Each Thanksgiving and Christmas our family received, among many delicacies, Daddy's dressing. Now it wouldn't be an ordinary bandage. It was a rich, full-bodied and flavorful dish that was literally a meal in itself. Originally created to use the leftover yeast rolls from our restaurant, Papa mixed all the ingredients present during the season: turkey, ham, offal, shrimp, oysters, sausages, etc. This year I was tasked with giving dad a break and creating the band aid for Thanksgiving. It's not the same as hers, but it's pretty close!
For 6 to 8 servings
2 cups of raw oysters, drained, reserved alcohol
12 cups white daytime rolls or French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes, more as needed
4 tbsp peanut oil, divided use
4 tbsp unsalted butter, divided use
1 medium yellow onion, medium diced
1 cup celery, medium diced
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of brown sugar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon of dried thyme
¼ teaspoon of marjoram
¼ teaspoon of savory
¼ teaspoon of dill
1 cup minced cooked turkey meat
1 cup of cooked smoked ham, chopped
1 cup turkey or chicken broth, more if needed
1 cup turkey or gravy, more if needed
1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
1/3 cup chopped green onions
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
Preheat the oven to 325 °. Butter a shallow 3 to 3 ½ quart casserole dish.
Rinse the oysters in cold water; drain. If the oysters are large, cut them in half or even in thirds to obtain 1 ”pieces. Put aside.
Spread the bread cubes on large baking sheets and toast in the oven, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool, then transfer to a large bowl. Increase the heat to 350 °.
In a large skillet or casserole dish, heat half the oil and half the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and add the brown sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly translucent. Add the garlic, mushrooms, bay leaves, paprika, thyme, marjoram, savory and dill. Stir and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Push the onion mixture to the sides of the pan. Add the rest of the oil and butter and increase the heat to high. Add the oysters, season with salt and pepper and sauté until just cooked through, about 30 seconds. Toss the onion mixture with the oysters, add the turkey and ham and mix gently to combine. Add the reserved oyster liqueur, broth and sauce, stir and bring to a boil. Check the seasoning, add more salt and pepper as needed.
Add the parsley and green onions to the bread cubes. Carefully pour the onion mixture over everything. Stir to mix well. The mixture should be moist and settle easily, but not too “wet”. Add more broth, sauce or bread cubes as needed. Add the eggs to the mixture and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with pine nuts, pressing gently on the surface.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 ° for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
You can assemble the dressing until the cooking stage and refrigerate it overnight. Bring to room temperature before cooking.
Here's where you can use that reserved frying oil. What? You don't keep your oil after frying with it? Shame on you! I bought a gallon of peanut oil the week before Thanksgiving to make fried chicken. After frying, I filtered it and put it in the refrigerator. Dude, this stuff is so tasty! Since then, I have been using stir-fry vegetables with… this vinaigrette! Go ahead, add an extra spoonful to the mixture. I will not say!
The herbal seasoning mix is totally flexible. Lots of people love sage. While I love herbs, I'm not a huge fan of sage. So I use thyme a lot, especially with poultry. Use what you like.
The use of turkey or chicken broth and gravy is essential. This is what will give flavor to the whole dish. At Thanksgiving, my dad was simmering a pot of turkey sauce on the stovetop, made from his roasted turkey juices. I watched him add ladles of this stuff to his dressing as needed, and that's when I realized where this wonderful flavor base was coming from.
Whether you regularly whip up Michelin-worthy meals at the drop of a hat or your cooking skills are best described as “fine, ” you can always benefit from the helpful little tricks of others. Here, 14 of our friends’, families’ and coworkers’ most-used cooking tips.
There’s a time and a place to whip out that complicated coq au vin recipe you’ve been dying to try. A dinner party isn’t that time. With a new recipe, you’ll likely be chained to the kitchen the whole time, plus, when you’re trying something for the first time, there’s always the possibility that it could go horribly wrong. When cooking for a group, we always err on the side of tried-and-true crowd-pleasers.
