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Romandub
11-21-2006, 12:05 PM
I am making my first attempt ever at cornbread dressing. My dear MIL passed away earlier this year, and DH loved her dressing. Unfortunately, there is no recipe, so I am trying the Southern Living recipe that got such rave reviews on the BB. But as you can see, the pressure is on....I have a really dumb question. Can I make the dressing today (Tuesday) and keep it in the refrigerator NOT FROZEN until Thursday? Will it keep that long with the eggs and all? If not today, can I do it tomorrow or do I need to do it on Thursday? I know I can make the cornbread ahead of time, but I can't figure out if I can do the whole thing ahead of time without freezing. HELP!!!

Cornbread Dressing (Southern Living Best Ever Recipes)
Southern Living, November 1998
Serving Size : 12

2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

6 large eggs -- divided (use 2 for first steps)
2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons bacon drippings
1/2 cup butter
3 bunches green onions -- chopped
4 celery ribs -- chopped
1 package herb-seasoned stuffing mix -- 16-ounce
5 cans chicken broth -- 14 1/2-ounce

Cook bacon first.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir together 2 eggs and
buttermilk; add egg mixture to dry ingredients, stirring just until
moistened.

Heat bacon drippings in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet (or 9-inch round
cakepan) in a 425° oven 5 minutes. Stir hot drippings into batter. Pour
batter into hot skillet.

Bake at 425° for 25 minutes or until golden; cool and crumble. If not
making this recipe ahead of time, wipe out hot skillet and use it for next
steps.

CAN FREEZE CORNBREAD FOR UP TO 1 MONTH in a large heavy-duty zip-top
plastic bag. Thaw in refrigerator.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add green onions and
celery, and sauté until tender.

Stir together remaining 4 eggs in a huge bowl; stir in cornbread, onion
mixture, stuffing mix, and broth until blended.

Spoon dressing into 1 lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish and 1
lightly greased 9-inch square baking dish. (I like to serve the 13x9 at
Thanksgiving and freeze the 9x9 for Christmas--easy!)

CAN COVER AND FREEZE DRESSING FOR UP TO 3 MONTHS; thaw in refrigerator for
at least 8 hours.

sneezles
11-21-2006, 12:20 PM
I wouldn't do the second part until at least Wednesday night. It would be fine overnight in the fridge.

PamN
11-21-2006, 12:28 PM
The Mercury News just printed a recipe for stuffing (including eggs) for their Do-Ahead Thanksgiving. Their recommendation:

You can assemble and bake the stuffing the day before. Allow to cool, then cover and refrigerate. The next day, bring to room temperature before placing in oven, covered with foil, 30 minutes; then uncover and continue baking 10 minutes more.

testkitchen45
11-21-2006, 02:25 PM
Hi, Romandub. I think you imported this from my post a few weeks ago on one of the T'g threads; it's got my cooking notes in it. :) I make this every year.

I wouldn't think there'd be any problem with making it today. Even if you cracked an egg, you could keep it for a day or two, tightly covered in the fridge, b4 cooking it--not more, of course, but you're only 24 hours away from when you'd be pulling it out of the freezer anyway.

I did check The Food Lover's Tiptionary (a great book!), which says, "Leftover egg yolks that won't be used within a day or two can either be cooked or frozen." It logically follows that egg yolks can be refrigerated in your recipe for "a day or two." So you're safe with making this dressing today and then baking it on Thursday.

Enjoy! I'm checking the BB today as a fun break from T'g cooking, so post again if you have more questions. This recipe is so familiar to me now, I can do it in my sleep (good thing it's already in my freezer!).

Romandub
11-21-2006, 02:40 PM
Testkitchen45--thanks so much for the post! Yes, I got the recipe from you and am in the midst of making it right now. I was a little confused about how much bacon to cook and I cooked a whole package. Probably too much, but oh well! How much harm can bacon drippings do, right? I noticed that there is no sage in this dressing. Is that right? That seems to be a pretty common seasoning, so I just want to make sure I didn't miss it.

GingerPow
11-21-2006, 02:50 PM
This is something I've been tinkering with for years. This is what I have come up with which works well for me:
I just finished prepping the components of my Cornbread Stuffing. I baked the cornbread yesterday (on a sheet pan so it's thinner than usual). This morning I cut it into cubes and let sit in a 170 degree oven to dry out. (A tip from Martha Stewart). After they cooled, I put them in a bag then into the fridge. (I have made cornbread ahead of time and placed in the freezer - works just fine).

