Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Best Cornbread Dressing

When I say that this dressing recipe is the best, I am not boasting about me. It's the recipe itself, and it was my mom's anyway. It is so good that my husband avoids other dressing because it usually pales in comparison. It is not difficult at all to make, but it does require a few steps. You can divide it over a couple of days if you need to. The basis for it is cornbread, of course, which is better made from scratch.

Cornbread Dressing

1 recipe cornbread muffins (recipe follows)
1 large loaf white bread
5-6 stalks of celery
1 onion
5 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can chicken broth (I use about 1/2 of it)
4 eggs
1/2 tsp sage (too much of this is gross)
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare cornbread. Run cornbread and loaf bread through food processor until fine crumbs. Chop onion and celery coarsely and saute in about 3 tbsp butter until tender. Run through processor until finely ground. Combine all ingredients. The consistency should be very creamy. Pour into a large baking dish (or two small ones). It can be frozen at this point. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Yield: about 15 servings

1 cup self-rising cornmeal (not cornmeal mix)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick butter, melted
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
Combine ingredients. Pour into a greased muffin tin. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes. Yield: 12 muffins

You can bake your cornbread the day before and put it in the refrigerator to save one step.
This is how coarsely I chop the onion and celery. It does better if you saute before processing it instead of after.
Here are all the ingredients. Cornbread crumbs, loaf bread crumbs, sauteed onion and celery, soups, etc. Use a huge bowl to mix it together. I add a little dry, then add some soup, and repeat, so I don't end up with alot of dry bread crumbs at the bottom of my bowl.

The texture should look like this. Add more chicken broth if it looks too dry.

This makes approximately enough to divide between 2- 13 x 9 inch baking dishes. I am going to freeze this and I'm not going to bake it until Christmas Day, but when it is baked, it should be golden brown on the top and creamy inside.

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