out on my stress level over the holiday meals, I think at around the age of 10. When an innocent tells you that your food is good, but your hype and drama from preparing it ruins the day, it’s time to re-evaluate your level of fancy.
Knowing what I know today about myself; I was probably overcompensating with these meals because I had been a shithead to my family in some way. Or perhaps it was my old narcissistic ways in that I had to be the star of everything. Ha!! Yes, I’m aware, my friends, and I had to write it out loud, too.
Anyway, I’ve learned to cut out steps and also to share the burden since those days. I don’t have to be the food star anymore. My friends who used to say I, “couldn’t cook my way out of a parchment bag,” have now long since been proven incorrect.
Stuffing or dressing (I call it that because I do not “stuff” the bird) comes in so many variations. My favorite way to make it includes both cornbread AND traditional breadcrumbs. It may sound crazy but I guess that kind of goes with my territory.
The combo brings a great texture along with sweet and savory flavor. I suggest using some sausage or bacon in it for even more flavor and moisture but, that’s not for everyone, so omit if you don’t care to use meat. It will still be great.
Once in an adventurous while, I like to mix it up and toss in walnuts, apples and dried cranberries, but there’s usually a finicky palate at every table, so it’s not customary.
Ready, set, cook.
What You Need:
4 c seasoned bread crumbs (store bought or from your own dried bread)
4 c cornbread crumbs
1 roll of sage sausage cooked and crumbled fine
1 box of vegetable stock
1 stick of salted butter
1 small to medium onion finely diced
4 celery stalks finely diced
2 T minced garlic
1 T rosemary chopped fine
1 T sage
1 T thyme
1 T oregano
1 t fresh ground pepper
What You Do:
Sautee your onion, celery and garlic until the onion and celery are opaque but still crisp. Set aside.
Heat the vegetable stock in a large sauce pan or pot until it is at a rolling boil.
Remove from heat. Add the butter and allow it to melt then add your sage, rosemary and ground pepper.
In a large bowl place the bread and cornbread crumbs and toss to distribute both throughout.
Add in the onion and celery mix and the cooked sausage.
Toss again until everything is mixed well.
Now you want to add your stock/butter mix a cup at a time. Some of us like our dressing very moist and some like it more dry and crumbly so you will add a cup at a time until it is at the consistency you like.
I suggest putting this all together the night before and letting it sit to incorporate flavors.
Put it into a cake pan or casserole dish and be sure to cover to retain moisture.
When ready, bake at 350° for an hour.
I always remove the cover 15- 20 minutes before I take it from the oven to crisp up the top.
Here’s wishing everyone a joyous and stress-free holiday season.
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