Dressing or Stuffing?

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Lone Star
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2003/10/15 16:08:27 (permalink)

Dressing or Stuffing?

After reading several posts about the upcoming Thanksgiving, I was wondering why do some use the term stuffing, and others dressing?

How did the two different terms for the same thing come to be?

Being a good Texas girl, I make dressing.

Is it purely a regional thing?
#1

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    RubyRose
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/15 16:12:05 (permalink)
    Here in eastern PA, we have filling with our turkey.
    #2
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/15 16:17:49 (permalink)
    Always been dressing in Knoxville. I like it thin with a crust with lots of onions. Family likes it thick and soft. Mom makes both kinds to please all.

    I even like it cold, room temp or hot. Great with the evening libation.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #3
    Spudnut
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/15 16:21:29 (permalink)
    Here (New York State), I believe that most people say "stuffing." But, I'm certainly familiar with the term "dressing."
    #4
    cindyloo
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/15 16:33:04 (permalink)
    I personally would consider it stuffing when cooked inside the bird, dressing if it is cooked in a separate pan by itself. Either way, I like it with gravy on it. Yummm. And no raisins. I'd be willing to try oysters in it, but Mom doesn't do it that way, and it's her show.

    Cindy
    #5
    baybey
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/15 16:41:40 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Phil J.

    Here (New York State), I believe that most people say "stuffing." But, I'm certainly familiar with the term "dressing."



    I second Phil's post and also Sundancer's taste in stuffing (or dressing if I was from TN.)
    #6
    Lucky Bishop
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/15 17:23:20 (permalink)
    I'm with Cindyloo: same basic ingredients, but...

    In the bird = stuffing
    In the pan = dressing

    We like both round these parts, so I make up a double batch of sausage and cornbread stuffing and use half for the bird and half in a baking dish.
    #7
    Lone Star
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/15 17:31:01 (permalink)
    Ruby - that is the first time I have heard the term "filling". Interesting.
    #8
    lleechef
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/15 17:31:15 (permalink)
    In western PA it was always referred to as stuffing, whether in or out of the bird. Make mine with oysters, please!
    #9
    EdSails
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/15 17:47:53 (permalink)
    Here in CA, we always call it stuffing. Dressing is hopefully something that's done before the guests arrive." />
    #10
    EdSails
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/15 17:49:51 (permalink)
    PS-----if you make it with 7-Up, is it called "Un-Dressing"?

    Yes, I'll go sit in the corner now......
    #11
    Pwingsx
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/15 17:59:52 (permalink)
    I'm a NY transplant (age six) to Colorado, and although I may go down in flames for this, I think the idea of cornbread dressing is.......welll........really yucky.

    White bread, celery, awnyawn, and lots of butter and poultry seasoning. That's dressing.
    #12
    Mayhaw Man
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/15 18:12:55 (permalink)

    Stuffing, smuffing. It's dressing for me

    Dressing. Dressing. Dressing.Dressing.

    Here is a really good one. I have about three if anyone is interested (I know that some people have a problem with sausage in stuff, although I have noticed that most people around this site probably put sausage chunks in their CHeerios)


    Bayou De Siard Oyster Dressing
    1 stick unsalted butter
    1 whole egg (lightly beaten)
    1/2 cup finely chopped smoked sausage
    2 cups finely chopped onions
    2/3 cup finely chopped celery
    1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
    6 cloves minced garlic
    1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion tops
    1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
    5 cups fresh bread chunks (I like half cornbread, but your choice)
    6 dozen chopped oysters, plus liquid
    1 tsp. Poultry Seasoning(Old Bay can be a nice switch here)
    1 tsp. basil
    1 tsp. Seafood Seasoning (Cacheries or Bam Boy's)
    1 tsp. black pepper
    1 1/2 tsp. salt
    1 cup turkey pan drippings




    Instructions

    In a large black cast iron Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the smoked sausage, onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and green onion tops until all of them are tender. The one thing you want to remember is to keep the butter hot, but don’t let it burn (and don’t let the garlic burn either or it will turn bitter). I also suggest that you keep stirring the mixture to cook it uniformly.

    Next, stir in the parsley. Then gradually stir in the chopped oysters, the oyster liquor, and the turkey pan drippings. Notice I said to “gradually stir in”. The reason for this is that you do not want to reduce the heat–lowering the cooking temperature will cause excessive water to be released from the oysters and you’ll have to add too much bread to the finished dish.

    Now cook the oysters gently over medium high heat for about 4 minutes, stirring all the while. And when all the ingredients are well mixed, drop in the poultry seasoning, basil, thyme, seafood seasoning, black pepper, and salt. About the salt–taste your raw oysters to see if they are naturally salty before adding the prescribed amount. You may have to reduce additional salt if nature has provided her own.

    At this point, cover the pot, lower the heat, and simmer the mixture for about 5 minutes to allow time for the flavors to marry. This is one of the secrets to making a really good oyster dressing. Don’t rush or skip this step!

