Gobble, Gobble: Cornbread Stuffing from John Franke, of Ranch at Las Colinas & Whiskey Cake
As far back as I can remember, Thanksgiving has held a special place in my heart. My grandmother was the Julia Child of our family. Thanksgiving at “Meemaw’s” house seemed like what it might feel like dining at Windsor Castle. She pulled out all the stops, never stopped cooking and barely took a break putting out platter after platter of turkey, ham, stuffing, green bean casserole, potatoes, gravy, cakes, pies, and on and on. She died when I was just 10, but I will never forget the years I spent celebrating Thanksgiving at Meemaw’s house. She inspired me to become a chef and I am thankful to her for the too few years I knew her and for allowing me to cook side by side with her at such a young age.
MEEMAW’s CORN BREAD STUFFING
½ lb. Butter, unsalted
14 oz. Granulated Sugar
10 ea Whole Eggs, large
¾ cup Roasted Corn
2 cups White Cheddar Cheese, shredded
12 oz. All Purpose Flour
14 oz. Corn Meal
6 TBSP Baking Powder
1 TBSP Kosher Salt
1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
½ lb. Unsalted Butter
1 cup Celery, diced ¼”
½ cup Onions, diced ¼”
2 oz. Fresh Sage Leaves, chopped
1) Cream the butter and sugar in the mixer using the paddle attachment
2) Add the eggs one at a time on speed one
3) Then add the corn and the cheese; mix till incorporated. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.
4) Mix the flour, corn meal, baking powder, salt and cayenne pepper together in a bowl.
5) Then slowly add the flour mixture to the mixer on speed one. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.
6) Mix for 5 additional minutes.
7) Transfer to a container large enough to hold mixture, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
8) After refrigerating overnight, brush the inside of a large 10” cast iron skillet with shortening and fill to ¾’s full with cornbread batter. Smooth out to ensure the batter is even in the pan.
9) Bake in a 350 degree oven 40 minutes or until firm and golden brown.
10) Once cooked, remove from oven and let rest for 20 minutes.
11) Place bake in refrigerator and refrigerate for 3 hours or until cold.
12) Once cold, cut into 1” cubes.
13) Heat the butter in a sauce pot until melted. Add the celery and onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add the fresh sage and stir in. Remove from the heat.
14) Add the onion/celery mixture to the cornbread cubes and fold together in a large mixing bowl with a rubber spatula.
15) Place in a large 10” cast iron skillet brushed with shortening.
16) Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown on top
17) Serve immediately with your favorite gravy.
John Franke is the Executive Chef of the Ranch at Las Colinas and the soon-to-open Whiskey Cake