Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. And one of my favorite side dishes is dressing. This version is my mom's which she has perfected over many years of trying different variations. It is vegetarian (if you use vegetable broth instead of chicken) and extremely flavorful. Homemade broth makes this dish even more exceptional. Use the best ingredients that you can find (especially if you purchase pre-made cornbread and biscuits). It really does make a difference. You can always adjust the quantity of mushrooms if you are mushroom lover. I often add more because I love the flavor. I also sometimes freeze half of this so I can enjoy it later in the year. Thanksgiving isn't the only day you should eat dressing! And finally, sometimes I don't have a day to wait for the bread to harden a bit. I crumble the cornbread and the biscuits, place on 2 sheet pans and let the bread dry out in the oven (set at 200 degrees) for 30-45 minutes to save time. Enjoy! —Plum Pie
8x8 inch pan of your favorite white cornbread, one day old
extra-large buttermilk biscuits (or 12 small biscuits), one day old
mixed wild mushrooms, sliced (I use shitake, baby bella, and mixed gourmet blend)
Heat the 2 T olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and celery and saute for 3-4 minutes until onions and celery soften. Remove from heat and add sage, rosemary, and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool slightly.
Toss with sliced mushrooms with remaining tablespoon of oil and roast on a large baking sheet until cooked and browned, about 15 minutes. Check and stir often so that don't burn. Remove from oven and mix with onion/celery mixture.
Combine raisins and port in a small jar and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave the raisins for about 1 minute, then let it cool for about 30 minutes to absorb the port. There will still be port left in the jar but your raisins should be plump.
Crumble cornbread and place in an extra large mixing bowl. Crumble the buttermilk biscuits and combine with cornbread mixture. Add vegetable mixture and port-soaked raisins (with any remaining liquid) and combine.
Add 2 beaten eggs and 1-2 cups of chicken/vegetable broth. Using your hands mix to combine. Dressing should be thoroughly mixed and hold together. Depending on how dry your bread is, you may need to add more chicken/vegetable broth to achieve desired moistness. Add 1/2 cup at a time until the dressing is moist. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer dressing into a buttered 10x14 inch baking pan. Sprinkle top lightly with broth. Bake until lightly browned on top, approximately 45 minutes.