We are in Naples, Fla. this week visiting Michael’s parents for Thanksgiving and his mom, Patsy, shared her mother’s cornbread stuffing recipe. Charlotte was from Mississippi, and Patsy said she made this simple but delicious stuffing each and every holiday. I vegetarianized it and added fresh herbs for a more modern take.
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Time: About 30 minutes active; 2 hours total
2 cups cornmeal
1 cup buttermilk (or add 1 tablespoon white vinegar to scant cup of low-fat milk, let sit 10 minutes)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (one stick), divided
3 eggs, divided
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, each
8 ounces French or Italian bread, toasted and pureed or 2 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
4 celery ribs, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cups vegetable broth
1/3 cup parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, rosemary, sage, each
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, mix together cornmeal, buttermilk, 2 tablespoons melted butter, 1 egg, chili powder, salt, sugar, baking soda and baking powder until smooth. Batter will be thick.
3. In a loaf pan or 8″ square pan sprayed with cooking spray, pour cornbread mixture in, distribute evenly and bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool slightly, and then puree in a food processor. Cornbread will be dry and crumbly. Set aside crumbs in a large bowl. Leave oven at 350 degrees.
4. If using fresh bread, slice, toast and puree in food processor. Add to cornbread crumbs and set aside.
5. In a medium pot, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add celery and onions and sauté until softened and slightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add broth and remaining 5 tablespoons butter. Heat until butter is melted and then remove.
6. In the large bowl with cornbread and bread crumbs, add vegetable-broth mixture and stir to combine. Add parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, pepper and nutmeg and stir again. Finally add the last 2 eggs and stir well.
7. In a medium casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray, add stuffing and spread out. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn on broiler. Broil stuffing for 3-5 minutes until browned and crispy on top. Serve hot.
Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food AND is a vegetarian! These things are not mutually exclusive in her world. She is passionate about eating, drinking, cooking, teaching, reading about food and growing food. Her goal with her food blog, Vegetarianized.com, is to open up the world of vegetarian cooking and eating to the veg-friendly and the veg-curious in an accessible way. She promises never to try to convert or make you feel guilty—just that eating less meat can be part of a healthy, fun and, above all, tasty lifestyle.