Tuesday, December 2, 2008

100th Post !!!

Today is my 100th post. Wow! It has been fun and I can't believe how many posts I have under my belt now. I don't even think that a year ago I could have named 100 recipes! I thought this would be a good chance to let everyone know how the Thanksgiving Dinner in New Orleans turned out (Thanks G!). My sister and sister in law chose to make the Smoky Bacon Biscuit Dressing and the Baked Mac n' Cheese. According to each of them, their dishes were good but the Smoky Bacon Biscuit Dressing was a tad undercooked and the Mac n' Cheese was not quite the right temperature once it got served. In their defense, both of the girls had to travel with their dishes to my parents' home and that makes a big difference. I know my mom enjoyed the help and everyone enjoyed the fresh faces/dishes at this year's Thanksgiving Dinner. Hopefully those two will become staples and I will get to try their versions myself one day.

This is the perfect post to close on the Turkey Day Troubles and transition into the Christmas season. Oyster Dressing is a staple dish at my family's Christmas Dinner. My Mom's Oyster Dressing is the best! This was very good, but I would have much preferred to stuff my hens with her recipe. Only one problem - she doesn't have a recipe - it is all in her head! I am going home for Christmas so I will be sure to watch and take diligent notes so I can try to recreate it on my own.

Roasted Cornish Hens Stuffed w/ Oyster Dressing
Modified from Emeril Lagasse

  • 1 pint shucked oysters and their liquor ( I chopped my oysters because they were very large but Forrest said he wishes I hadn't - next time I will leave them whole)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 5 teaspoons Essence, divided, recipe follows
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onions
  • 2 cups (1-inch cubes) French bread or homemade-style white bread
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
  • 4 Cornish hens
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Drain the oysters, reserving the oyster liquor. Set aside.

Heat the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, 1 teaspoon of the Essence, the cayenne pepper, and saute, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until soft.

Add the bay leaf, garlic and basil, and saute for 1 minute. Add the stock and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the green onions, oyster liquor and the bread cubes.

Stir to mix well, and remove from the heat.

In a large mixing bowl combine the bread and vegetable mixture with the oysters and cheese.

Stir with a wooden spoon to mix thoroughly. Set the stuffing aside as you prepare the hens.

Season each hen, both inside and out, with 1 teaspoon Essence and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place 3/4 cup of the stuffing into the cavity of each bird

and use toothpicks and twine to tie the hens so that the cavity is shut

and the legs are tucked in. Twist the wing tips behind the backs of the hens and place in a large casserole dish.

Drizzle each bird with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and place in the oven to roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the cavity of the hens registers 165 degrees F, about 1 hour.


Joelen said...

Congrats on your 100th post! Your cornish hens look wonderful!

Ning said...

Congratulations on your 100th post! That is quite a hurdle! I love the oyster stuffing! :)

Gabriela said...

Funny - you don't look a hundred. But your oyster dressing sounds fantastic. Glad to hear your family's Thanksgiving was a complete success and that your recipes were brought you to the LA table - in spirit. A hearty congratulations on your 100th post! I look forward to 100 more.

Melanie said...

Congrats! I'm so proud of you for keeping it up. I love Oyster Dressing too!!

Woody said...

You are a great wife and an exceptional cook. Congratulations on your 100th post! Please don't forget to thank your support staff, backup photographer, sous chef, and chief food tester. I really love ya a lot.


Colleen said...

Congrats on 100! Your blog is great!

MaryBeth said...

Congrats on your 100th posting, your hens look so cute and of course very yummy.

foodphotoblog.com said...

I think Game Hens have so much more flavor that Turkey. Great alternative!
Nice photography.

Lisa said...

Your cornish hens with oyster stuffing look so good. My husband would love this meal. Congrats on your 100th!

Anonymous said...

Mmm! That dish looks absolutely incredible! My favorite holiday dish is stuffing! Why do we only prepare it on holidays? It's the best! I've never tasted it with oysters, so maybe I'll give this recipe a try! My bf's grandmother does everything in her head too, and she makes yummy cornish hens, maybe I'll learn one day! Until that day, I'll try this recipe!

Anonymous said...

Currently experiencing a killer craving for this. And congrats on your 100th post!