Holiday Louisiana Oyster Dressing
This decadent and easy-to-make recipe is a perfect accompaniment for holiday dishes.
Enjoy this recipe for Oyster Dressing perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners. The recipe is courtesy of Chef Leah Chase, known as the "Queen of Creole Cuisine" and especially the gumbo served at her Dookie Chase's Restaurant in New Orleans.
- 2 pints fresh Louisiana oysters in liquid
- 1 lb. ground round
- 10 slices day-old white sandwich bread
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 sticks butter
- 1/2 cup diced onions
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
- 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper salt to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 2 whole eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
Method of Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Drain oysters, reserving the liquid and coarsely chop the oysters. Break bread into 1-inch cubes and place in large mixing bowl. Add oyster liquid and 3/4 cup water. Allow bread to soak until water is absorbed.
In a large cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add ground meat and stir constantly until golden brown. Ground meat should be well-browned, 15-20 minutes. Add onions, celery bell peppers and garlic. Sauté 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add bread, any remaining liquid from bowl and chopped oysters. Blend well into vegetable mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, for approximately 15-20 minutes. Season to taste using thyme, cayenne pepper, salt and parsley. Pour mixture into mixing bowl.
Stir and cool slightly, 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beaten eggs, blending quickly into warm mixture to keep from scrambling. Pour mixture into 9 x 13-inch baking pan and top with breadcrumbs. Bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.
Chef's note: Leah Chase suggests placing the bread slices on a cookie sheet covered with clear wrap one to two days prior to making this stuffing or use day-old or stale bread.
When buying seafood, make sure to check labels to ensure that you're buying domestic product, from Louisiana if available. U.S. seafood tastes better and it's regulated by the FDA, so it's always safe.