Friday, December 11, 2009

Mamma's Cornbread Dressing

Every year at Thanksgiving my grandma makes her cornbread dressing and every year it is one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving. The recipe is no secret. She gladly shares it. I've tried to make it with disastrous results. The first time there was WAY too much sage. But I followed the recipe! So I asked Mamma, "Are you sure there's 1 Tablespoon of sage?" She was sure. The second time I tried to make it it was WAY too soupy. "Mamma, are you sure there are 5 cups of chicken broth?" She was sure.

You know what they say about the third time? I went with my gut (instead of the recipe) and it was indeed the charm.

I prepped all of the ingredients, which for this recipe means to make some cornbread in advance, boil and chop 4 eggs, and chop onions and celery.

Cornbread was one of the first things I ever made on my own, so I should know what I'm doing, but for whatever reason (I'll blame the oven) this cornbread needed to cook much longer than normal. I had already cut it up before I realized that the center was still batter. Oops!

In addition to the cornbread, you are supposed to tear up a few pieces of white bread. I had two sandwich rolls that were "on their way out" so I started tearing those up into a bowl. About half way through the first roll, I glanced at the other roll and saw a green dot of mold. Ugh! I sifted back through the torn pieces and found one green spot that I took out. I really hope that was it. The other roll went in the trash.

When I added the sage I went with one teaspoon instead of one Tablespoon. Despite what Mamma says, I'm convinced that there's a typo in my recipe.

I stirred up all the dry ingredients and then I poured a melted stick of butter over everything and started adding chicken broth. Instead of pouring in five cups and calling it a day, I poured a little, stirred it up, and then poured some more. I got it to the consistency I like after about 3 cups (a little soupy) gave it a taste for seasoning (see I'm learning!) and then added the raw eggs.

I baked it off, and I must say that it turned out pretty darn close to Mamma's, although not quite as good of course. Yum!

Mamma's Cornbread Dressing (with Kim's aforementioned tweaks)
1 pan of cornbread
3-4 slices of white bread
4 eggs, boiled and chopped
3 eggs, raw
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon sage
3-4 cups of chicken broth (enough to make slightly soupy)

Mix cornbread and white bread crumbs in a large bowl. Add salt, pepper, and sage. Mix well. Add onion, celery, and boiled eggs. Mix well. Add melted butter and gradually add in the broth. Mix well. Add raw eggs. Mix well.

Pour into a greased 13x9 inch baking dish. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes.

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