Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Southern Cornbread Stuffing

I feel a bit like I'm letting a family secret out of the bag by posting this recipe, but why keep a good thing to just our little clan? This cornbread stuffing has been a favorite in our home for at least two generations, but I suspect it may be a bit older than that. I can't remember a Thanksgiving without it. I think it is the sage and salt combined with the cornbread that appeals to me so much. However, the family didn't always make it with the same ingredients. I've adapted it by switching regular flour for whole wheat, sucanat and honey for white sugar, and so on... I think it just made it that much better! 

Each person will have their own preferences when it comes to turkey and stuffing, but if you're not happy with your own recipe, I encourage you to give this one a try. I've never heard anyone who didn't like it.

Photo Credit: anjuli_ayer

Southern Cornbread Stuffing

2 batches of homemade cornbread (recipe below)
1/2 - 3/4 cup butter (add more if you like)
4 cups chopped celery
3 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped parsley
3-4 tsp. dried sage leaves (I like a LOT and usually add more)
2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
3 eggs lightly beaten
1 -2 cups chicken broth 

Crumble cornbread into a very large bowl and set aside. (I always make this the night before and crumble it so it's a bit dry for this recipe.) In a large pan, melt butter and saute celery and onion until tender - about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add parsley, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. (At this point, I usually taste it to see if the herbs and salt are to my liking and make adjustments as necessary). 

Using a large fork or spoon, blend in eggs, broth, and vegetable mixture into crumbled cornbread. Continue tossing lightly until well combined and stuffing is moist but not wet. Place in an extra large casserole pan and bake at 350 degrees until heated throughout. Be careful not to overheat as this will dry out, but you don't want it spongy either. (As the cook, you have the prerogative at this point to taste a wee little bite just to make sure it's plenty yummy and done to perfection!)

Whole Wheat Cornbread

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sucanat (if making stuffing, you may want to cut way back on the sweetener)
1/2 cup cornmeal (I like to grind mine fresh)
1 T. baking powder (aluminum free as always!)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/4 cups milk
2 large eggs
1/3 cup olive oil (I'm sure you could use coconut oil, but I haven't tried it)
3 T. melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a pie pan with butter or olive oil. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Beat liquid ingredients in a smaller bowl and pour into dry mix. Blend well by hand and pour into greased pie pan. Bake for 35 minutes and test with cake tester. Cornbread should be lightly browned.  (For muffins, bake 18-20 minutes).
Note: When making a double batch for stuffing, I mix both batches at the same time and bake in a 9 x 13 pan until done - check with a cake tester.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving preparations...


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