    After the simmering process is done, remove the pot from the fire and begin adding the bread chunks a few at a time. Note that you do not have to add all four cups. If you want your dressing moist, stop adding bread when you get to the texture you desire. If you want a drier stuffing, add all four cups, even a little more if your taste and needs dictate. Now taste the dressing again and make your final seasoning adjustments. The objective is to get the bread to absorb all the pan liquor, thereby binding everything together.

    When, in your estimation, the dressing is ready (it shouldn’t be soupy, but it shouldn’t be dry either), allow it to cool slightly. Then rapidly stir in the raw egg to tie everything together and cover it for a few minutes to let it “set up”. This is where the richness comes in – it’s how the final blending brings out full flavor. Oh, and if by chance you’ve miscalculated and made the mixture a bit too dry, just pour in a little extra turkey drippings.

    The only thing left to do is to transfer the dressing right from the Dutch oven to a buttered casserole dish, generously sprinkle the top with the buttered bread crumbs, drizzle on a little extra melted butter, and bake it for about 25 minutes uncovered in a 375 degree oven.



    Chef's Hints

    For the best tasting oyster dressing you can get, either shuck your own oysters or have someone shuck them for you. That way, you get them unwashed and the oysters and their liquor retain all of the natural salt. Of course, prepackaged washing oysters will do if fresh-shucked are not available.

    Fresh bread chunks are better than dried cracker crumbs in your oyster dressing because they tend to cook up fluffy rather than pasty. So to make fresh bread chunks, just take fresh sliced bread or French bread and pull apart small bite-side pieces.

    Enjoy

    #13
    Rick F.
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/15 18:30:01 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Mayhaw Man


    Stuffing, smuffing. It's dressing for me

    Dressing. Dressing. Dressing.Dressing.

    Here is a really good one. I have about three if anyone is interested (I know that some people have a problem with sausage in stuff, although I have noticed that most people around this site probably put sausage chunks in their CHeerios)
    Send 'em on, my man!

    Until I moved to LA I almost always called it "stuffing." It took me a long time to figure out just what rice dressing is, and I'm not sure even now. How does it differ from dirty rice?
    #14
    BigGlenn
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/15 18:46:16 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Pwingsx

    I'm a NY transplant (age six) to Colorado, and although I may go down in flames for this, I think the idea of cornbread dressing is.......welll........really yucky.

    White bread, celery, awnyawn, and lots of butter and poultry seasoning. That's dressing.


    Man. Them thar are fighting words!!!!! If it ain't cornbread....It ain't stuffing where I comes from! Sorry, I just be having to rest a spell to get over that insult!
    #15
    EliseT
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/15 19:34:01 (permalink)
    Stuffing...made with cornbread, onions and sausage, especially in a sandwich the next day.
    #16
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/15 19:43:13 (permalink)
    Gee whiz Mayhawn Man: sounds simple to me

    Actually it sounds complicated for a southern guy like me. Although the ingredients sounds delicious, I am not sure I could make it through the process.

    Perhaps I could buy something like that instead of making it. Mid way through my third drink, I would forget how

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #17
    Mayhaw Man
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/15 22:07:26 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Sundancer7

    Gee whiz Mayhawn Man: sounds simple to me

    Actually it sounds complicated for a southern guy like me. Although the ingredients sounds delicious, I am not sure I could make it through the process.

    Perhaps I could buy something like that instead of making it. Mid way through my third drink, I would forget how

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN


    Dressing is, frankly, a pain. Things have to be made ahead of time and you actually have to pay attention to a number of different processes. The trick is to make a bunch of pans at one time. The recipe above and the couple of others I have (I didn't even give my Mom's, which is great, he says cruelly and tantalizingly)do take a while, but they multiply well. That way you only havee to do it once and you can have one for Thanksgiving, one for Christmas or whatever else you like to celebrate at the end of December, and one for a rainy Sunday afternoon when you just want to pig out on oysters and stuff. As the much maligned (wrongly in my opinion, at least in his culinary abilities) Emeril Legasse says over and over "It's a food of love thing". And it is.
    #18
    tiki
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/15 22:08:27 (permalink)
    yep---stuffed in the bird is stuffing---in the pan is dressing----i know alot of resteraunts do dressing---its easier and safer actually---(the warm inside of a half eatan bird with stuffing still attached is salmonella heaven) I used to do two stuffings at home---one with oysters in the main cavity and an italian suage based one in the neck cavity that my grandmother made---it was great. Now i do dressing and stuff a lemon or two,an onion quarted-with its skin still on,celery tops and a carrot inside---not to eat but as aromatics---the lemon makes the most amazing difference in my gravy---everyone LOVES it and i have become quite proud of it to the point where i no longer miss---"stuffing"---and as we all know--leftovers and gravy are the real reason for thanksgiving!! Its also the reason the microwave was invented---pile up potatoes--dressing turkey and a big glob of cold gravy---pop it in the nuker and-------viola-instant happiness!
    #19
    Shara
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/16 05:29:03 (permalink)
    "Filling" must be an eastern PA thing--I've heard it, though I make stuffing in the bird {with cornbread, cranberries, and pecans} and dressing (with sausage, onion, and celery) in the pan.
    #20
    Oneiron339
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/16 09:19:08 (permalink)
    Filling is the term still used in PA Dutch areas (even restaurants). My family recipe used day-old white bread cubes, a few raw eggs, celery, onion, sage and other spices, mix by hand, add milk if too dry, and "fill" the turkey or place in a buttered baking dish and roast w/ the turkey. It is usually moister than most dressing/stuffings. Great with leftovers and gravy.
    #21
    gatorbreath
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/16 09:40:33 (permalink)
    Growing up in Indiana, I learned it as dressing. Don't recall what recipes were used but there was usually two kinds. Regular white bread dressing with onion and celery for inside the bird and a smaller amount with oysters baked alone, outside the bird.
    #22
    Lone Star
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/16 10:07:08 (permalink)
    I agree with "the pain" aspect of making dressing, but somebody's gotta do it! The dressing making mantle has been passed to me (much to my two sisters glee).

