Stuffing Balls? My daughter had sent me a link a while back for making cornbread stuffing into balls for the upcoming holiday. I had never heard of them. I went online and browsed for the stuffing balls. I found many people do this. Southerners deep-fry them! yum! Anyway… I looked at the recipe my daughter sent. Yeah. Bleh. It was for low-fat stuffing for dieters. One may as well use boxed stuffing.
I adapted my favorite cornbread and bread stuffing recipe from my mom-in-law. It has way more celery, uses vegetable broth (so the stuffing could be eaten with any type of meat.. or not), and I make mine with the bread content being half cornbread. I make my mom-in-law’s cornbread for this. It is NOT sweet. Sweet cornbread in stuffing is nasty. I have had it. Ghastly stuff. The sweet cornbread overwhelmed the other flavors and were a bad match all around. bleh…
I made what normally would be a half-batch of stuffing for me for this test, enough for a normal Family Feast Day without any leftover for freezing to be eaten at another meal. I also made one loaf of my daily bread. Commercial bread is inedible, even if dry bread cubes. I am a bread snob…
Once out of the oven, my husband and I shared a ball. Oh my… They are good. The balls are in the freezer, ready to warm when needed. While making these, my daughter and I talked back and forth. While I was making them, my husband started making male-humor ball jokes. My son-in-law side-busted and joined in. I love men. There is nothing like laughing while cooking. For those who just puckered up, no apologies. I am a Being of Light who loves laughter and humor, even if slightly crude.
This is a “two day” recipe. You make the breads the day before, then put the stuffing together the following day after letting the breads sit out overnight to get stale-ish and dry. As usual, all of my ingredients are organic/gmo-free.
I must admit I make the stuffing balls and then freeze them for other meals. They are not just for the holidays. I love them with pork meals.
Holiday Cornbread & Bread Stuffing Balls
makes about 30 balls
1 lb bread, cut into 1/2″ cubes (I use a loaf of my homemade bread)
1 lb cornbread*, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup broth**
2 cups celery, finely chopped
1 lg onion, finely chopped
2 tsp ground sage
2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 cup parsley flakes (or use fresh chopped)
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup broth** (yes, 2 cups all together in the recipe)
1 cup milk
Have on hand: broth for warming the balls to eat
*recipe for my mom-in-law’s southern cornbread is at the end of the recipe. You do NOT want a sweet cornbread. It does not taste well in stuffing.
**Use broth of choice. I prefer vegetable broth. Use what you prefer.
The day before making the Stuffing Balls: make the bread(s), let cool and cut into 1/2″ cubes. Let the breads sit in a giant bowl, uncovered!, stirring occasionally for 1 day.
The next day: Put the onion and celery into a large saucepan. Add butter, 1 cup of the broth and the herbs. Cover and simmer on low until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
Mix together the milk, eggs and the remaining 1 cup of broth, mixing well.
When the vegetables are done, pour the contents of the saucepan over the bread cubes. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper and adjust the seasonings to taste.
Pour the milk mixture over the bread mixture. Stir well. You may want to use your hands if you do not get grossed out over touching food nor have a huge spoon. ;D You can always use gloves if you are that anal. Grab a bit of the stuffing and squeeze together to make sure it sticks together well. If too dry, add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup more of the broth, or even milk if wished, to get the stuffing to form a firm ball.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a large 4-qt pan (10.5″ x 14.75″) with coconut oil and line with parchment paper. I had to add another small pan. ;D Make the stuffing into firm balls about the size of a baseball, not a huge softball. Bake them for about 30 minutes or until lightly browned. It took mine 45 minutes. I use a gas oven. Your mileage will vary. You can test with a toothpick, if wanted. shrug… Cool and store in the refrigerator if eating within a couple of days or bag up when cooled and freeze if making the balls way in advance.
To warm for eating, add 1/4 cup of broth to a baking dish. I butter mine first. Add enough of the stuffing balls for that night’s meal. Bake until hot enough to eat but not hot enough to remove your taste buds and lips, basting the balls with the broth a few times while they warm, if wanted.
Sue’s Southern Cornbread
A not-sweet cornbread for stuffing
(This is a half-recipe, btw)
2-1/2 tbsp butter
3/4 cup flour
1-1/4 cups cornmeal (plus some to dust the skillet)
2-1/2 tsp baking power
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 lg egg
1-1/4 cups milk
Turn oven on to 425°F. Put butter into an iron skillet. Place the skillet in oven to melt the butter while preheating the oven.
Meanwhile, mix together all of the dry ingredients. Mix together the egg and milk.
Take skillet out of the oven and pour the butter into the dry ingredients. Wipe a paper towel around the pan to “butter” the skillet. Coat the inside of the skillet with cornmeal and return to the oven while you finish mixing the cornbread. Keep an eye on it so it does not burn!
Cut the melted butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry blend well. Whisk in the milk mixture. Check the skillet. If you cannot smell the cornmeal and it is not slightly browned, let it “bake” another minute or so. Carefully take skillet out of oven and sit it on a burner. Pour the batter into the skillet, scrapping to be sure to get every bit.
Return the skillet to the oven and bake the cornbread for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool thoroughly.