Cornbread Dressing

Cornbread Dressing

*From the kitchen of Annette Holden (with a Fangboner twist)

This is a Holden family holiday staple. It was a big hit at the Sackmann family Thanksgiving dinner this year, and I plan on enjoying it during my Christmas trip to Louisiana for Christmas. My mom has made this for years. The key is to get the consistency right, and to make it with homemade cornbread.

First, make your cornbread. Two cast iron skillets should be enough.

½ cup self-rising flour     ½ cup cornmeal

½ tsp salt                          1/3 tsp baking soda

Buttermilk                        cooking oil

Put about ¼ cup of oil in the bottom of your cast iron skillet and heat.

Mix flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking soda, then add about half of the hot oil from the skillet. Mix in enough buttermilk to make the mixture runny (about ¾ cup). Pour mix into the skillet with the hot oil.

Bake at 425 for about 15-20 minutes. This recipe is for a small 8 1/2” skillet. Double it for a medium 9 3/8” skillet. Triple it for a large 10 ½” skillet.

Now that your cornbread is made, you are ready to get started on the dressing (I didn’t say this wasn’t labor intensive – that’s why it’s a special holiday treat!).

Cornbread Dressing

1 chicken, cut up                           2 cans cream of celery soup

1-2 pans of cornbread                  1 Tbsp Fangboner Farms Sage

1 chopped onion                           1 tsp salt

1 chopped bell pepper                 1 tsp pepper

4 stalks of chopped celery           1 Tbsp garlic powder

5-6 boiled eggs

Season chicken and cover with water. Bring to a boil, cover, and let it simmer until tender. Take the chicken out and reserve your broth. Place chicken on a pan to cool enough to debone, then set aside.

In a large skillet, cook vegetables in a little oil until tender. In a large pot, crumble most of the cornbread. Add veggies, eggs, and soup. Mix well. Add enough chicken broth until the mixture is the consistency of pancake batter. Add sage and other seasonings to taste, stir in the chicken, and pour into a baking dish (18x12x2) til it is ¾ full. If you feel like the consistency is still too runny, add more cornbread. With the tip of a butter knife, “sink” the eggs (make sure none are visible so they don’t get rubbery during baking.

Bake for 375 for 1 ½ hours, or until bubbly and brown on top. Enjoy!

June's Spaghetti Sauce

June's Spaghetti Sauce

It's May 15th and I'm sitting here in my Zen room seeing snowflakes outside my window. Crazy. Good thing I made a huge batch of this spaghetti sauce last night. Perfect leftovers for this freezing day. June was my stepmom. She was a fab cook. I spent many years enjoying her cooking and she made some awesome creations. Her spaghetti sauce though was legendary. I have great memories of my dad standing over the pot with a hunk of bread, dipping it into the stock pot of sauce, eating it over the stove - and June saying "Now Jim just wait until dinner!" But he never did - it was that good -  and he'd pass me a hunk of bread with sauce. I haven't made it in years but my sisters were up for the weekend. And yup, it is just as awesome as we all remembered. It's even better the next day.  

June's Spaghetti Sauce

  • 2 pounds Ground Round
  • 1 pound ground Italian Sausage
  • 3 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 2 whole Large Yellow Onions, Diced
  • 2 whole Green Bell Pepper, Seeded And Diced
  • 6 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 cup Broth (you can use beef or vegetable)*
  • 3 cans of 28 Ounce Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 can (small, 4-ounce) Tomato Paste
  • 1 tsp.Fangboner Farms Italian Blend (you can use 1 tsp oregano if you don't have any)
  • 1 tsp  Fangboner Farms Thyme
  • 4 whole Bay Leaves
  • 2 Tbs Sugar
  • 2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper (you don't have to use them but they do give a nice little zing)
  • Parmesan Cheese - I prefer shaved but you can use grated for the top

*If you like and you have some sitting around, you can replace some or all of the broth with wine -red will give it a deeper flavor, white just a bit sweeter.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef and Italian Sausage until totally browned. Remove meat from pot with a slotted spoon and put into a bowl. Set aside.

Discard any grease in pot, but do not clean the pot. Drizzle in olive oil. When it is heated, throw in the diced onion and diced bell pepper. Stir it around for 1 1/2 minutes, then add the garlic. Stir and cook for an additional minute. Pour in the broth and allow it to bubble up and reduce for about 1 1/2 minutes.

Add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir to combine, then add Italian Blend, thyme, sugar, salt, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper. Stir, then add cooked ground beef and Italian Sausage and stir to combine.

Place the lid on the pot and allow to simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add a little water or broth if it needs more liquid Discard bay leaves before serving.

Serve it over cooked spaghetti (or I eat mine over cooked quinoa because noodles just don't agree with me) and top with the Parmesan cheese. Double dog dare you to NOT eat it out of the pot with some nice crusty bread. . .