One of my favorite Thanksgiving tricks is to throw the dressing/stuffing into the crockpot. It saves room in the stove, you can fix it and not worry about it, and it cooks up deliciously. Is it "dressing" or is it "stuffing" at your house? I live in and was raised in southwest Missouri and while we use both terms, my family tends to stick with the southern version: "dressing" while most of the rest of the country, it's my understanding, usually calls it "stuffing." Either way, it's yummy carb-licious.
Speaking of delicious, my favorite dressing has a couple of extras: chopped sweet apples and Missouri black walnuts in a southern cornbread base. English walnuts are a great option too but black walnuts are native to our American Midwest and more than 65% of those are grown in Missouri, with the largest black walnut processor, Hammons Nut, residing in Stockton, Missouri, just a rock skip from Springfield, Black walnuts are a treat we've grown up having plenty of and loving. For the uninitiated, like the differnece between cream cheese and goat cheese, black walnuts have all the creaminess of an English walnut but with a little more zip. One of my dearest memories of my mother was how she would hand-shell bushels of black walnuts through the fall that we kids had scavenged from the woods around our house, and then use them in Christmas cookies and candies. As a child I took it for granted, as an adult I admire her tenacity. Hand-shelling nuts is not the most fun job in the world but we loved the final result, for sure!
Mrs. Cubbison's Stuffing mix is spiced in a way that goes particularly well with the apple/black walnut combination, I've found. It's slightly sweet and very savory which highlights both the sweetness and savoriness of the fruit and nuts, which seems to me to be the quintessential tastes of fall.
Mrs. Cubbison's, a true American success story, was started by Mrs. Cubbison in 1890's as a bread bakery, then moved to crackers, and eventually to stuffing (dressing).
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Mrs Cubbison's: Facebook Page
Ozarks-style Slow Cooker Dressing
Recipe by Glenna Anderson Muse
- 1 large onion, diced small
- 3 ribs celery, diced small
- 1 large red or yellow apple, diced small
- 1/2 cup black walnuts (can also use English walnuts)
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 2 turkey (or chicken) broth broth or 2 cups water
- 1 14 oz box Mrs. Cubbison's Cornbread Stuffing mix (or other stuffing mix but the seasonings in Mrs. Cubbison's goes particularly well with the apples and walnuts)
- 2 eggs, beaten
1) Over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed skillet, saute onion and celery in butter until soft. Add apple and walnuts and saute for another 2 minutes.
2) Add broth or water and bring to a boil. Turn off burner
3) Pour contents of entire box (2 pkts inside) into large mixing bowl. Pour sauted vegetables with liquid over the stuffing mix and lightly toss until all the stuffing mix has been wetted. Stir the two beaten eggs into the mix until uniformly dispersed.
4) Spoon stuffing into a greased 3-qt or larger slow cooker and cook on high for 1 hour. Turn to low and continue cooking for 3-4 hours.
Using a meat thermometer, make sure center of dressing is at least 140 degrees before serving to insure eggs are fully cooked.
Makes 3 quarts.
Cook's note: One of the great things about making the stuffing in the slow cooker/Crock-pot is being able to throw it together early and then forget about it, leaving extra space in the oven for other sides.