By Suzanne Corbett, STLSportsPage Food /Travel Editor
Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away, which brings the question: Will you have the right stuff? What kind of stuffing you plan to have with this year’s turkey. Since this year will be a little different – smaller gatherings and smaller turkeys – now may be the time to shuffle the menu options by trying something new. To change up the stuffing.
If you are open to reaching beyond grandma’s stuffing recipe, I have three suggestions. One featuring a St. Louis classic, Hot Salami. A vintage recipe which replaces bread with crackers and a Southern-style oyster cornbread stuffing (dressing). Any of which can prove to be the right stuff to have on this year’s Thanksgiving menu.
Gioia’s Hot Salami Stuffing Recipe
2 Cups of Chopped Up Hot Salami
1- Baguette of French Bread
1/2 a cup of a white onion chopped
1 1/2 cups diced celery
1 1/4 teaspoons each of ground thyme and ground sage
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
1 cup chicken broth
Simply tear the Baguette into small pieces; put them into a large mixing bowl with the Hot Salami, celery, thyme, sage and black pepper; and toss to combine. Add chicken broth and toss again. Stuff the mixture into the turkey cavity just before roasting or in your favorite casserole dish. If baking in a casserole dish, bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
Note: This is very similar to the white castle stuffing recipe (If you have tried that)
Vintage Cracker Turkey Stuffing
4 sleeves of Saltine Crackers crushed
4 ribs celery chopped
1/2 bunch parsley chopped
2 medium sized onions chopped
4 eggs beaten until foamy
1 to 2 cups of Milk to make the dressing moist
Season to taste with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning
Mix all the crackers, celery parsley, and onion together, stir in the eggs and add milk to make a moist mixture. Season to taste with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Stuff in your turkey and bake. Can also be baked in a buttered baking dish at 350° for 40 minutes.
Dollywood’s Southern Oyster Cornbread Dressing
Courtesy Dollywood DreamMore Resort Chef Shane Bruns
5 tablespoons melted butter
½ cup small-dice onions
½ cup small-dice celery
4 cups crumbled cornbread, allow to dry a bit on a sheet pan
3 cups crumbled white bread, allow to dry a bit on a sheet pan
2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped sage
2 large eggs, beaten
16 ounces shucked oysters with their liquor, beaten with a blender until smooth
10 ounces chicken stock, as needed
Salt and black pepper to taste
Heat butter in skillet and add diced celery and onion. Sauté until just translucent.
In a large bowl, combine the cornbread and white bread crumbles, butter, sautéed celery and onion, and herbs. Add the beaten eggs and blended oysters and mix until well incorporated
Slowly add the chicken stock, a little at a time, just enough to moisten it but not make it soggy. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Place the combined mixture into a shallow baking pan and bake at 325 degrees, until golden brown, about 45 minutes.