Okay, I have to be honest. My mother-in-law, Doris, is not a pescovegetarian. She likes to put sage sausage in her oyster dressing, but when I’m around for dinner, she makes a pan of it without the meat, so that’s the version I’m sharing with you.
This is an old family recipe and Doris has made this stuffing so many times that she goes by eye and taste, not a recipe. I watched her make it on Thanksgiving morning and took notes, so I could share it with you. So use your judgment and adjust the recipe as you see fit. Personally, I’m planning to go heavier with the spices, especially the cayenne, but to each her own.
The two key ingredients are the oysters and the stuffing mix. Be sure to buy the jars of fresh shucked oysters in the fish department. Don’t use the canned ones – they’re just not the same!
Some people prefer herbed stuffing, but if you’re partial to cornbread, feel free to use it instead. If the cornbread stuffing mix doesn’t have any herbs, add a pinch more of each of the herbs, to taste.
- 1 TB vegetable oil
- I medium onion, chopped finely (if you don’t like onions with oysters, add a little onion salt instead)
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped finely
- 1 green pepper, chopped finely
- 1 red pepper, chopped finely
- 1 14-oz. package of herbed bread cube stuffing.
- 2-3 eggs, beaten
- 2 8-oz. jars of shucked, fresh oysters with their juice
- Pinch of dried sage
- Pinch of poultry seasoning
- Pinch of celery salt
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 TB dried parsley or 2 TB chopped fresh parsley
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 – 3 cups of vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
Note: If you’re a meat eater, sauté some sage sausage and add it to the mixture before adding the stock. If you’re a pescovegetarian, you can make this dressing even more delicious by adding 8 ounces of lump crab meat when you add the oysters.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Melt the butter in a small pot. When the butter is melted, add 2 cups of vegetable stock and stir. Heat until gently boiling, stirring occasionally. Remove pot from stove and allow to come to room temperature.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet. Sauté the chopped onion for two minutes. Add the celery, green pepper, and red pepper, and continue cooking until all vegetables have softened. Remove the vegetable mix from the stove and allow it to cool to room temperature.
- Empty the stuffing into a large bowl. Add the sautéed vegetables and stir.
- Beat two eggs and add to mixture. Stir. Mixture should be moist, but not soggy. If the mixture still seems dry, beat a third egg and stir it in.
- Add the oysters with their juice. If the oysters are large, cut them into smaller pieces first.
- Add the herbs and stir until all ingredients are well mixed.
- Slowly add the cooled butter and stock mixture, stirring the stuffing to moisten it all. The final mixture should be wet, but not soggy.
- Taste the stuffing, and add salt, pepper and more seasonings as desired.
- Pour into an oiled casserole dish, cover, and cook 20-30 minutes in 350 degree oven or until nicely brown.