Bill Steves' Mississippi Cornbread Dressing

Mississippi Cornbread Dressing: December 14, 2004

During the holiday season, in South Louisiana , many homes face one of the most traumatic decisions of the year. If the family is large, the chance is high that one of the family members has married into a family whose origin is the neighboring state of Mississippi . Many good natured arguments have taken place concerning the type of dressing to serve with the holiday bird. The Acadian side of the family, prefers the highly seasoned rice dressing (See Dirty Rice), the New Orleans group will fight for Oyster Dressing (see Oyster Dressing Pronounced Erster), and the "Good Ole Boys" from Mississippi get highly indignant if Grandma's Cornbread dressing does not show up on the table with that white funny looking gravy. The only true solution to this dilemma is to prepare some of each dressing and let everyone really "pig out". This cornbread dressing recipe was prepared in the kitchen of Claire Stevens in Laurel for many years during the holiday season. This dressing was also enjoyed by the patrons of four different restaurants operated by the Stevens family members. Different base stocks can be prepared to permit the use of the same basic recipe for stuffing pork chops and as an accompaniment for thinly sliced roast beef with rich brown gravy topping. If your family contains a mixture of Cajun and Red Neck, this recipe might be "just the ticket" to create peace and harmony during the festive holiday dinner. The dressing is easy to mix and most ingredients can be prepared before that hectic time in the kitchen on the morning of the holiday.


4 - 9 Inch Round Pans Of Country Buttermilk Cornbread Baked, Cooled, Crumbled, And Placed In Large Plastic Zip Lock Plastic Bag. Can Be Made Two Weeks Before And Stored In Freezer.
8 Slices White Bread Toasted Or Baked In Oven Until Dried Out, Cool, And Crumbled To Crumbs. If Dry Enough Crumbs Can Be Made In Food Processor Or Blender.
4 Slices White Bread Soaked In Water And Mashed
1/2 Cup Cracker Crumbs
4 Large Hard Boiled Eggs (Whites Used Only. Use Yellows For Shrimp Remalaude A'Keller)
2 Cups Drippings From Bird Baking In Oven.
Separate Stock From Fat By Letting Stand In Tall Jar In Refrigerator For 15 Minutes.
Reserve 6 Tbls Fat. (Substitute (Yuk!) Canned Chicken Stock & 4 Tbls Vegetable Oil If Stock Not Available).
2 Cups Finely Chopped Celery
2 Cups Finely Chopped Onions
1 Cup Finely Chopped Green Onions
1/2 Cup Chopped Green Bell Pepper
2 Cloves Fresh Garlic
2 Tbls Poultry Seasoning (Be Sure Fresh - If Too Old Will Lose Aroma And Taste)
1 Tsp Thyme
1 Tsp Oregano
2 Raw Eggs
3 - 5 Oz Cans Evaporated Milk
3 Cups Water
1/4 Lb Butter
Salt, Black Pepper, White Pepper, Sugar To Taste


In large bag combine cornbread crumbs, toasted white bread crumbs, and cracker crumbs with Poultry Seasoning, Thyme, Oregano, 1 Tsp Salt, 1/2 Tsp White Pepper and 1 Tsp Black Pepper. Shake and let stand. Saute onions, celery, green onions, and bell pepper until tender. Add garlic and parsley and saute for one minute. Remove from heat. In large bowl or pan combine bag of seasoned stuffing with sauteed vegetables. Add water wetted white bread and cut in with large spoon until no large pieces of uncooked bread can be seen. If nobody is watching use your hands and "squish up" (Oh! What Fun And It Works Better) to mix. Add drippings from bird, evaporated milk, raw eggs, two cups of water (or chicken stock if you want to do it right), and additional salt and pepper to taste. At this time dressing should have the consistency of oatmeal with milk added. The dressing will set when cooked. You may want to experiment with a small portion of the dressing for correct consistency. Add additional cup of water if required to minimize dryness when baked. Add sugar to taste. Fold in chopped egg whites, for lightness when cooked, and pour in three inch high greased baking dish leaving at least 1/2 inch room to rise and set. Place butter pats evenly spaced across top and place in top section of 375 Degree oven. After 30 minutes stir dressing and scrape edges of pan to center. Resume baking for an additional 30 minutes or until top begins to brown. Be careful with baking and do not overcook while consuming beverages and gabbing with the rest of the good ole boys. This Mississippi Style Dressing should be served with Giblet Milk Gravy. Mr. Turkey , the honored table host will be greatly honored to sit on the same table with this wonderful dressing.