Apple and Sage Cornbread Stuffing
How do I love thee, Thanksgiving. Let me count the ways.
4. Mom’s stuffing
5. Highly competitive board games
6. Mom’s stuffing
7. Gravy and warm dinner rolls
8. Long stretches on a couch in a tryptophan coma
9. Mom’s stuffing
6. Oh, and this stuffing now too.
The excitement in our house is getting palpable. We all can’t wait for this week’s Thanksgiving festivities with my family. And, like most, it’s not only celebrated on the Thursday. Lasting for the whole weekend, our Thanksgivings always end up being a tour of family, friends and events including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. We also always have multiple turkey dinners. Although the best dinner is always the one that includes my mother’s sausage and sage stuffing.
It’s hard to think of Thanksgiving and not think of my mother’s stuffing. In our family, the stuff is legendary, and it’s hard to come by any leftovers of the dish. So when I was developing recipes for this year’s Thanksgiving coverage on SPC it was crazy of me to dare to create a stuffing (or dressing for you those of you who know it as dressing). But I did. I’m going to justify its existence by saying I wanted to come up with something meatless. (Although it does use chicken broth.) But the truth is I just wanted a reason to use my all-time favourite cornbread recipe in another dish. And, like I suspected, it didn’t disappoint. In fact, it made its debut at Canadian Thanksgiving to a resounding “Heaven’s to Betsy, this stuff is yummy.”
The combination of the buttery cornbread and sweet apples along with the warmth added by the sage makes this stuffing worthy of your family’s holiday table. I’m not going to stay it’s as good as my mother’s–Mostly because the lady will get mad and it’s not pretty when she’s angry. Honestly, though. It’s not possible for the dish to measure up to my moms because it’s missing the one thing always used in the preparation of her stuffing. While I gave this dish a lot of my unconditional love, you can’t substitute the years of tradition and joy that my mother’s has brought to our Thanksgiving gatherings. But maybe I’ll feel different about this recipe in the future. Let’s reconvene on this in about ten years.
From the SPC kitchen, we wish you the happiest of family meals whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving this week or just gathering together for dinner.
- 1 Skillet Cornbread, recipe follows, diced into 1-inch cubes
- 1 loaf of challah or egg bread, diced into 1-inch cubes
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
- 2 stalks celery, finely diced
- 3 apples, diced
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Skillet Corn Bread
- Serves 8
- Prep time: 10 minutes
- Total time: 35 minutes
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
- 1 cup corn flour
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup finely ground cornmeal
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
Prepare the skillet cornbread and allow to cool.
Spread the cornbread and challah cubes out on 2 large baking sheets and allow them to dry out for 24 hours. Once dry and crispy, transfer the cubes from both trays to a large mixing bowl and lightly mix them.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Melt butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook until vegetables are tender crisp, about 12 to 15 minutes. Add the apples and cook for another 2 minutes to soften them. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the sage, thyme and salt. Gradually ladle the broth mixture into the bowl with the bread cubes, tossing lightly with each addition. Keep adding the broth mixture, mixing after each addition.
Pour the stuffing into a rectangular baking dish and bake until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes
Method for the Skillet Cornbread
Preheat oven to 400.
Melt butter in cast iron skillet in the preheating oven; then remove from oven and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the corn flour, flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, buttermilk and egg.
Slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring until well combined. Add almost all the melted butter from the skillet just leaving a enough to coat the skillet and then stir to combine. Pour the batter into the skillet and bake until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.
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