Holiday Side Dishes – Homemade Stuffing (Part 2)

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,711
    Chef Arra Lawson from Addie’s Restaurant demonstrates the second part of how to make homemade stuffing.

    Arra Lawson: Hi I am Chef Arra, and today we are featuring traditional Holiday sides and right now I am going to finish up the warm cornbread stuffing. Okay let's add some of our cremini mushrooms now. For this dish, for the mushroom and everything we are putting in, it would fill approximately 4-6 people for your holiday season. I would say when you go to the store to buy creminies, a lot of times they come in these, what are called clam shells, a little package of about 9 or 10 in it, and one of those should be sufficient if you like a little bit more mushroom flavor I will take two of those and this equals about half of one of those clam shells that I am putting in for this right now.


    So we are just going to let that cook in. This is also a good thing to make when you are making other dishes. This takes a little bit time you are watching it a little bit. So it's going to take about five minutes to really get these mushrooms down here kind of cooked in. So if we have something in the oven this is a good time to go and check the oven. Maybe you are basting a turkey it's a good time to go over and take a eye on the turkey if you need.


    If the kids are in the back ground playing you want to take a sneak peek over – take a look at the kids. This is okay time to go over there. This is not going to burn. If are worried a little bit add a little butter and a little bit of actually turkey stock will be good. Let me work that flavor in. Now the majority of this is actually going to go in our mixing bowl ready to toss this ingredient and makes your -- into our actual cornbread mixture. That little bit of water that you put here now, causes steam and really cooks the mushroom all the way through, helps to release aroma and that flavor into the body of this dish. This is great now. This is exactly what you want to see. It even increases on gravy, that's wonderful stuff right there, that's what you really want.  Everything is nice and tender. The carrots are pretty much smooth enough to just press one and just smooth right out and you can see how that seems tender.


    Mushrooms and nice and tender. You can just cut over with a spoon, fantastic. Onions are nice and translucent, the celery is nice and cooked all the way through, everything is just great. So that's perfect. We have just finished putting our mushrooms together, get a nice flavor with all our aromatics in here. Our mushrooms are baked in our celery and our carrots and our onions. Now you will notice that we didn't use all the celery, carrots and onions, just enough to give you a really good idea of how to make this dish, you can always add more as more people coming to your house or coming to your table, you can add more. If you want to use less, you can use less, it's totally up to you.


    Now we don't cook by numbers here, we cook with passion, cook with love, look at the dish and taste everything and get it that form where you want it.  So we will now go ahead and add our cornbread mix, mix with bread of choice, I have used Focaccia today and spiced up but again you can always use Baguette or whatever bread you have in the house, mix those two right together right into a mixing bowl. Get all of your flavor out there. If you are like me let get it all, add a little turkey broth, kind of move it around. Get all that oregano off the bottom of the pan. Okay, here is the most important part of this, mixing it evenly so all the flavors are in there, and then you just have got to add a enough broth to really make your mix just right. I have here about quart of broth. We will probably need about two-thirds of it. You want to make sure that the broth is warm when you add it.


    If it's too cold then it really won't help the bread to break down. Well, so just warm up your broth up before you add it and then you are just going to start mixing it in. It's not complicated at all. The bread is going to get a little mushy as it starts to dissolve in all that fine liquid. The great thing about this is now that at this point all baking is cooked and all the mushrooms are cooked you are now going to check it for flavor, to see if you like -- if you need to add more salt, maybe you want to add a little bit more butter, taking a look at this and knowing how I like things, I am going to add a little bit more butter anyway. So I just throw that in, little butter, little salt and pepper. Smells really, really good.


    Add a little herbs for color. I use chives and that's it, there is nothing else to it. We are going to add a little more liquid. Mix that really good, the cornbread is really absorbing on our liquid. Now we are going to go right to our casserole dish. Make sure your casserole has been sprayed like a pan spray, or lying with little bit of a vegetable oil or butter, just so that it doesn't stick when you are trying to go and get some of that. Good casserole gets some of this warm stuffing out and that's it. Nice mixture.

     You still see that some of the bread is still sort of in more whole pieces, and that's perfectly fine. You don't want it to be too wet, too gumy, you still want to have a denseness to the texture so that you can really taste everything and so that it really has a nice bite to each bite of it. Almost describe like you would pasta, al denta.  

    So we go to our casserole, spoon it right it, remembering always check your flavor and always adjust that with little salt and pepper. If you feel that it's got too much salt and pepper, what do you do then? Okay. Well that's always a good question. Well what do you do? Well you have got to add more ingredients in. You have got to probably take it back out, put in your mixing bowl, add a little bit more breadcrumbs to it and just adjust it off from there, and it will be fine. That's all you need to do. It's not -- end of the day, if you ever ruin a dish, ever ruin a day, all you got to do is add a little bit more breadcrumbs and that's it.


    And from here what are we going to do now is take this nice warm cornbread stuffing, go right into an oven, 350 degrees, this will take about a half an hour to completely bake and set all the way through. Give it a check every once in a while if you feel it is a little bit dry, you can always just go in and just add a little bit of broth right to it. I would then return back the same pan and cook off the hint of the mushrooms and use that to garnish the top of the dish and have a wow presentation for you and your guest.


    And that is your warm cornbread mushroom stuffing. Coming up next we are going to make oven roasted sweet potato ragù with a little something extra, some spicy chorizo sausage to really, really make it a special event.