Darren’s sister is vegetarian (well, pesco-vegetarian, really), and for years the poor girl has had to make do at Thanksgiving with boxed, pre-made stuffing (y’know, the red can?). That stuff is chock-full of poultry flavor! Poor thing.
So this year I took it upon myself to make an actual vegetarian stuffing. Also, I love cornbread. Was there possibly a way to combine the two?! The answer: YES!
The goods (and this is quite approximate, so adjust as needed):
7ish cups of your favorite cornbread (yes, you can use box mix), cubed
1 large onion, medium dice
2 carrots, medium to small dice
3 stalks celery, medium to small dice
1-2 cups thickly sliced cremini mushrooms (white button mushrooms also work fine)
6 cups vegetable broth, HOT (organic bullion cubes yay!)
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
salt, pepper, assorted other spices
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Put the cornbread cubes into a big mixing bowl. The biggest one you own.
In a big skillet, melt the butter and get it heated through.
Add all the veggies and sweat until onions and celery are just about translucent and mushrooms are tender. This takes several minutes. DON’T brown anything.
Add several generous pinches of salt. Also add pepper and other desired flavorings. I shook in a decent amount (probably a good teaspoon or so) of Dr. Gonzo’s One-Hump Dry Rub.
When veggies are good and ready, pour over cornbread.
Pour at least 5 cups of broth over the whole mix, toss to combine. It’s going to be really soupy, don’t worry. Add some more broth if you think it needs it. I know I didn’t use all 6 cups of my broth, but I did use MOST of it.
Dump the whole mess into a greased 9×13 casserole/baking dish and whack it in the oven.
Bake for 60 – 70 minutes until the top is slightly brown and it doesn’t move too much when you jiggle it.
Rest on counter for at least 20 minutes (any liquid you see remaining in the dish will reabsorb)
If you’re not going to eat it right away, cool it for at least an hour, then wrap it up and put it in the fridge.
Dish out and enjoy, or wrap up and prepare for travel! I sprinkled a little grated parmesan on mine just before baking, and the smells coming from my little oven were fantastic. I can’t tell you quite yet how it tastes since I couldn’t take any without leaving a big gaping hole in the dish, but I snuck a piece of bread off the top and it tasted DIVINE. =)