Gramma Z’s Cornbread Dressing submitted by Angela Charbonneau
My Gramma, Zona Kennedy Knauss , made this cornbread 4-5 times a week for 50 years or so. The ingredients are very simple, but the technique is quite an art. It’s a bit unusual in that most cornbread recipes call for flour in addition to the cornmeal. But this was the style of cornbread that we were raised on – her mother made it that way and all her sisters made it that way and now I make it that way (my Mama HATES to cook so she only grudgingly makes it at the holidays when she needs it for cornbread dressing.) My Gramma grew up on very large farm in the Magee/Mendenhall, Mississippi area in the 1920s and 30s. I can only surmise (because I never asked) that the reason it is a flourless cornbread is because wheat was not something they could grow, but they grew acres and acres and acres of corn.
This cornbread makes the most AMAZING cornbread dressing. Having the cornbread browned on both sides adds an extra depth of flavor.
- 2½ c. dry crumbled bread (crouton dry, any sort of bread is fine - sandwich bread, french bread, etc.)
- 2 "pones" cornbread, crumbled
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 4-6 celery stalks, diced
- 6 large hard boiled eggs, chopped
- ½ to ¾ c. Pepperidge Farm cubed herb stuffing (this was Gramma's SECRET ingredient- you could just add that much extra bread and some extra dried herbs)
- HOMEMADE turkey or chicken stock
- Approximately 1 TBSP dried rubbed sage (be careful not to add too much)
- salt and pepper
- Mix all ingredients except the stock. Add stock until SOUPY. If you don't add enough stock, your dressing will be too dry. Taste, adjust seasonings. Pour into lightly greased large baking dish (size of a lasagna pan).
- Cook at 350 degrees for about an hour. It should be brown on top and set. Check earlier than an hour to make sure it does not over cook.