Bring a taste of New Orleans to your table this holiday season. Make oyster dressing, or oyster stuffing, with canned or fresh oysters.
If you don’t live close to the coast, using canned oysters might be easier, as fresh oysters can be expensive far from the water.
If you are using canned oysters, consider making this Smoked-Oyster-and-Andouille Dressing. It’s made with canned smoked oysters, andouille sausage, cornbread, and sourdough bread, making for a hearty side at any meal. It also can be made ahead and reheated just before serving, which will improve the flavor and make for less tasks on the day of the meal.
Before you begin, make sure your cornbread and sourdough bread are slightly stale so they will retain some of their structure while also soaking up the egg and chicken stock mixture added later. Combine the two breads and set aside while you brown the sausage. Sauté the vegetables and spices - including Creole seasoning - in the same pan so they absorb the fat and flavor left by the sausage. After those have softened, stir them together with the breads, chopped oysters, stock, and beaten eggs. Bake for about an hour, then let sit before serving.
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If using fresh oysters for your oyster dressing, shuck the oysters and save their liquor. Use stale bread, either cornbread or country bread, or as above, both. Sauté the vegetables in butter or bacon fat or the leftover fat from browning sausage, then add spices. Mix the softened vegetables with the cubed bread, chopped fresh oysters, and their liquor. Beat eggs and add in, making sure everything is well-mixed. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour and let sit before serving.
If you already have a beloved stuffing or dressing recipe, but still want to serve an oyster dish, consider Oyster Casserole. It does not contain bread or eggs. Instead, oysters are cooked and mixed with a thick, cheesy sauce, then baked, topped with breadcrumbs.