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Cajun Cornbread Dressing


Cornbread Dressing with Crawfish Recipe

Makes 6 generous servings

This delicious baked dressing is a traditional side dish for roast duck or poultry. Make up a batch of my Buttermilk Cornbread (see link below) a day or two before. Just make sure you reserve 3 cups for the dressing! It is equally tasty served with roast pork tenderloin.

Bread stuffing or dressing all have one thing in common; bread! If you don’t have time to bake the bread yourself, then always buy the best quality bread that you can afford. That said; since the bread used in dressing should be on the dry side, you can bake it up to two days ahead of time. Often, I bake the bread for my holiday meal 3 - 4 days ahead, allow to cool, bag it up in freezer bags and pop it into the freezer. If the recipe requires that the bread be cubed or crumbled, I go ahead do that step prior to bagging. Several hours before assembling my dressing, I remove the cubed bread from the freezer and pour the contents of the baggie on a large sheet pan to thaw. Once thawed, I assemble the dressing according to my recipe.

1 cup pecan halves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
3/4 cup bell pepper, chopped
1 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms (white or brown)
1/4 cup (divided) fresh Italian parsley, minced
1/2 cup crawfish tail meat, shelled and cut into 2 – 3 pieces each
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
3 cups crumbled corn bread
1 – 1 1/2 cups seafood stock or claim juice
Oil or butter for greasing baking dish

Method
Oil or butter a 2 quart baking dish generously. For easy cleanup, you can first line the dish with foil, and then butter it. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350degrees F. Spread the pecans on a large cookie sheet in a single layer. Toast in hot oven for 10 – 15 minutes. Do not over cook! The pecans should be slightly darker in color and drier. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add the vegetables and half of the parsley and sauté until the vegetables have softened. Stir in the crawfish tails, pecans, and seasonings. Turn off heat and fold in the crumbled corn bread. Add enough stock to thoroughly moisten bread without it becoming mushy. Spoon into prepared casserole dish and smooth the top. Bake at 350degrees F for 20 minutes. Garnish with the reserved minced parsley and serve hot.

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