The very best dish on the Holiday Table? The one that you drool about in July when you need a Holiday break but there won't be one for months? It's the one thing 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 really makes it a Holiday Feast in the first place!
Is it Dressing or Stuffing?
The answer really 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.
Note on the topic: 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's So Important about Holiday Dressing?
Whatever you call it, it is likely the one recipe that holds true meaning in your family. It's the one recipe that likely started with your grandparents or parents and has been handed down through the generations. It's the one recipe that has to be at EVERY holiday feast, or it just won't be the same. It's the one you dream about. 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. Such things as "Grammie is making her dressing" or "Uncle Stinky is making his Oyster Dressing". The coming of the Holiday Dressing is filled with anticipation and memories and always delivers that familiar, heart-warming aroma that fills the house and the taste and flavors that are savored starting with the first bite.
Sweet Daddy D's Dressing Recipes
Sweet Daddy D's recipes for Holiday Dressings meet all those criteria. They are recipes that have been in our family for a while or are popular and commonplace in South Louisiana. Regional and seasonal ingredients play a major role; oysters, mirliton, artichoke, and eggplant are key players.
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.
Cajun Eggplant Dressing: A popular dressing in South Louisiana, the prized eggplant is paired with ground beef and rice. The traditional, regional ingredients are combined with local seasonings for a very special holiday dish.
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.
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: 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!
Click the images below to drill down on these great Dressing recipes from Sweet Daddy D.
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