COOKING WITH PAM BOESCH ...

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Crawfish cornbread dressing

For Thanksgiving, my family and I always look forward to the traditional menu of turkey, dressing and all those great side dishes.  After I found this recipe and tried it earlier this fall, we decided to take the traditional dressing off the menu.  Trust me...you will not be disappointed.  This dressing is rich, moist and full of Louisiana's finest seafood treasures. I hope you try it this year.  It's one more reason to be thankful we live in Louisiana!  Happy Thanksgiving...Enjoy!

Servings:

Serves 8

2 packages Pioneer Yellow Cornbread Mix

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup green onions, tops and bottoms, chopped

1/2 cup celery, chopped

1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped

1/2 pound boiled and chopped hot sausage

1 pound Louisiana shrimp, peeled and de-veined (16–20 count)

1 pound Louisiana crawfish tails, chopped

1 pound Louisiana Blue Crab claw meat

1/2 cup whole milk

1 11-ounce can cream-style corn

1/2 cup rich chicken or seafood broth (if needed)

2 whole eggs, beaten

1 cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded

1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, minced

Creole seasoning, to taste

Instructions:

First thing you do is bake the cornbread as directed per the package instructions. Don’t shut your oven off. Next, allow the cornbread to cool, and then crumble it with your hands into a large mixing bowl.

Melt the butter in a large saut√© pan then add the onions, celery, and bell pepper, and simmer the mixture down until the onions clear. When all that is  done, drop in the hot sausage and add in the shrimp, the crawfish tails, and the crab claw meat. Toss completely, and cook the mixture for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Then add the milk and creamed corn, and stir until that mixture is fully blended. If at this point you notice that the casserole is a tad on the dry side, stir in about 1/2 cup rich chicken or seafood broth.

Finish the casserole by folding all these ingredients into your bowl of crumbled-up cornbread. Fold in the beaten eggs, the shredded Cheddar cheese, and the minced Italian flat-leaf parsley. Season the mixture with Creole Seasoning to taste. Then transfer the concoction to an 11x14-inch baking dish and bake it at 350ºF for right about 45 minutes until deep golden brown.

Only a few weeks until Christmas!  Here is a favorite sweet treat that I love to make and keep for company.  This recipe makes enough to give away as a gift to teachers, coworkers, friends and everyone on your list this year.  Enjoy some for yourself too! 

Pecan Toffee Sticks

Ingredients ...

3/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1-1/2 cups butterscotch chips

1/4 cup light corn syrup

2 tablespoons shortening

1 tablespoon water

1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Directions

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk, vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Gradually stir in flour and mix well.

Spread evenly onto the bottom of a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chips, corn syrup, shortening, water and remaining salt. Cover and microwave until chocolate is melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Spread over slightly cooled crust. Sprinkle with pecans. Refrigerate until set. Cut into 2-in. x 1-in. strips. Yield: about 4 dozen.

Pecan toffee sticks