- 4 small yellow squash, sliced into half moons
- 1 Vidalia onion, chopped
- 10 shishito peppers; chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
- 1/4 cup super fine flour like Wondra
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 1 8x8 pan day old cornbread see nite
- Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. Set aside.
- In a large, deep skillet, sauté the squash, onion and peppers until the onions are translucent and the squash is softened. Sprinkle with the seasoning and flour. Sauté 1-2 minutes until the vegetables are coated. Add the milk and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.
- Crumble the cornbread over the mixture and stir to evenly distribute all ingredients.
- If the mixture looks very dry, add some more milk. Add additional seasoning as desired.
- Pour into the prepare pan and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
I didn’t grow up in a cornbread dressing (or stuffing) house. We always made stuffing balls made with white sandwich bread. Last year when our theme for our annual fake Thanksgiving was regional dishes, I saw a lot of recipes for all kinds of cornbread dressing and was intrigued but didn’t end up making it.
A few weeks ago I read The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year by Margaret Renkl (which I enjoyed more before she revealed at the end it wasn’t actually wasn’t a “year” but a mishmash of a bunch of years??!) mentions her adult children’s fondness for their grandmother’s squash stuffing. I felt like I was seeing cornbread dressing everywhere!
One of my hold-ups in making a cornbread-based dish was not knowing what cornbread to use. I finally just made my own and it was perfect. Moist but not too moist and it crumbled easily.
I read a lot of squash dressing recipes and nearly all of them (except for some of the ones calling for mirliton squash aka chayote) used canned, cream of, condensed soup of some kind. That is something I never have on hand and I couldn’t quite see any reason to go out and buy it for this? Surely there are some recipes that predate the ubiquity of canned soup but I didn’t see them. Or maybe there aren’t! I did not find much of a history of this dish beyond “my grandma always made this” so who knows. Maybe it’s a wonder put out by Big Soup.
The recipes also used bell peppers which I do not enjoy so I used the better-tasting shishito instead.
I sauteed the vegetables for better flavor than boiling or steaming (and ended up with fewer dishes) and and added some flour and milk instead of the soup. It worked great! Then all I had to do was mix everything up and bake it until it crisped up some.
Honestly, neither of us was sure we’d like it but it was a delight! Sort of like baked grits but with more flavor and vegetables. I’d totally make it again and I feel like the world of cornbread-based casseroles has opened up to me thanks to making my own cornbread. I didn’t grow up with casseroles and I still don’t think of myself as a casserole person but they can be fun! This one was great because it was a starch and a vegetable all in one.