Cast Iron

Tolchester Beach Oyster Stuffing

November  5, 2009
Author Notes

Thanksgiving on the Chesapeake Bay always includes oyster stuffing. Cornbread, bacon, and oysters combine the best of southern cooking with bayside living. It seems easier to buy ready made cornbread or cornbread mixes, however, these products are always a little too sweet for this savory stuffing. A couple of extra minutes making cornbread from scratch really pays off with great taste. The oysters are quickly seared before adding to the stuffing mix, a technique seen in Seatle they call "oyster scatter". —bill

  • Serves 6
  • 1 1/3 cups cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 pieces bacon, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 1 piece egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped thyme
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups freshly shucked standard size oysters
In This Recipe
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cook bacon in frying pan until crisp. Add scallions and sweat 1-2 minutes until tender.
  3. Place cornmeal, flour and baking powder in a bowl. Add bacon mixture, buttermilk, egg, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper and mix well.
  4. Coat cast iron skillet with 2 tbsp. oil, add corn bread mixture and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cornbread to rack and let cool. Crumble cornbread into large bowl.
  5. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees.
  6. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in frying pan and add onions, carrots and celery. Saute until tender but not carmelized. Add to crumbled cornbread with thyme, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Add just enough broth to moisten and mix well.
  7. Heat 1 tbsp. vegetable oil in frying pan. Saute oysters in hot pan for about 1/2 minute per side in small batches to keep pan hot.
  8. Add seared oysters to stuffing mixture.
  9. Grease casserole dish with remaining oil, spoon in stuffing mixture. Roast in oven for about 10-15 minutes or until browned. Even better, stuff your turkey and roast as directed.

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