Homemade Cornbread Dressing

Thanksgiving is my most FAVORITE day to cook.  I thought I would share my dressing recipe – not quick but I like it.

My grandmother always saved left over cornbread, and the ends of white bread.  As I perfected my dressing each year I dropped the white bread.  I always save left over cornbread through the year and keep it in the freezer.

A KEY ingredient to this recipe is fresh sage.  My sister grew sage and we would all receive it from her.  I still have much of what she had, so I am grateful.  Eventually, well pretty soon, I am going to have to start growing it myself.  If you have fresh sage, you have to hang it upside down to dry it out.  It makes a HUGE difference in taste.  Do not use ground sage…it just does not work well..Trust me (I have done it and it was not good)..An alternative would be to find sage leaves..most of the time you can find that in the grocery stores near the Hispanic area with the other seasonings.

Another KEY ingredient is the cornbread.  If you don’t have old cornbread and/or you need more…Bake Jiffy cornbread a few days ahead of time if you can.  Let it sit out, or inside the oven to dry out as much as possible…Mrs Cubbisons cornbread dressing can be used to fill in…it WILL change the taste..I only use it if nothing else is available.

Prepare the dressing AT LEAST  one day ahead of time…TWO days if possible.

This is one of those times I cannot tell you what to measure.  If you are using two boxes of cornbread…I would say the bellpepper, celery, onion – should be about 3/4 cup each.

Ingredients:

Corn Bread

Milk

Eggs

Bell pepper

Celery

Onion

Garlic

Seasonings:  pepper, seasoned salt, thyme, old bay

1 stick of butter

In a skillet saute’ bell pepper, onion, celery, and garlic with a stick of butter or two if you are making a lot of dressing for about 5-7 minutes on medium heat. You want them to be opague and soft.  Add the seasoning in the mixture as well while it is cooking. Take the dried, brittle sage off of the stem and grind it in the palm of my hand. Put hands together and grind in a circular motion and add to the celery mixture as it is cooking.

While that is cooking, by hand crumble the cornbread in a large bowl. When the celery mixture is ready, pour it into the cornbread mixture and stir.  I would taste it at this point and make any adjustments of more seasoning, more sage.  Once it’s where  you like it, add 1 to 2 eggs and mix.  Remember it depends on how much cornbread you have.  Add about 1/2c of milk or less, just add a little bit at a time until you have consistency that you prefer.  I like mine to not be completely stuck together as if you could be put into a ball.  I like for it to still be in a crumbly state for lack of a better description.

Once it’s complete, put in a plastic bag and put it into the refrigerator.  When the turkey is ready and seasoned and it’s time to cook…stuff the turkey with the dressing.  Do not put it in the turkey and then put it in the refrigerator, that is not safe…only put in the turkey right before you put it in the oven.  Put any left over dressing in a glass dish to be baked later.  As the turkey cooks, put drippings from the pan into the extra dressing to add moisture and flavor. When you bake additional items, bake the dressing for about 30-45 minutes – again depending on the amount.

Enjoy and Happy Turkey Day!!

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Stuffed Peppers

Until recently I had not fixed Stuffed Peppers in years.  My new friend had never had them, so I figured why not! This is a great meal to fix when you don’t have time to cook.

bell peppersIngredients:

1 lb ground chuck ( you could use any meat for this really)

Rice

Tomato Sauce

4 Medium/Large Bell Peppers (any colors – you could have 1 of each)

Breadcrumbs – preferably Panko

Cheese (whatever is your favorite)

Celery, Onion, Fresh Garlic

Cook about a cup of rice.  Chop onions, celery, garlic in very small pieces, and put in the pan that you are going to brown your meat in.    Put the meat in the pot, brown it and add seasonings.  I use seasoned salt, pepper, old bay, creole, pepper, and adobo.  Once the meat cooked, add the cooked rice to the pot and add tomato sauce.  Taste and add any additional seasoning.  Simmer for about 15-20 minutes.

Turn the oven to 350 degrees.  Clean the bell peppers by cutting of the top and clean the insides out. Par boil them for about 5 minutes, rinse and drain.  Place the peppers in a glass dish and stuff the peppers halfway.  Add cheese, and fill them up with the meat mixture.  Sprinkle the top with bread crumbs, cover with tin foil and back for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and enjoy.  If they are dry, you could always warm canned or bottled spaghetti sauce or even a white sauce and pour over the peppers – but they should be nice and moist.

What’s special about this type of dish – you could always prepare more than you plan to eat and freeze them.  If frozen, just pull them out and bake slowly.

Corn on the Cob – Bacon Wrapped Cheese Corn

Hangin out in Atlanta with my parents has been cool.  It’s the 4th of July and my favorite BBQ’r cooked.  I helped with the sides, macaroni salad, corn on the cob, and deviled eggs.  They love cooking shows like I do and found and found a very good corn on the cob recipe.

sh0513_corn1_medSo what’s so good about this you ask – it was just different and easy to make.  This one truly falls under “efficient” for cooking !  Quick & Easy….Once I prepared it, it was cooked on the grill.  I made it exactly like the recipe for taste.  Tomorrow, we are going to have the same thing, but I am going to add a twist to it.  I am going to add some melted butter to the mix and bake in the oven.  Can’t wait to taste it!  Gonna add a link for this one…Hope you like it – very easy and tasty – Get Recipe Here!

Update 7-5 – I made these again today to go with our left over bbq..I added 1T of unsalted butter to the mayonnaise and then added the cheese….Wow it really added to the consistency for easier spreading and added a lil more flavor!!