    I usually make my cornbread and biscuits the day before and the dressing the next day. I make mine with onions, celery, a little sage, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, and broth. If I am not going to freeze it, I add hard boiled eggs.

    Mayhaw is right, it really does freeze well. I like to make an extra pan or two to have in the freezer to have along with a pork roast on a Sunday.

    As for you pwingsx, y'alls yankee dressing is one of those things that is just wrong.
    #23
    Mayhaw Man
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/16 10:27:27 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Lone Star


    As for you pwingsx, y'alls yankee dressing is one of those things that is just wrong.


    You better watch out Lonestar, some of our members are kind of touchy about that "yankee thing". They are our friends, even if they think that we are all dumb, eat coons (I have, once, just for the record), and rarely wear shoes (I wear them almost all the time, boots mostly).

    Supporting your assertion however, I like to point them to Holly Hunter's scene at the buffet line in "Fargo". THAT was wrong.
    #24
    Lone Star
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/16 11:13:32 (permalink)
    I don't mean anything negative , that is just how we differentiate styles of dressing/stuffing.

    I am going to go put my shoes on right now.
    #25
    Dipstick
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/16 11:18:19 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by tiki

    yep---stuffed in the bird is stuffing---in the pan is dressing----i know alot of resteraunts do dressing---its easier and safer actually---(the warm inside of a half eatan bird with stuffing still attached is salmonella heaven) I used to do two stuffings at home---one with oysters in the main cavity and an italian suage based one in the neck cavity that my grandmother made---it was great. Now i do dressing and stuff a lemon or two,an onion quarted-with its skin still on,celery tops and a carrot inside---not to eat but as aromatics---the lemon makes the most amazing difference in my gravy---everyone LOVES it and i have become quite proud of it to the point where i no longer miss---"stuffing"---and as we all know--leftovers and gravy are the real reason for thanksgiving!! Its also the reason the microwave was invented---pile up potatoes--dressing turkey and a big glob of cold gravy---pop it in the nuker and-------viola-instant happiness!


    That sounds really good. Will have to give it a try. Do you slice the lemon or just leave it whole?

    And by the way, not all of us "Yankees" like plain old stuffing. Cornbread stuffing/dressing is the tops!!! Yah, you betcha!
    #26
    Pwingsx
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/16 12:01:52 (permalink)
    Bwahahahaha, I knew it might get a few people going when I dissed cornbread stuffing.

    It's just a personal non-preference, not a social stigma.

    Although, you know, being here in Colorado -- we ARE the only people in the country without accents.

    (Another incendiary remark courtesy of your galpal, Pwingsx.)
    #27
    Rick F.
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/16 12:15:12 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Pwingsx
    Although, you know, being here in Colorado -- we ARE the only people in the country without accents.
    Actually, I think Colorado has a standard "Middle American" accent. Sort of the linguistic equivalent of elevator music. And now I think I'll have a bit of corn pone with 'coon drippings on it. . . .
    #28
    EdSails
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/16 12:44:20 (permalink)
    Are all of you implying that the only reason I put apples and pecans in my stuffing/dressing (covering all my bases here) is because I live in California, the land of fruits and nuts? A regional thing, hmph!

    #29
    Dipstick
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    RE: Dressing or Stuffing? 2003/10/16 12:53:06 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Pwingsx

    Bwahahahaha, I knew it might get a few people going when I dissed cornbread stuffing.

    It's just a personal non-preference, not a social stigma.

    Although, you know, being here in Colorado -- we ARE the only people in the country without accents.

    (Another incendiary remark courtesy of your galpal, Pwingsx.)


    Actually, you raise a good point. There is not a real noticable twang to the Colorado lingo, at least from those I've known that hail from your state. Here in Minnesooooota, it tends to be much more pronounced. However, when my wife asks me to stop after work to pick up Granola, I don't go to the day-care center! Just kidding!!!
    #30
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