You do hours of prep work on an intricate dish, only to be totally disappointed once you taste the terminal product. Bummer. Instead of putting in all that effort only to be disappointed, taste while you cook. That way, you’ll realize sooner that the dish isn’t tasting how you’d like it to, and you can make all kinds of last-ditch efforts to save it. This doesn’t just work for bad-to-OK meals. Tasting midway through and realizing how perfect a dash of cayenne or a squirt of lemon juice would be can take a great dinner to legendary status.
Plating pasta means tossing some onto a plate and finishing it with a nice dollop of sauce right on the middle, right ? Wrong. Here’s how to take your carbs to the next level : On the stove there should be two pans, one with pasta and one with sauce. Cook the pasta to al dente and transfer it into the sauce. Then, add a little bit of pasta water ( literally just the starchy water the pasta has been cooking in ), which will help the sauce cling to the pasta while also keeping it the right consistency. Perfection.
In the pursuit of the perfect steak, you have to be OK with your kitchen getting a little smoky. That’s because, to get the mouthwatering sear we’re all after, the meat has to be dry and the pan should be pretty damn close to smoking hot. Trust us, it’s worth a few seconds of a blaring alarm.
Most foods are ruined by too much salt. Steak is different. When it comes to seasoning your meat ( before you cook it ), more is more. Use a generous amount of coarse Kosher salt—more than you think you need. Since most cuts of steak are pretty thick, even though you’re using a lot of salt, it’s still only covering the surface.
This one isn’t too complicated. Whether you’re making avocado toast, pizza, fried rice or a burger, the addition of a fried egg on top will not hurt your feelings. Trust us.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but we’ve definitely found ourselves in a situation where we assumed we knew all of the ingredients that went into chocolate chip cookies only to find out that we had about half the required amount of brown sugar. Ugh. tera avoid a mid-cooking grocery-store trip, read the recipe from front to back—carefully—before you start.
Prepping grains in mass quantities is less about taste than convenience. Rice, quinoa and even oatmeal last about a week in the fridge after being cooked. When we’re prepping any one of those, we double up our measurements and store the leftovers, which are then impossibly easy to use up throughout the week. Too tired to make dinner ? Heat up some leftover rice from the fridge and toss an egg on top ( remember ? ). Couldn’t be simpler.
So you fried up a pound of bacon for an indulgent ( read : delicious ) déjeuner. Great, just make sure you don’t throw out the grease in the pan. Instead, save it in the refrigerator or freezer ( it technically lasts for up to a year, but should be used sooner than that to take full advantage of its flavor ). Then, anytime you’re cooking something you typically prepare in oil, try cooking it in the bacon grease instead. You’ll never want to eat Brussels sprouts the old way again.
You’ve probably heard that whenever a dish is lacking a little something-something, the best thing to do is toss in some salt. But, we have it on good authority that salt isn’t always the answer. When you’re tasting a dish at the end and you think it needs a little oomph, often it just needs a splash of acid ( like lemon juice ) to round out the flavor.
You know the difference between a paring knife and a fillet knife, but do you know how to take care of them ? Or, more importantly, how to use them ? A set of good knives can be the difference between a stressful cooking experience and a great one. First, practice your knife skills. Look up tutorials on YouTube and practice chopping, slicing and julienne-ing. It’s amazing what you can do with your cook time when your prep time is shortened with solid knife skills. Then, once you’ve got your skills down pat, learn how to take care of your set. No one ever achieved kitchen greatness with a dull chef’s knife.
The key to tender, flavorful barbecue and roasts ? Cooking it on a low temperature for a long time. The same doesn’t go for roasting veggies. For crispy, perfectly cooked butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and more, remember the magic number : 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Any lower, and you risk pulling a pan of blah carrots out of the oven. It might seem high, but to get the nice roasted flavor, you need high heat. And while we’re on the subject, stop crowding your veggies in the pan, which will also make them soggy.
You know how just about every cookie recipe suggests that you chill your dough in the refrigerator for at least a few hours, but oftentimes you don’t listen because you just want cookies now ? ! ( Same. ) Unfortunately, this step actually does make a difference. In addition to limiting how much the dough spreads while baking, chilling your dough intensifies the flavors and produces that perfect chewy, crispy matière we know and love.
It won’t do your breath any favors, but never ( ever ) scrimp on garlic. In fact, we typically double the amount a recipe calls for. Apologies to anyone who was planning on kissing us.