Walnut Currant Cornbread Stuffing
Chef Cindy Pawlcyn
Stuffing is always a crowd favorite at Thanksgiving, but there’s no reason to limit it to the turkey. At Mustards Grill in the Napa Valley, chef Cindy Pawlcyn makes a big batch that cooks outside the bird and can accompany other entrees. House-baked cornbread gives the traditional bread stuffing a slightly lighter texture, while currants add a sweet-tart flavor and walnuts bring a bit of crunch.
Walnut and currant cornbread
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup fine cornmeal
3 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1/3 cup walnut oil
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup dried currants
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
2½ cups crumbled walnut and currant cornbread (recipe above)
2 tbsp. butter or extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery or fennel
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tbsp. fennel leaves
1/2 tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp. cayenne
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1.For cornbread, preheat oven to 350 F. In medium bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt; mix well. Make a well in center and add milk, walnut oil, egg, currants and walnuts.
2. Mix well and pour into lightly greased cake or baking pan. Bake 30 minutes or until cornbread is golden brown and springs back when pressed. Test with a toothpick, it should come out clean. Cool on wire rack.
3. Serve half the cornbread warm, if desired. Completely cool the second half, dice coarsely and crumble.Place crumbled cornbread into mixing bowl; set aside.
4. In saute pan over medium heat, melt butter. Cook onions and celery or fennel in butter or olive oil until tender, stirring occasionally; do not brown. Add garlic, fennel leaves, rosemary, cayenne, salt and pepper; cook 2 minutes.
5. Pour onion mixture over cornbread crumbs, mixing well. Cool before using.
Photography courtesy of California Walnuts