Mason-Dixon Corn Bread Dressing 101
Moist, golden brown cornbread dressing has as many variations as there are Southern cooks. This basic cornbread dressing recipe uses two equally popular Southern ingredients—ham and pecans.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
8 ounces smoked ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 medium celery ribs with leaves, chopped
1 cup chopped green onions
10 cups coarsely crumbled buttermilk cornbread, dried overnight or in the oven
1 cup toasted and coarsely chopped pecans
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning (see recipe above)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups homemade turkey stock or canned reduced-sodium chicken broth, as needed
- In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the ham and celery and cook until the celery softens, about 5 minutes. Add the green onions and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes.
- Scrape the ham, vegetables, and butter into large bowl. Stir in the cornbread, pecans, eggs, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir in enough of the stock to moisten the stuffing, about 2 cups. Use to stuff the bird, or place in a buttered baking dish, drizzle with an additional 1/2 cup stock, cover and bake as a side dish.
Makes 10 cups.
Dried Cranberry and Walnut Dressing: Substitute 1 cup toasted and chopped walnuts for the pecans. Soak 1 cup (4 ounces) dried cranberries in hot water until plump, about 20 minutes; drain. Stir into cornbread dressing.
Sausage Gumbo Dressing: Substitute 1 pound andouille sausage, or pork kielbasa, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, for the ham. Add 1 medium red bell pepper, cored seeded, and chopped, to the pan with the sausage and celery. Add 2 garlic cloves, minced, to the mixture with the green onions. Substitute Cajun seasoning for the poultry seasoning. If desired stir in one 9-ounce box chopped frozen okra, thawed, into the dressing.