The very best dish on the Holiday Table? It's the one that you drool about in July, the one that can't be duplicated on anyone else's Holiday table but your own. You may call it Dressing or you may call it Stuffing, but there is no doubt that it's the dish that makes it a Holiday Feast in the first place! Filled with anticipation and memories, your Holiday Dressing fills the house with a heart-warming aroma and familiar flavors that are anticipated many months in advance. Here are Sweet Daddy D's Holiday Dressing and Stuffing Recipes!
- Is it Dressing or Stuffing?
- What Makes a Good Dressing or Stuffing?
- Sweet Daddy D's Holiday Dressings
- New Orleans Oyster Dressing
- Grammies Oyster Dressing:
- Cornbread Dressing with Sausage
- Cajun Eggplant Dressing
- Oyster Artichoke Dressing
- Mirliton and Shrimp Dressing
- If You Want to Stuff Your Turkey
- Comments or Questions?
Is it Dressing or Stuffing?
The answer lies in how you cook it and in which region of the country you come from. Whatever you call it, it's a mixture of ingredients, mostly centered around seasonal ingredients that are put together to enhance the main dish. It's generally made with bread or rice and sometimes other grains that help incorporate and distribute the flavor. A stuffing is prepared and cooked inside of the main offering, while a dressing is cooked separately from the main offering. Regardless of how it's prepared, some regions of the country always call it stuffing and some regions always call it dressing.
Lagniappe: If you want to know more (not sure why you would) on the topic of "is it dressing or stuffing" check out these interesting articles: The Great Debate: Is it Stuffing or Dressing? and The History of Stuffing. And if you're considering making a Stuffing, don't neglect food safety. This article, Stuffing or Dressing? And What About Food Safety? is a must-read.
What Makes a Good Dressing or Stuffing?
Whether you call it Dressing or Stuffing, these recipes hold deep meaning in our families. They likely originated with your great-grandparents or grandparents or parents and have been handed down through the generations. These are the dishes you dream about and have to be at EVERY holiday feast. The anticipation is real…"Grammie is making her dressing!" or "I hope Uncle Stinky brings his Oyster Dressing".
Although recipes can vary greatly, regional and seasonal ingredients play a major role: oysters, mirliton, artichoke, and eggplant are key players. All sorts of sausages, giblets, seafood, and poultry help define the dish. Holiday Dressings are a great place for fresh herbs, particularly sage, marjoram, and thyme. Binders are also crucial in the identity: french bread, cornbread, rice, and crackers are common binders.
The preparation of the traditional dressing is always exact, never rushed, and usually a little more elaborate than other dishes. It's probably either done by or directed by a matriarch or patriarch; you can use their recipe, but it’s their magic touch that seals the deal.
Sweet Daddy D's Holiday Dressings
These dressing recipes from Sweet Daddy D's meet all those criteria. These are recipes that have been in our family forever or are popular and commonplace in South Louisiana.
New Orleans Oyster Dressing
New Orleans Oyster Dressing: This is my family recipe. The aroma and flavors of this dressing bring back my childhood and I can still see my father standing at the stove cooking mounds of onions in butter for what seemed like forever. This is an elaborate recipe that utilizes turkey giblets along with pork sausage, sage, and of course, oysters.
Grammies Oyster Dressing:
Grammies Oyster Dressing: Talk about family tradition. This is the recipe that has been at the center of the holiday orbit in my wife's family. Rich turkey flavors and lots and lots of oysters!
Cornbread Dressing with Sausage
Cornbread Dressing with Sausage: This Southern Classic is extra special in South Louisiana. This simple recipe exploits the rich flavor of pork sausage and traditional Creole and Cajun seasonings, all held together with cornbread.
Cajun Eggplant Dressing
Cajun Eggplant Dressing: A popular dressing in South Louisiana, the prized eggplant is paired with ground pork, ground beef, and rice. Traditional, regional ingredients are combined with local seasonings for a very special holiday dish.
Oyster Artichoke Dressing
Oyster Artichoke Dressing: The combination of Oysters and Artichoke is natural and probably in some hall-of-fame somewhere. The winter and fall months are perfect for them and they make a fabulous Creole treat.
Mirliton and Shrimp Dressing
Mirliton and Shrimp Dressing: This dressing enhances the mild flavors of two of South Louisiana's key ingredients, mirliton (also called chayote) and Gulf Shrimp.
Questions or Comments about Dressings? Drop them in the Comment Box below!
If You Want to Stuff Your Turkey
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is not crazy about stuffing a turkey; in fact, they do not recommend it. This is what they have to say:
Because moist, warm stuffing is an excellent medium for bacterial growth, it's important to handle it safely and cook it to a safe minimum internal temperature as measured with a food thermometer.You’ve Got the Right Stuff(ing)! Tips to Handle Stuffing With Care
If you choose to stuff that bird, here are some guidelines and food for thought from the USDA. These points are further discussed in that same article:
- Prepare the stuffing right before you're ready to cook the bird. Uncooked stuffing should not be refrigerated, although you can freeze it in a shallow airtight container.
- Stuff the bird loosely, about ¾ cups of stuffing per pound of bird.
- Once stuffed, place the turkey immediately in a 325-degree Fahrenheit oven.
- Make sure to cook the stuffing until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit internal temperature. Here's the tool I use to measure the IT. (I am an affiliate of ThermoWorks and earn a small commission from sales through my website.)
- Keep in mind that cooking times differ for stuffed birds and unstuffed birds. Here's an important USDA article about safely roasting your turkey, covering cooking times for stuffed and unstuffed birds.
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