Thanksgiving – The Stuffing {Last Years}

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So when I was a little kid, my Grandma S (mom’s side of the family) always did Thanksgiving, that is until she and grandpa “retired” and moved to the city.  {They made their living with a Stud (horse) operation.}  When that happened my aunt and mom split up Thanksgiving & Christmas hosting.

As I stated the other day, there was a falling out with my family over some very stupid issues, but none the less we weren’t allowed to my aunt’s house for any holiday.  End of story.  And again, that didn’t stop us from celebrating plus I got the chance to make my Turkey!

Well what’s Thanksgiving dinner with out stuffing?!?!

My Grandma passed away in 2007 and unfortunately, her recipes she used for Thanksgiving dinner were “misplaced,” until this last Spring when I think I found them in her notebook, but that was after Thanksgiving 2011.

Hubby and I talked about it and neither of us really knew what we wanted to make stuffing wise.  I couldn’t find Grandma S’s recipe, I never thought to ask Grandma J for hers, Hubby didn’t have one that was important to his family so we were at a loss.  Then we thought, well heck, if we’re making PW’s turkey, why not make her stuffing from the throw down as well!  So that’s just what we did.  And we really like it… just sayin :)!

Cornbread Dressing with Pancetta, Apples & Mushrooms – Ree Drummond

4 cups Cornbread, cut into 1-inch cubes, Recipe follows (but we used the Jiffy box mix…)
4 cups French Bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 cups crusty Artisan Bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (we couldn’t find this so we subbed something else in, I can’t remember what, just find something crusty!)
32 oz White button or Crimini mushrooms (we used the button mushrooms)
4 tbsp canola oil
3/4 tsp Kosher salt, divided
1/2 lb Pancetta, diced (yeah I don’t think our stores knew what that was at the time, we used bacon.  Now it’s available.)
2 cups Diced Onion
5 Granny Smith Apples, cut into large dice (sounds weird but it’s good!)
5 tbsp Brown Sugar
1 cup White Wine
32 Fluid ounces very low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp ground thyme
1/2 tsp Turmeric
2 tsp minced fresh rosemary leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Minced fresh parsley leaves

Allow the diced bread to sit out on a sheet pan for sever hours or overnight, until dried out.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Wash the mushrooms thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels.  Toss in a bowl with the canola oil and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt; mushrooms will be very coated.  Divide the mushrooms between 2 sheet pans and roast in the upper half of the oven for at least 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through roasting.  Remove from the oven when the mushrooms are deep brown.  Set aside.

Reduce the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large skillet, cook the pancetta over medium-high heat until the fat is rendered and pancetta is golden brown.  Remove from the skillet and set aside.  Without cleaning the skillet, add in the onions and brown for 5 minutes.  Increase the heat and add the apples, brown sugar and 1/2 tsp salt.  Cook until deep golden brown, 3-5 minutes.

Decrease the heat to medium and pour in the wine (be careful if you’re using an open flame).  stir and cook to reduce the liquid by half, 2-3 minutes.  Pour the apple/onion mixture into a bowl and set aside.

Return the skillet to medium heat (again, without washing) and add the chicken broth, thyme, turmeric, rosemary, the remaining 1/2 tsp salt and pepper.  Heat for a few minutes, then set aside.

Add the bread to a large bowl, and then add the browned pancetta, mushrooms and the apple/onion mixture (and any juices that might have accumulated).  Next, add the broth mixture gradually as you toss the ingredients, being prepared not to use all the liquid, according to your taste.

Check the seasonings at the end and add in the minced parsley.  Pour into a large baking dish or iron skillet and bake until golden brown on top, 20-25 minutes.  (Or you can stuff the turkey if you’re into that kind of thing).

1/4 cups shortening, melted, plus 2 tbsp
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
1 whole egg
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Heat 2 tbsp shortening in an iron skillet, muffin pan or other baking pan.  Combine the cornmeal, flour, and salt in a mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, milk and egg.  Add the baking powder and baking soda.  Stir.  Add the remaining 1/4 cup melted shortening, stirring constantly.  Pour into the hot pan, smoothing the surface with a spatula.  Bake until golden brown on top, 20-25 minutes.

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