Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving - Wild mushroom and pecan dressing

For Thanksgiving 2012, we made a cornbread/wild mushroom/pecan dressing. Tarted up with bits of turkey unmentionables. It was pretty popular with the gathering, so is probably a keeper. The herbs are all fresh. The Mexican oregano is in the ingredient list because we have a whole lot of it growing. Marjoram would be equally good.
Picture by Jim Brewer


6T unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion - diced finely
6 ribs celery - chopped small
1 fresh red cayenne pepper, chopped finely
4 cloves garlic - crushed to a paste
4 large carrots, grated
4 oz Shiitake mushroms chopped
4 oz oyster mushrooms chopped
1 oz dried porcini mushrooms reconstituted and chopped
2 portabella mushrooms - peeled and chopped
1 hot pepper (cayenne preferably) minced
1 cup toasted pecans roughly chopped
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup Mexican oregano chopped
3T thyme - finely chopped
2T sage - finely chopped
8 cups sweetened cornbread, made at least 1 day ahead - 2 packages of Jiffy or equivalent
3 cups whole milk
Finely minced, cooked liver and heart of the turkey (after making the giblet stock) (optional)
1/2 cup giblet stock
1/2 cup turkey pan drippings
salt and pepper to taste.


In a large skillet, soften the onions, celery, carrot, cayenne pepper and garlic. The onions should become translucent. Add the chopped mushrooms, some salt (1/2t) and pepper. Cook until the pan is dry. Allow to cool to room temperature.
About an hour before serving time, combine the mushroom mixture, pecans and herbs. Crumble the cornbread into the mixture, stir and add the milk, giblet stock and turkey liver/heart. Season with salt and pepper. Place into a greased casserole dish. Pour the turkey pan drippings over the top. Cover with foil and bake at 425F for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for a further 20-25 minutes - until the top is golden brown.

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