Mother Earth Living

A Twist on the Traditional Thanksgiving Menu: Cornbread Dressing with Fruits, Nuts and Mint Marigold

By Lucinda Hutson
October/November 1998
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Cornbread Dressing with Fruits, Nuts, and Mint Marigold

This cornbread dressing, filled with sweet and savory surprises, is baked separately and served as a side dish.

•1 cup dried apricots
•1/2 cup dried figs or prunes
•1/4 cup dried cranberries
•1/2 cup brandy or orange juice
•1/8 teaspoon cloves
•1 teaspoon coriander seeds
•1/2 teaspoon whole allspice berries
•1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
•1/4 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper
•2 onions, chopped
•4 tablespoons butter
•1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ­ginger
•2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
•1 large red bell pepper, chopped, about 11/2 cups
•2 cups chopped celery
•3/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
•2 tablespoons chopped Mexican mint marigold
•3/4 cup toasted pecans
•6 cups crumbled day-old homemade cornbread, dried in the oven, or 2 packages dried cornbread stuffing mix
•2 cups or more Giblet Broth or chicken or vegetable broth
•Salt to taste
•2 to 3 tablespoons melted butter (optional)
•1 to 2 well-beaten eggs (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Roughly chop the dried fruits; soak them in the brandy or orange juice, tossing occasionally.

2. Grind together the next five ingredients in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle.

3. Sauté the onions in butter, stirring, until nearly translucent; add the ginger, peppers, and celery, and sauté until softened.

4. Combine with the fruit and soaking liquid, herbs, pecans, cornbread or stuffing mix, ground spices, 1 cup of broth, and salt, mixing gently. Stir in the optional melted butter and/or eggs; do not overmix.

5. Transfer the mixture to a buttered 9-by-12-inch baking dish and drizzle with enough of the remaining broth to moisten evenly.

6. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake 5 minutes longer. (If you’re cooking this in the oven with the turkey, bake it for 40 minutes at 325°F.)

Check out the original article, A Twist on the Traditional Thanksgiving Menu.

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