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Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Yield: 12 to 18 servings
Time: About 2 hours, plus time for the cornbread to cool
Oil or butter for greasing the pan
2 cups medium-grind yellow cornmeal
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil
2 cups milk, preferably not skim
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
3 medium yellow onions, chopped
8 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 to 1 pound ground pork sausage (optional)
2 to 3 cups Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Cubed Stuffing or other seasoned croutons
1 tablespoon rubbed dried or fresh sage, or more to taste
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning, or more to taste
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock, or more as needed
1. Heat the oven to 425°F and grease a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and 2 teaspoons salt in a large bowl. Beat 2 of the eggs in a separate medium bowl, then stir in the oil and milk. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined, then transfer the batter to the greased pan. Bake until the cornbread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool and let sit at room temperature overnight if time allows.
2. Heat the oven to 450°F and grease an 11- by 15-inch baking dish (or a 9- by 13-inch baking dish plus a few ramekins). Put the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When it melts, add the onions and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a plate or bowl. If you’re using the sausage, add it to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally to break up the meat, until no traces of pink remain, about another 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
3. Break the cornbread into 1- to 2-inch chunks in a large bowl. Add the onion mixture and the sausage (if you’re using it) along with the seasoned croutons, sage, poultry seasoning, and a few generous dashes of salt and black pepper. Toss to combine, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Beat the remaining 3 eggs and fold them into the cornbread mixture, then gradually add the stock, stirring gently to avoid breaking up the cornbread chunks, until the mixture is moist but not sopping. Transfer the mixture to the greased pan(s). Bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes, and serve hot or warm.
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