Every year I tweak the dressing recipe - sometimes fresh herbs, sometimes adding cream of chicken soup, etc. I think it's fun to experiment a little, even with big family holiday meals. You never know - you might hit on something everyone loves so much you don't want to to change it! It so happens that in my family, the dressing is MY favorite thing. So I pretty much get carte blanche making it, and it always gets rave reviews from Hubby.
This year I decided to add sausage. YUM. Sausage is a genius add-in; it's already seasoned up with sage so it will make the dressing extra wonderful. This was Jimmy Dean all natural pork sausage - smelled so good!
I sauteed celery and onion in some butter and added dried herbs - thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley. Salted and peppered it a little, too. My measurements are never exact, but I would say I used about a teaspoon or less of each herb. You can always add more, but once you add it, it's in there for good, knowwuttamean? I also added the celery tops - I think they look and taste great.
I stirred the cooked and drained sausage into the cooked celery and onion, just to make it easier to mix it all in with the cornbread. Then I added a little turkey stock to be sure the cornbread was nice and moist.
Oh! The cornbread! Here is the recipe I used:Simple Cornbread
2 c. cornmeal
1 t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/8 c. sugar
2 c. buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
Grease a cast iron skillet and place it in the oven while you preheat it to 425. Mix dry ingredients and set aside. Beat eggs and add to buttermilk. Stir wet into dry, pour into hot cast iron skillet, bake for 30 minutes.
Once the cornbread was cooled, I crumbled it and tossed with the sausage/celery/onion mix. Then I carefully placed it into a big plastic container to freeze until next Thursday morning. I will put it in a greased casserole dish after the turkey comes out of the oven, spoon some turkey drippings over it, and bake it for about 30-40 minutes while we carve the bird and make gravy.
Is it just me, or are you hungry for Thanksgiving, too?
P.S. Happy Birthday to me tomorrow! 55 years young! (: