2 great dressings in 1
Where ever you live you just may call this by another name – like, stuffing or farce, from the Latin farcire (and French farcir) means to stuff. Forcemeat, another common term still used in sausage making, is another name hung over from the middle ages. And there is dressing, a favored term from the Victorian days when the upper crust did not care to use the name, stuffing. Some folks are strict in choosing their words; stuffing goes inside and dressing is a pan dish. In the south, we pretty much cook this as a side dish normally with a cornbread base and call it dressing, nothing to do with any strict formality as in the late 1800’s or as being politically correct today, but more to do with just plain ol’ good eating.
When Thanksgiving comes around, there is nothing that takes the place of Grandmother’s cornbread dressing, you know the one that starts out by simmering a hen for its meat and rich stock making the dressing so flavorful. Then second to none on many tables down here is oyster dressing, a tradition in the south, in fact, many times we serve both.
Then there are times when I get a hankering for some other dressing (but not on Thanksgiving) and my other favorites are squash dressing and andouille dressing. Both are made similar to the cornbread version but yielding a taste altogether different. So when I decided the other day to make a pan of dressing to go with baked chicken and gravy, I just couldn’t decide and that is how this recipe came about, a combination of both. For a dressing with an astounding taste, try this one the next time you get a yearning for a different side dish – you will be glad you did. Enjoy!
Roasted Squash & Andouille Dressing
2 pounds yellow squash, washed & sliced into 1/2-inch slices
Salt & pepper
1 1/2 cups diced andouille or smoked sausage
1/4 cup butter
1 chopped cup onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped celery
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped green onions (scallions)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
5 cups crumbled cooked cornbread
3 or 4 slices of day old bread, torn into small pieces
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 10.75 oz can cream of chicken soup
2 large eggs, beaten
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground thyme
Chicken broth as needed
Sprinkle both sides of the sliced squash lightly with salt. Place the colander in the sink, or in a larger bowl, to catch the water. After an hour, wipe the squash dry with paper towels, and place on a well-oiled baking tray, not touching. Brush a little oil on the top sides of the squash and lightly sprinkle with pepper. Roast in a 400-degree F. oven for about 30 minutes or until tender and slightly brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Place the sausage in a large skillet and brown with the butter on medium heat. Add the onions, bell pepper, celery and garlic and cook until tender. Remove to a large bowl.
Add the green onions, cornbread and bread to the bowl, Mix the milk and cream with the chicken soup, eggs and fold into the cornbread mixture. Lightly season with salt, black pepper, the desired amount of cayenne and thyme mixing well into a slightly mushy consistency. Add chicken broth if needed. Fold in the squash saving a few larger slices for the top.
Pour dressing into a large 13×9 inch casserole dish. Place the remaining squash on top and press each piece into the dressing.
Cover with foil and bake in the 400-degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking another 15 minutes or until brown.