Today I cooked the sausage, lightly sauteed the vegetables, soaked the raisins, chopped the apple and parsley and mixed these ingredients in a plastic container - that is now in the fridge.

So on Thanksgiving, I'll add all the ingredients to a big bowl, ladle in some broth, two beaten eggs, add salt & pepper, mix well, then spoon into the greased pan, top with butter and bake.

testkitchen45
11-21-2006, 04:39 PM
Testkitchen45--thanks so much for the post! Yes, I got the recipe from you and am in the midst of making it right now. I was a little confused about how much bacon to cook and I cooked a whole package. Probably too much, but oh well! How much harm can bacon drippings do, right? I noticed that there is no sage in this dressing. Is that right? That seems to be a pretty common seasoning, so I just want to make sure I didn't miss it.
Measure out the right portion of bacon drippings, and then freeze the rest. I keep mine in the freezer; when a recipe calls for some, I soften the container (Corningware) just enough in the microwave to spoon out the required amount. Keeps me from having to cook bacon just for the drippings.

And of course, you ate the bacon, right, since it's not used in the dressing? :D

Right, no sage. It's possible that the Pepperidge Farm stuffing that you're using as an ingredient already has some sage; I don't know. You'll love this dressing! Happy T'g!

tea4one
11-21-2006, 06:19 PM
The Mercury News just printed a recipe for stuffing (including eggs) for their Do-Ahead Thanksgiving. Their recommendation:

You can assemble and bake the stuffing the day before. Allow to cool, then cover and refrigerate. The next day, bring to room temperature before placing in oven, covered with foil, 30 minutes; then uncover and continue baking 10 minutes more.

I missed most of the articles on this so I will have to sign up just to read them for next year or possibly Christmas.

oceanjasper
11-23-2006, 12:07 PM
I am making this recipe today and thought I would add the final baking information, as it was missing. :) I got it right from the Southern Living website. Thanks for posting the recipe! I have never tried this kind of dressing before, but I am looking forward to it!

Bake 13- x 9-inch dish, uncovered, at 350° for 1 hour or until lightly browned. Bake 9-inch square baking dish, uncovered, 50 minutes or until lightly browned.

jjsooner73
11-23-2006, 10:18 PM
This is something I've been tinkering with for years. This is what I have come up with which works well for me:
I just finished prepping the components of my Cornbread Stuffing. I baked the cornbread yesterday (on a sheet pan so it's thinner than usual). This morning I cut it into cubes and let sit in a 170 degree oven to dry out. (A tip from Martha Stewart). After they cooled, I put them in a bag then into the fridge. (I have made cornbread ahead of time and placed in the freezer - works just fine).

Today I cooked the sausage, lightly sauteed the vegetables, soaked the raisins, chopped the apple and parsley and mixed these ingredients in a plastic container - that is now in the fridge.

So on Thanksgiving, I'll add all the ingredients to a big bowl, ladle in some broth, two beaten eggs, add salt & pepper, mix well, then spoon into the greased pan, top with butter and bake.

I use a method similar to this. It's my grandmother's grandmother's recipe (my grandma is 83, so it goes way back :)).

I make the cornbread ahead of time, crumble and freeze. I've omitted sauteed the veggies-we only use onion and celery and most family likes the celery with a slight crunch. I make chicken stock ahead of time and reserve some of the chicken. Just before cooking, I mix the cornbread and chicken stock until it's the right texture. I add 1-2 eggs, lightly beaten, diced onion and celery, salt, pepper, and sage. I microwave a small amount so I can taste test. There's not a recipe written down--it's all by taste and feel.

Once all the components are made, it takes no time to assemble and bake.

GingerPow
11-24-2006, 07:28 AM
There's not a recipe written down--it's all by taste and feel.
You know when they are 'just right' that way.The family recipes handed down from one generation to the next are a wonderful legacy.

I have my grandfather's handwritten Cherry Cheesecake recipe, as well as DH's grandmother's handwritten recipes for Devil's Food cupcakes, Fresh Donuts and others that I'd like to frame someday.