Monday, November 17, 2008

Favorite Thanksgiving Side dishes

I know everyone expects to have turkey and dressing on Thanksgiving so it is not unusual or really special, but for us Southerners it has to be our special kind of dressing. I have had different versions made at restaurants for those horrible eating out Thanksgivings and different versions when we eat at community dinners at church or eat with other families. Thanksgiving just isn't the same without our dressin' (we don't put the "g" on it!)I was 18 years old before I ever had another version.

We don't stuff the bird. If you look at how many this recipe feeds you will see it won't fit in a bird. No one even has a pan large enough for dressin- you can only fit it in the big ol aluminum pans that are out to cook turkeys in. It makes a LARGE amount, so invite everyone you know.

I love it the next day just as much. The first day it is really moist and warm. After it sits overnight it absorbs more of the broth so it is dryer when you heat it.

You have to have Pink eyed Purple Hull southern peas with it. They are close to black eyed peas but have their own flavor- I don't like black eyed peas very much because I like PEPH peas and if I eat black eyed I keep thinking that they aren't as good as PEPH and it is all ruined for me. The pot liquer soaks into the edges of the side of your dressin and flavors that side. Then, on the other side you put your candied sweet potatoes or sweet potato casserole and it flavors that side some. So, you get 3 dressin's in one- pea, regular and sweet potato. Um, so good, an over flowing plate of turkey, ham, peas, fried corn, dressin,sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls, gravy, and sweet tea.

Makes 16 to 18 servings
1 cup butter or margarine, divided
3 cups white cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
7 large eggs, divided
3 cups buttermilk
3 cups soft breadcrumbs
2 medium onions, diced (2 cups)
1 large bunch celery, diced (3 cups)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh sage*
6 (10 1/2-ounce) cans condensed chicken broth, undiluted
1 tablespoon pepper
Place 1/2 cup butter in a 13- x 9-inch pan; heat in oven at 425° for 4 minutes.
Combine cornmeal and next 5 ingredients; whisk in 3 eggs and buttermilk.
Pour hot butter into batter, stirring until blended. Pour batter into pan.
Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.
Crumble cornbread into a large bowl; stir in breadcrumbs, and set aside.
Melt remaining 1/2 cup butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add onions and celery, and saute until tender. Stir in sage, and saute 1 more minute.
Stir vegetables, remaining 4 eggs, chicken broth, and pepper into cornbread mixture; pour evenly into 1 lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish and 1 lightly greased 8-inch square baking dish. Cover and chill 8 hours.
Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.
*1 tablespoon dried rubbed sage may be substituted for fresh sage.

Frugal Upstate has a linky for favorite Thanksgiving sides. I guess now it is officially out that I am a food snob. I want to know from y'all if you are as sensitive about your favorite meals? Is it as traditionally based where you are from?


Valarie said...

Ok, now I am hungry!!!

You are right, there is nothing that can compare to our dressin!

Bread stuffing and all that other stuff is just wrong I tell you!

Windy said...

I could eat dressin' with every meal, every day of the year. When Thanksgiving comes, I hardly eat anything but that! It is soooooo good!

Dawn said...

I make dressin' exactly like you do. Of course, I learned how to make it from my AL grandmother! And, I always make this quantity no matter how many I'll be serving because we all love the leftovers.

Anonymous said...

This is the stuffing I grew up with, almost exactly. I love the stuff. Mama, always had to keep a spoonful out for my brother Brad. He liked it before it was baked. He is living proof that raw eggs won't kill you!!

Rachel said...

I love your blog! You are a girl after my own heart! This is very similar to our family recipe minus the sage. I reallllly don't like sage and seems my family (going back generations) felt the same way. :) We've never used sage. We have made it with the broth off of the turkey rather than canned broth, but for the absolute best dressing try using the broth off of a piece of roasted fresh pork. It doesn't matter which cut, but we often use a uncured ham. Season it well with salt and pepper. The broth may be so rich that you need to dilute a little bit with water. Pure goodness!
Here's a tip - we put the celery and onion in the cornbread so it gets baked tender. Then you can skip the saute step.
Oh so yummy!
Not sure we are going to make the reunion, but I have enjoyed learning about you and your family thru your blog.
Best wishes,