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Scott Peacock's Corn Bread Dressing
- One day before making dressing, prepare Corn Bread recipe. Break corn bread in large pieces, spread on a tray, and let stand (uncovered) overnight to dry. (If unable to prepare corn bread the day before, spread pieces on a baking sheet and dry in a 200 degrees F oven for 30 minutes.)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large skillet over low heat, melt 5 tablespoons of the butter. Add chopped celery, onion, salt, and pepper. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often, until vegetables are very tender and translucent, but not brown. (This step is essential in developing the flavor of the dish). Stir in crumbled sage; set aside to cool.
- Crumble the dried cornbread in a large mixing bowl. (For fine texture dressing, crumble corn bread finely; for a rustic version, crumble larger pieces.)
- Stir the celery and onion mixture into crumbled corn bread; stir in eggs. Stir in 3 cups of the broth. Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter; stir in along with remaining broth. Mix well, adding more broth, if needed, to reach a soupy, pourable consistency.
- Pour dressing mixture into a butter 3-quart baking dish. Bake on a center oven rack for 40 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees F; bake 5 minutes longer, rotating dish if needed, until dressing is browned. Remove from oven to rack. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
From the Test Kitchen
If you don't have a cast iron skillet, generously grease and flour a 9x1 1/2-inch round baking pan. Melt butter in a small skillet until it sizzles.
If you don't have fine-ground cornmeal, use regular cornmeal and reduce the amount of buttermilk to 1 1/2 cups.
If you don't have time to let bread dry overnight, allow the freshly baked cornbread to cool completely. Break into 1 1 /2- to 2-inch pieces and arrange in a single layer in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Dry in a 200 degrees F oven for 1 1/2 hours. Cool on wire rack.
Pick leaves from a bunch of fresh sage, taking care to remove any woody stems. Arrange leaves in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Dry leaves in a 200 degrees F oven for 20 to 40 minutes, until leaves are thoroughly dried. Remove from oven and cool completely. If not using immediately, store whole dried leaves in an airtight jar away from heat and sunlight up to 1 month.
To use leaves, layer waxed or parchment paper on the counter. Place a few dried leaves between palms of hands and, holding hands over the paper, rub vigorously to finely crumble dried leaves. Pick out and discard any bits of stem. Freshly dried and crumbled sage has a fresher and more vital flavor than sage from grocery store shelves.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or 9-inch cake pan, melt butter for 2 to 4 minutes, until sizzling hot. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine cornmeal, kosher salt, and baking soda. In a medium bowl whisk together buttermilk and eggs. Whisk buttermilk mixture into cornmeal mixture until smooth and batter has a sheen; batter will be thin. Whisk hot butter from skillet into batter. Pour batter into hot skillet. Bake corn bread 25 to 20 minutes or until golden. Cool in skillet for 10 minutes, loosen thoroughly, then remove from skillet.
Nutrition Facts (Scott Peacock's Corn Bread Dressing)
- Per serving:
- 219 kcal cal.,
- 13 g fat
- (7 g sat. fat,
- 1 g polyunsaturated fat,
- 4 g monounsatured fat),
- 117 mg chol.,
- 697 mg sodium,
- 19 g carb.,
- 1 g fiber,
- 4 g sugar,
- 7 g pro.
- Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet