Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I love stuffing, or dressing, as my family always said.  Thanksgiving food is some of my favorite.

We usually have a house full of people. Since my husband and I didn't grow up in Minneapolis we have no relatives here, so we make our own by inviting others who don't have family close by. I could be serving 17-20 people this year.

Traditionally Thanksgiving food is high in starch and not so high in fiber and nutrients, but it's not that hard to change things slightly and have a health-promoting, as well as delicious Thanksgiving.

I grew up eating Cornbread Dressing. I've tried a number of variations on it and regular stuffing. This year I have two recipes I'm considering and may do a combination of the two.

Here's the first of the two recipes:

Cornbread, Bacon and Shiitake Stuffing
from Real Food, Fall 2011

1 cup flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal (I'd use half cornmeal and half polenta)
1 Tablespoon sugar (I'd remove this one)
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 cup milk
1 extra large egg, beaten
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

4 Tablespoons olive oil
3 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped (I like sage, so I'll probably add that too)
5 slices bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice (could use turkey bacon or eliminate, but the taste would be altered)
5 ounces sliced shiitake mushrooms
2 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper if desired

1. For the cornbread: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix together in a bowl flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Stir in milk, egg, and butter. Stir well and pur into well-oiled, 8-inch squyare pan. Bake 20-25 minutes until firm. Let cool.

2. For the Stuffing: Heat oil in a 6-quart pot. Add onions and celery and cook 15 minutes over high heat, stirring, until softened and golden brown. Add rosemary, bacon, and mushrooms and cook 10 minutes until mushrooms are soft and bacon is cooked.

3. Cut cornbread into 1/2-inch pieces and add to pot. Stir and cook 5 minutes. Whisk together eggs and stock; pour over cornbread mixture and stir. Add salt and pepper if desired.

4. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 30 minutes and serve.

You can make this ahead and freeze it. Then thaw and warm in the oven before serving.

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