Advocate-tested recipe

Mamoo’s Oyster Dressing

Serves 16. Kathy Mullins shared her grandmother’s recipe in “Rural Life Cooks: Traditional Recipes of Louisiana” published by the LSU Rural Life Museum. Hazel McGuire Balmer, loving referred to as “Mamoo,” was born in New Orleans and lived to be 101 years old. The family always said, “It wasn’t Christmas or Thanksgiving without Mamoo’s Oyster Dressing.” Thankfully, this recipe was written down and is now being made by the younger generation.

1 loaf French bread for crumbs

1 (14-oz.) pkg. seasoned herb bread dressing (Using a rolling pin, roll the crumbs out finer than they are in the bag.)

1½ sticks butter, divided

1½ cups onion, finely chopped

3 cups green pepper, finely chopped

3 tsps. garlic, finely minced

5 cups celery, finely chopped

1½ cups green onions, finely chopped

2 lbs. ground beef, finely ground

3 or 4 doz. oysters, drained but reserve liquor

1 cup pecans, finely chopped

1 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Cayenne pepper to taste

Dash of Tabasco

1 bay leaf

½ tsp. thyme

2 eggs, beaten

1. Dry French bread in 250-degree oven and roll into fine crumbs. In large skillet, add 1 stick butter and sauté onion, green peppers, garlic and celery until onions are transparent. Add green onions and sauté two additional minutes.

2. In separate skillet, fry ground beef until done and drain. Chop oysters. Mix meat, oysters and sautéed vegetables together then add the bread crumbs.

3. Add reserved oyster liquid by spoonful until dressing has reached desired consistency.

4. Add pecans, parsley, salt, pepper, cayenne, bay leaf and thyme.

5. Combine eggs with remaining half stick of melted butter. Stir into dressing mixture.

6. Place in lightly greased, large baking pan or dish and bake in preheated 350-degree oven until bubbly and heated through, about 30-35 minutes.