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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Cornbread Dressing - Gluten Free and Great!

Gluten Free Cornbread

Here, finally, is the dressing I made for our Thanksgiving turkey. My holidays were good, but I had to roll with it and the old blog got demoted in importance. It looked like this: Thanksgiving, sick, Disneyland, one week to get Christmas together, Christmas. Not much wiggle room. But, here I am, hoping to bring you new recipes in the new year. Here's to 2014 being a little more calm.

Assembled dressing, waiting for the oven.

This was our first Thanksgiving without my Grandma Betty and mother-in-law, Pat. My mom and dad shared Thanksgiving with my Aunt Kim and her kids, so they didn't have to travel. Mr. Dwayne's dad was in Arizona with his brother, Don. So, I found myself the matriarch of my own holiday table. I was careful to meet everyone's special dietary needs, so this gluten free dressing was created in honor of Miss Paula.  It was the best cornbread dressing I've ever had. No kidding. This was not a compromise of any sort. Delicious! While I'm not posting this in time for the 2013 holidays, I hope you will consider this side dish any time you serve poultry.

Our Thanksgiving Table

Gluten Free Cornbread Dressing
For the cornbread:
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup Pamela's Gluten Free Pancake and Baking Mix
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients until blended. Pour into a greased 8 X 8 or 9 X 9 inch baking pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature. Cut the bread into about 1 inch squares and remove from the baking pan onto a cookie sheet. Allow the cornbread to air dry overnight. 

To assemble the dressing:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh parley
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage
Salt and Pepper
The dried cornbread cubes
1 cup of simmered and chopped giblets* or cooked sausage**
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 cup chicken or turkey broth

Soften the vegetables and herbs in the olive oil over a medium-low heat. Season with a little salt and pepper. Place the cornbread cubes into a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked veggies and meat and toss to combine. Beat the egg and egg yolk and toss into the cornbread mixture. Add the broth, a little at a time, until the dressing reaches a texture where it is moist, but the cubes still hold their shape. Place the mixture in a greased 9 X 13 inch baking pan. At this point, you can cover and refrigerate. Bake in a 325 to 350 degree oven for a bout 30 minutes before serving. I placed mine in the oven at the same time I removed the turkey to rest. The temperature range is to allow for whatever else might be occupying your oven at the same time. When done, the dressing should firm up and be lightly toasted across the top.

*All whole turkeys come with a neck, liver, heart and gizzard. I simmered mine with onion, celery, carrot, garlic, herbs and salt and pepper until tender. I did not use the liver in the dressing, as I don't like it. You sure could! After they have simmered for a couple of hours, strain and reserve the broth. Remove the meat from the neck and chop the other pieces, cutting away any tough parts. 
**If you don't want to go through all this, you can cook up some chicken or turkey sausage and use prepared broth.