Jim Carey’s Cajun Cornbread Dressing

Seasoning Mix
2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper
1 teaspoon oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves

Combine, mix thoroughly and set aside.

1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup onion, chopped
3/4 cup green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 lb Polish smoked sausage, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
5 cups crumbled buttermilk cornbread
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
3 eggs

In a large sauce pan, melt butter and add onions, bell pepper, celery, garlic and bay leaves and cook over high heat. Saute about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the seasoning mix and continue cooking 5 minutes. Stir in the sausage, chicken broth and Tabasco sauce. Cook 5 minutes more stirring frequently. Turn off heat. Add the cornbread, milk and egg.

Spoon dressing into a greased baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees until browns on top for about 40 minutes.

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Classic Bread Stuffing

2 pounds white bread or 1 pound each white and whole wheat
1/2 cup butter or good margarine
1 large bunch of celery plus a few extra outside ribs
3 very large onions or four medium-large
1 tablespoons poultry seasoning
1/2 to 1 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
extra sage
2 cups or more chicken broth (or turkey broth)

Find something with a dull flat edge such as the back of a large knife, and press the bread into squares the size of croutons, about three or four across and the same long. Place in warm oven to dry; set it to 250° for 15 minutes and then turn it off and leave overnight. Crack into little squares and seal in a large bowl two or three days before needed. If quite dry, they do not need to be refrigerated.

Chop onions semi-coarsely. Slice celery fairly thin, including most of the inner leaves, discarding the outer toughest, darkest or bruised ones.

Melt the butter over medium heat in a large deep skillet or large heavy pan. When melted, turn heat high and add veggies. Stir frequently; they will “water out” some, but if they start to stick, turn down the heat as needed. Cook until celery is limp. Add seasonings.

You can store in the fridge for a couple of days if you need to cook ahead.

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Lemon Rice Dressing

1/3 cup butter
1 cup celery; finely diced
1/2 cup onion; chopped
3 cups rice; cooked
1 tablespoon lemon rind; grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 cup lemon juice

Melt butter in frying pan add celery and onion, cook until tender. Toss lightly with rice, lemon rind, salt, thyme and lemon juice.

Sufficient to stuff a 4-pound dressed fish

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Crockpot Stuffing

1 cup butter
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery
1/4 cup parsley sprigs
2-8 ounce cans of mushrooms
12 cups of bread cubes
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 eggs, well beaten
1-1/2 teaspoons sage
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 or 3 cans of chicken broth (If you are using day old bread that is soft, use 2 cans, if you are using hard stuffing cubes, use 3 cans)

Melt butter in a skillet and sauté onion, celery, parsley and mushrooms. Pour over bread cubes in a very large mixing bowl. Add all seasonings and toss well. Pour in the broth, add the eggs and mix well. Pack lightly into crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

Serves 12.

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Wild Rice Dressing

2 cups wild rice
3/4 pound mushrooms, sliced
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup walnuts
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1-2 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
4 cups bread
2 cups chicken, vegetable or turkey stock

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add the wild rice. Cover, turn the heat to low and simmer until the rice is tender, about 25 minutes or so.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

As the rice is cooking, heat a large sauté pan on high for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and shake the pan a little so they don’t stick. Dry sauté the mushrooms, stirring often, until the release their water. When most of the water has burned off, sprinkle salt over the mushrooms, add 3 tablespoons of the butter, onion and celery and toss to combine. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.

Drain the rice when it is tender (most of the grains will have split by then) and add the rice to the sauté pan. Turn off the heat and add the sage, croutons, dried cranberries and walnuts. Sprinkle a little more salt over everything. Stir to combine.

Put the dressing into a large, oven-proof pot with a lid and dot with the remaining butter. Add the chicken stock, cover and bake for 45 minutes. If you want, take the cover off for the last 15 minutes to brown the top.

Serves 6-8 as a side dish.

Cooking with Walnuts: 51 Recipes using Walnuts

Sausage-Apple Stuffing

4 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
6 celery ribs, finely chopped
3 medium onions, finely chopped
1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, removed from the casings and crumbled
9 cubed (1-inch) day-old Italian Bread (about 1 large loaf)
36 pitted prunes, coarsely chopped (about 10 ounces)
3 medium Golden Delicious or Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (Italian)
1/4 cup finely chopped sage
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups reserved turkey broth (or canned chicken broth)

Preheat oven to 425° and generously butter 2 medium baking dishes that are at least 2 inches deep.

Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the celery and onions and cook over moderate heat until softened about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, just until it loses its pink color, about 7 minutes.

In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the prunes, apples, parsley and sage. Add the sausage mixture and season with the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the eggs and reserved turkey stock and mix well. Divide the stuffing between the prepared baking dishes. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for bout 10 minutes longer or until heated through and browned on top. Let cool slightly before serving.

Make ahead: The stuffing without the eggs and turkey stock can be refrigerated overnight; the final ingredients should be added just before baking.

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Slow Cooker Chicken Dressing

Celery leaves
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup oil
3/4 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sage or to taste
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning or to taste
2 cups white bread (day old and broken up)
8 cups southern corn bread, broken up
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cans chicken broth (better to use from the 3 breasts)
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vinegar
3 chicken breasts with skin

Put chicken breasts in water to cover, add a few celery leaves, a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until chicken is tender. May do the night before and refrigerate overnight.

Sauté the onion and celery until tender in 1/4 cup oil; add salt, sage and poultry seasonings. Combine the breads in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the cooked onion, celery, salt, sage and poultry seasonings.

In a small bowl combine the soup, broth, eggs, and vinegar. Combine with other ingredients in a large bowl, mix well. Pour into Crock-Pot that has been sprayed with oil and cook on high for 30 minutes. Turn heat down to low and cook 3-1/2 hours. Remove skin from chicken and break chicken into large pieces, then fold into dressing. Cook dressing about 1 hour longer or until it starts to brown.

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Award Winning Plantation Dressing

20 slices stale white bread
1 pan stale corn bread, crumbled
1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1 stick
2 cups very finely chopped white or yellow onions
3 bunches green onions with tops, very finely chopped
2 cups very finely chopped celery
1 tablespoon or more salt
1 teaspoon or more pepper
4 cups homemade chicken broth
1 pint shucked oysters, drained, optional

Toast white bread and tear into very small pieces. Mix with corn bread in large bowl. Melt butter in skillet and add onions, green onions and celery. Sauté until translucent. Add to bread mixture and season with salt and pepper. Add just enough of the chicken broth gradually to bind the mixture, checking by pressing mixture with spoon and stopping when the broth begins to seep into the bowl. Adjust seasoning. Stir in oysters.

Spoon into a large baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 20 minutes longer or until top is brown and center is firm.

Serves 12

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