Photo courtesy of Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times
It brings me pleasure when Northerners warm up to Southern ways of cooking. Here's a quote from Mark Bittman's "The Minimalist" column in the Times last week -- "Stuffing, as I've been informed by friends from the South, is properly called dressing when you cook it outside the bird. So I'm officially a big advocate of dressings." (Note to Mark Bittman -- We really just say "dressin' " I'll forgive you this once.) His logic is that stuffing can absorb too much of the cooking juices from the bird, making it too soggy.
I've always assumed dressing as being cornbread based too. I don't think there are many Southerners making dressin' minus the cornbread. Another reason that I'm a huge fan is that you can make a large pan of it and have plenty of leftovers. Make the cornbread a day or two ahead of time for less stress. My only real failure was the Thanksgiving where I made the cornbread, accidentally omitting the cornmeal for the recipe. Genius, I know.
On "Good Morning America" today, each of the four anchors brought in their own family stuffing recipe for a dueling contest. One was made with tons of veggies, another included creamed corn and was rolled into stuffing balls, one was loaded up with sausages, dried apricots and dates, and the other was filled with cornbread, Kentucky style (whatever that means?!). They brought in an audience member who was heavily blind-folded to taste-test the recipes. The poor girl could barely get the stuffing onto her fork, but she did declare the cornbread one as the best. In fact, she couldn't stop eating it all the way into the commercial break. So, I am totally biased, but I believe cornbread-based dressin' is the way to go on Thanksgiving.
Here are a few recipes:
|Emeril Lagasse's Cornbread and Andouille Dressing |
Cornbread and Squash Stuffing from the New York Times
Sam Champion's Country Cornbread Stuffing from "Good Morning America"
Epicurious' Herb and Bacon Cornbread Stuffing