How to make cornbread dressing like a real Southerner

Thanksgiving turkey isn’t complete without moist, yummy cornbread dressing. It’s taken me years to get this one right, so I’ll share my experience with you.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

First, my wonderful mother, Betty – who adored Thanksgiving and cooked for weeks in anticipation of hosting a crowd that day – died on Halloween 1999 and left me, the eldest child, to make our first holiday meal without her. I had no idea what to do. Thank goodness she left recipes, although some have taken years to get just right. (You know how cooks are about secrets.)

This is her cornbread dressing, which I like topped with a splash of smooth turkey giblet gravy (recipe). It’s also fabulous to slice thinly onto leftover turkey sandwiches with homemade mayonnaise (recipe) and a sliver of cranberry sauce (easy recipe). Goodness, my mouth waters just thinking about it.

Header image via Angie’s Southern Kitchen and used in accordance with the Creative Common license agreement.

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How to make sour cream pound cake like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK 

My father didn’t do much cooking. Chiefly, he’s remembered for accidentally setting fire to the kitchen while trying to cook bacon and watch the World Series simultaneously. We’ve never been much for multi-tasking.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

But the man could make a really good pound cake – dense, crusty, delicious. Where he got his recipe is unknown to me, but lately I found one very much like it in my mother’s recipe box. It was an old, brown newspaper clipping taped to a file card.

It is beyond delicious! It’s tall and just the right density, and so buttery. You will love it, and your guests will think you are the greatest baker ever.

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Free dinner party Nov. 2 in New Orleans

The fabulous folks at Chaos Cooking are back in New Orleans and are hosting another dinner party. We’re excited. Chaos Cooking had a New Orleans event earlier this year (pix) and we met all sorts of new people and ate so much good food.

Joe and Margaret started Chaos Cooking in Brooklyn. They made Vietnamese shrimp rolls at the #NOLAmash event in March. (photo via @NewinNOLA on Instagram)

Joe and Margaret started Chaos Cooking in Brooklyn. They made Vietnamese shrimp rolls at the #NOLAmash event in March. (photo via @NewinNOLA on Instagram)

The concept:

Our staple event is where everyone brings the ingredients for one dish and then cooks together in one space. All recipes must be finished and space returned to original condition by the end of the event, while everyone is socializing, enjoying drinks and eating tasty dishes.

The New Orleans event is Saturday (Nov. 2) from 6 to 10 p.m. More info:

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Where to eat in New Orleans 10/14/2013

We’re eating & drinking our way through New Orleans with the #NewinNOLA crew. For the week of Oct. 7 to Oct. 14, we filled up our bellies at:

crawfish bread at the Louisiana Seafood Festival (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

crawfish bread at the Louisiana Seafood Festival (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

  • the Louisiana Seafood Festival
  • Baie Rouge
  • Rouses

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Where to eat in New Orleans 10/7/2013

We’re eating & drinking our way through New Orleans with the #NewinNOLA crew. Venues from Sept. 30 to Oct. 7:

This is the vegetarian grape leaf plate from Mona's on Magazine. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

This is the vegetarian grape leaf plate from Mona’s on Magazine. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

  • Hansen’s in Uptown
  • Hollygrove Market & Farm
  • Taj Mahal in Old Metairie
  • Mona’s on Magazine Street
  • McClure’s Barbecue on Magazine Street
  • Cafe du Monde in the quarter
  • Mister Apple in the quarter

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How to make tamale pie like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK   

New in NOLA’s Carlie collects Louisiana cooking info to pass along to me for this column. This week, she hit the jackpot with the September/October edition of Louisiana Kitchen & Culture magazine. The magazine is for sale at Whole Foods.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

From muffulettas to grilled oysters on the half-shell, it is jammed packed with sensational recipes.

I’m going to make a few for this column, so get ready for some exciting, tasty eating.

This week, I’ll start with tamale pie because I am too lazy to make tamales. The town of Zwolle hosts an annual tamale fiesta the second weekend in October. That’s next weekend, y’all. Wish I could be there. FYI – it’s about a 4.5 hour drive from New Orleans.

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Where to eat in New Orleans 9/2/2013

We’re eating & drinking our way through New Orleans with the #NewinNOLA crew. Here’s where we spent the last week of September (time flies, right?!):

s'mores pie from the American Sector (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/NewinNOLA.com)

s’mores pie from the American Sector (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/NewinNOLA.com)

  • Tan Dinh
  • Pho Bistreaux
  • Lola’s
  • Lee’s Hamburgers
  • Creole Creamery
  • Croissant d’Or
  • The American Sector

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How to make vegetarian lasagna like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK   

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

Once I found out you didn’t have to cook the noodles ahead of time, I became a big fan of homemade lasagna.

It’s true, if you have a juicy enough sauce, the noodles cook along with the rest of the casserole. What a liberating moment.

Usually, I make the “red” lasagna with lots of mushrooms and turkey instead of beef. (I’ll pass that along soon.) But today’s recipe comes from an event for which I needed to make a vegetarian version. I doubled the recipe to make two large aluminum-pan entrees, but the recipe below serves 6. This version is an adaptation from Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa).

I love making lasagna for a a pre-Thanksgiving meal as my family arrives for the holiday. Spinach/mushroom or red-sauce/turkey, it’s a great go-to with a green salad and French bread. It’s also great because you can make it ahead of time, even freeze it. Just take it out with enough time for it to “warm up” to nearly room temperature or you’ll be baking much longer than you’d like.

Enjoy!

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Where to eat in New Orleans 9/23/2013

We’re eating & drinking our way through New Orleans with the #NewinNOLA crew. Venues from Sept. 16 to Sept. 23:

a peanut butter and jelly macaron from Sucre (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

a peanut butter and jelly macaron from Sucre (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

  • SoBou
  • Crabby Jack’s
  • Pierre Maspero’s
  • Cafe NOMA
  • Sucre

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How to make Southern spoon bread like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK   

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

New in Nola’s leader, Carlie, reported her first taste of Southern spoon bread recently and was curious about how it’s made.

Carlie, you are in luck! I’ve discovered my great-grandmother’s recipe amongst my collection from my mother and grandmother. It looks pretty easy, and I’m going to test it out for everybody. I could use a hand-mixer for this, but I suspect “Mummy” did not, so I’m going old-school with a wooden mixing spoon.

This is a great Southern alternative to potatoes or rice. It tops well with gravy or a dab of butter or nothing at all.

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