top of page
  • Writer's pictureTommy Centola

Dressing up a big meal

Christmas is here. I know all of the presents are bought and wrapped. It’s time to concentrate on the big meal. Whether it’s a turkey, ham, pork or rib roast, it’s the accompanying dishes that complete the meal. I always like to include a couple of dressings with the big meal.

Often I am asked, what’s the difference between dressing and stuffing. Mainly, it’s all about how it is cooked. Stuffing is obviously cooked inside the turkey or turducken. Dressing is a free standing dish. Today, I want to share with you a couple of dressings for your holiday table. The first one is a cornbread based dressing, Andouille & Crawfish Cornbread Dressing. The second is a traditional version of Oyster Dressing. Let’s head to the kitchen.

Here’s a twist on my traditional cornbread dressing. I normally use chicken as my protein component. Here I use two very common New Orleans ingredients, andouille and crawfish. It’s a great way to spice up your Christmas dinner.

Andouille & Crawfish Cornbread Dressing

3 boxes of Jiffy Cornbread Mix (mix & bake as directed)

1 bag of Pepperidge Farm Herb Season Classic Stuffing

2 medium onions (chopped fine)

5 stalks of celery (chopped fine)

1 pound Louisiana crawfish tails

1 pack of andouille sausage, medium chop

1 stick of butter

64 ounces chicken stock, divided

Creole seasoning to taste

Once cornbread is baked & cooled, place in a large zip lock bag & crumble into pieces. In a large heavy pot, melt the stick of butter over medium high heat. Add the chopped onion & celery & sauté until soft. Add crawfish tails & chopped andouille & cook on medium heat until completely heated through & bubbling. Remove from heat. Add half of the cornbread & the bag of Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix. Pour about half of stock into mixture & begin mixing everything together. If it’s to dry & it probably will be, add stock as you mix. Add the rest of the crumbled cornbread and Creole seasoning. Mix & taste to adjust seasoning. Continue mixing & adding stock until the stuffing is moist. Add more Creole seasoning if necessary. Scoop out into 2 - 9”x 9” pans. You can freeze & thaw the day before. If cooking that day, place in a 350 ℉ oven & bake for about an hour. If you are cooking from cold it will take about an hour & a half to bake. You want it heated completely through & golden brown.

Oysters always finds their way to the Christmas dinner table. Whether it’s a version of Oysters Mosca or Oyster Dressing, December is the perfect time of the year for oysters. Here is a very traditional dressing that is always sure to please.

Oyster Dressing

2 teaspoons butter

1 pint oysters reserving the liquor they come in

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 cups onions, chopped

1 cup green bell pepper, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

2 teaspoons Creole seasoning

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

¼ cup fresh parsley, minced

1 cup chicken stock

¼ cup green onions, chopped

4 cups French bread cut into 1-inch cubes

1/3 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 375℉.

Butter a 9×13-inch baking dish. Drain the oysters, reserving the oyster liquor. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, and Creole seasoning and sauté for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the bay leaves, garlic and parsley, and sauté for 1 minute. Add the stock; cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the green onions, oyster liquor and the bread cubes. Stir to mix well and remove from the heat. In a large mixing bowl, combine the bread mixture with the oysters and cheese. Stir to mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and bake for 1 hour or until bubbly and golden brown. Remove the bay leaves before serving.

For me, Christmas is all about family. There is no one I enjoy cooking for than my family or people who I consider my family. Put a little extra love in your Christmas cooking. Trust me, it won’t go unnoticed. Merry Christmas from my wife Peggy and I!

24 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page