Growing up in Southeast Louisiana, you either ate Oyster Dressing or Cornbread Dressing on Thanksgiving and/or Christmas. My Mom is a N'Awlins girl and loves her Oyster Dressing, but she loved my Dad more and accommodated his Southern Gentleman wishes of cornbread dressing.
As a kid, I didn't much care for my Mom's cornbread dressing. I tolerated it because in those days it was politically correct to eat what was put in front of you and to obey your parents. As an adult, I love, love, love Oyster Dressing. (I can't believe I haven't posted my Oyster Dressing recipe yet!) It's not easy to get reasonably priced, good, salty oysters in my neck of the woods. I was definitely in panic mode last Wendnesday around noonish as I walked up and down the aisles of the grocery store picking up a few last minute items and trying to figure out what kind of dressing/stuffing to make.
I even picked up a box of stuffing mix...hey, don't judge...stuffing was going to be on the table one way or another.
Then, as I walked through the bakery section, I saw it! A loaf of Asiago Cheese bread! Seriously, Asiago cheese...does it get much better? Oh yeah, oysters...but this was an incredible find and it was Game On!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter a 9 x 13 glass baking dish.
Cut one loaf of Asiago cheese bread into generous cubes. Place on a baking sheet and into a preheated 350 degree oven for 7 minutes. Just enough to lightly toast the bread so it will absorb the liquid but no get too mushy later.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 5 slices of chopped smoky bacon and 1 pound of chopped smoked pork sausage. Saute until crisp and brown, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon and sausage to a large bowl. Remove all but one tablespoon of fat from the skillet and add 2 tablespoons of butter.
Add 1 large onion chopped, 2 celery stalked chopped, 1 Granny Smith apple cubed and 3 cloves of minced garlic. Saute over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
Gently fold in 1/4 cup of chopped parsely. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the bacon and sasage back into the skillet along with 3/4stick of butter and 1/4 cup of chopped scallions. Season with salt and pepper again. Stir to thoroughly combine.
Place the bread into the glass baking dish and add the pork/seasoning mixture. Gentley fold until completely combined. Pour one cup of chicken brother over the top. At this point you can cover and refrigerate overnight. If you store this overnight, remove from the refrigerator the next day and let stand at room temperatire for one hour. Toss again and add 1/2 to 1 more cup of chicken broth if necessary.
Add 3/4 cup of shredded Asiago cheese over the top of dish. Cover with buttered foil, buttered side down, and bake until the stuffing is heated through, about 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the top is crisp and golden, about 15 minutes longer.
Stuffing is a personal thing and personally, this is incredible!
P.S. My neice sent this text to me and I would like you all to repeat this with me....
I pledge alligence to the Saints and to the great City of New Orleans and the the Super Bowl for which we will win. One city, below sea level with Mardi Gras and alcohol for all! WHO DAT! WE DAT!