Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Turkey Dinner Cornbread Stuffing, a Butter Hint and My Harvest Table

I've been known to buy a cornbread mix to use as the base from my cornbread stuffing.  However I've also been known to make it from scratch.  I also use this recipe straight up for cornbread to go with chili or I adapt it for my stuffing base.  It's quite yummy!  I make it a couple of days ahead and let it sit in the oven to dry out.  By adding the herbs and onions right in to the cornbread I just have to crumble, stir in melted butter and stuff the bird on the big day.  I like to do as much ahead of time as possible to minimize the hassles when making a big dinner!
Note the sliver missing on the side... you should always taste test your end product...

Cornbread Stuffing
Stuffs a 12 - 15 lb turkey

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup butter+ a little more (you want 120ml melted)
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk (I always have yogurt on hand but most recipes call for buttermilk, you can use whichever one you want)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (a mix of rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano is what I used)

  1. Place the 1 tbsp butter in a 8 inch or larger cast iron skillet (you can use a 8 inch square baking pan if you don't have a cast iron skillet)
  2. Place in oven and heat to 350F
  3. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cornmeal with a whisk.
  4. Toss in the onions and herbs and mix until coated with the flour mixture.
  5. In another bowl pour the melted butter, yogurt and eggs, mix well.
  6. Add the butter mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just blended.
  7. Pour into the heated skillet.
  8. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until golden brown.
Add shredded cheddar cheese, chopped jalapeno pepper and a dash of chili powder in place of the herbs if you are making this cornbread to go with chili.

I have to hide this cornbread or else it gets eaten before I can stuff it in the turkey!

This is my harvest table setting.  I kept it easy this year.  I hollowed out the 3 gourds and put some tealights in them.  Add my standard candle holders and tapers and it's a lovely simple arrangement.  I love this tablecloth, it's a great reuse every year.  My aunt painted the placemats which gives the table that special touch. 

Butter Hint:
I also like to make herb butter ahead of time. Chop rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, parsley and mash into 1/2 cup room temperature butter. Roll it into a log and wrap in plastic wrap. You can use this butter under the skin of the turkey, in your mashed potatoes or if you use a cornbread mix you can melt it into your cornbread before stuffing. I also toss my roasted turnip and carrots with it right before serving and I use a tablespoon in the gravy once it's thickened to smooth it out. No chopping herbs on the big day! It's one less mess to deal with when you're making a big dinner.

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