Holidays inspire chef to stretch his talents at home.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cup cornmeal
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1⅔ cups buttermilk
- 3 eggs
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 4 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 8 cups cornbread (1-inch dice and left out to dry for 24 hours)
- 2 cups butternut squash, large dice
- 2 cups fennel, large dice
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cups andouille sausage, medium dice
- 2 cups onion, medium dice
- 1 cup carrot, medium dice
- 1 cup celery, medium dice
- 1 quart turkey stock (chicken stock will work if turkey is unavailable)
For Cornbread: Combine all dry ingredients together. Combine all wet ingredients together separately. Whisk wet ingredients into dry. Pour into a nonstick-sprayed 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Bake at 325° for 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
For Stuffing & Finishing: To make the custard, combine eggs, milk, Dijon, sage, thyme, parsley, salt, white pepper and cayenne. Whisk until well combined. Place the dried cornbread cubes in a bowl and cover with custard. Toss until bread is well coated. Place in refrigerator overnight. The next day, preheat the oven to 350°.
Toss the butternut squash and fennel with vegetable oil, salt and pepper until just coated and seasoned. Lay the squash and fennel out on a sheet tray and roast in the oven for 25–30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and starting to caramelize.
Remove from oven and set aside for later. Heat a large fry pan on medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Once hot, add the diced andouille sausage and cook until it has started to brown on all sides. Stir often for about 5 minutes. Once browned, pull the sausage out of the pan onto a separate plate while cooking remaining ingredients. Gently wipe the pan out that the sausage was cooked in, being careful not to remove any brown bits created while cooking the sausage.
Put the pan back on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and, once the oil is hot, add the onions, carrot and celery. Drop the heat to medium low and cook the vegetables gently until soft. Be careful not to let the vegetables brown in the pan. Once cooked, remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl combine the cornbread, sausage, fennel, butternut squash, celery, onions and carrots. Fold well until all ingredients are well combined and evenly dispersed. If the stuffing seems bit dry for your taste, add a bit of turkey stock. Taste for seasoning and add some salt if necessary.
Place mixed ingredients in a nonstick-sprayed baking dish. Cover with foil and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15–20 minutes, until the top is golden brown and toasty.