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My grandmother made the best Cornbread Dressing. I loved helping her crumble up the stale hamburger buns to mix with the cornbread and gushing my fingers through the gloopy mixture of cornbread, spices and chicken stock to make sure that everything was well mixed.
When John started a gluten free diet five years ago, I started making the cornbread dressing from Joy of Cooking because it didn’t call for any breadcrumbs. It’s a good recipe. Really, it is. But it’s not my grandmother’s.
So this is my attempt.
I did a trial run Sunday night. It was too moist, the texture wasn’t quite right, and John didn’t really like it. I’ve made some alterations and the recipe below is what I’ll be cooking on Thursday. Many thanks to Ginger at Gluten Free in Georgia (and Florida) for her dressing recipe. It reminded me of some things I’d forgotten about my Grandmother’s recipe and sent me in the right direction.
Gluten Free Cornbread Dressing
1 Tbsp. poultry seasoning
1 Tbsp. rubbed sage
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
4 c. chicken or vegetable stock **
2 eggs, well beaten
2 Tbsp. baking powder
1. Bake a recipe of Gluten Free Southern Cornbread (or any sugarless cornbread recipe). Set aside to cool. Make some gluten free bread crumbs* if you don’t have any on hand.
2. Dice the onions and celery. Melt a stick of butter in a large skillet. Saute the onion and celery in the butter until the onion is transparent. (Yes, a whole stick of butter. You can diet next year =)
3. Crumble the corn bread into a really large bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, onion and celery, and all the rest of the ingredients. Stir everything really well. We’re looking for homogeneous gloop here.
4. Pour the dressing into a 9 x 13 casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for at least an hour. If, after an hour, the dressing is not brown on top or is not firm in the center, keep on cooking until it is.
* I used leftover heels from loaves of Finally, Really Good Sandwich Bread and Brown Rice & Buckwheat Sandwich Bread that I had frozen. A short defrost in the microwave and a few pulses with the Cuisinart and I had some lovely breadcrumbs =)
** In the test run I used six cups of stock and the dressing was too moist. I usually use two cups of stock which makes a dressing that is drier than I like, but perfect for John. Thursday I’ll be making it with four cops of stock, so that’s what I put here. If you’re the least bit hesitant about four cups, then just use two and make extra gravy =)
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