Much gratitude and thanks go out to Tara Parker-Pope today for featuring TCV on The New York Times blog The Well! We are thrilled to have our story and our favorite vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes in "Southern Flavors on a Vegetarian Table," and you can see it all HERE.
My grandmother's best dish, according to my dad, was her cornbread dressing with oysters that she served every Thanksgiving. It's only recently come to light that her secret was to order some egg drop soup from the Chinese restaurant we always went to after church and use that in place of broth. I remember that it really was delicious, but we're not going to do that here. We are going to take her idea and turn it on its head.
Instead, our secret weapon is our very own cornbread recipe that is made with buttermilk, smoked cheddar, and honey. It's delicious on it's own so we figured it would work here. We are using oyster mushrooms to give the dressing a meaty texture
because Michael suggested it, and he is always right.
Cornbread Dressing with Oyster Mushrooms
Jalapeño Cornbread (minus the jalapeño)
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add the onion, celery, sage, thyme, and parsley. Cook, stirring often, until onion has softened and has caramelized. Add the wine and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the cooked vegetables to a large bowl to cool. Add another tablespoon of butter to the pan, and once it's melted, add the trimmed oyster mushrooms in a single layer. Once they have browned on one side, just turn them and brown them on the other side. Add mushrooms to the cooked vegetable mixture.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Once the vegetables and mushrooms are cooled, add the egg, broth, vinegar, and cornbread to the large mixing bowl. Toss and allow mixture to rest for 5 minutes in order for the egg and broth to soak into the cornbread. Place the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter into a 10-inch cast iron skillet and place it in the oven for 5 minutes to melt the butter. Carefully remove skillet from the oven and place the cornbread mixture into the skillet. Cook for 35-40 minutes or until the top has browned.
(makes 6 to 8 servings)
*Oyster mushrooms are easy to trim. Feel the stem and trim the mushroom where the stem feels woody or tough. That should be about halfway down. Leave any small mushrooms whole and tear and larger mushrooms in half.