Emeril Lagasse and "Good Morning America" sent out the call to find the best stuffing in the country, and hundreds sent their recipes -- but only one could win.
The new Stuffing Queen Hollie Dorethy of Sachse, Texas, was crowned today on "GMA." She won for her Down Home Italian Dressing -- which combines her Southern roots and her husband's Italian heritage.
Aylette Roper of Little Rock, Ark., and Bryan "Ace" Sagor of San Antonio, Texas, were also on "GMA" as runnerups.
You can find all five finalists' delicious recipes below, one on each page.
Submitted by Hollie Dorethy of Sachse, Texas: Well, I am a very Southern Texas girl who married into a rather large Italian family. After the first family gathering at Thanksgiving, I decided the next year I had better incorporate some Italian flare into my very Southern cooking! Here is my version of mixing old-world Italian style with a little ol' time Southern tradition! I hope y'all enjoy as much as we have!
1½ pounds sweet Italian sausage cooked and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 extra-large yellow onion, chopped
7 large celery ribs, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 ounces pancetta, diced
6 cups day-old, finely diced French bread
3 cups crumbled unsweetened cornbread
½ cup butter, cubed, cold
1 tablespoon ground sage
1½ tablespoons poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup toasted pine nuts
4-5 cups chicken or turkey broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
large Parmesan shavings
Heat oil in large skillet on medium. Sauté pancetta for 2 minutes.
Add onion and celery and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook another 3 minutes.
Mix together breads and ¾ cup toasted pine nuts in a large mixing bowl. Add cheeses and cooked sausage to the breads. Mix together with the dried seasonings.
Add sautéed veggies with any pan drippings.
Slowly add broth and stir until mixed thoroughly. The consistency should not be soupy, but very moist. If not, add more broth.
Test for saltiness and add a dash more if needed.
Place in an extra deep 9-inch-by-13-inch greased pan.
Dot the top with the cubed butter and cover with foil. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes.
Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes or until slightly crusted on the edges.
Top with remaining toasted pine nuts and chopped fresh sage. Add shaved cheese just before serving.
Submitted by Aylette Roper of Little Rock, Ark.: This recipe has been in my family since before the Civil War and has been served every single holiday without any variance on the original recipe. Coming up with measurements was difficult due to the fact that the recipe has been hand taught through every generation.
My grandmother taught me how to make it. My great-grandmother was raised on Twin Oaks Plantation in Leland, Miss., and her mother taught it to her, and so on. We know for a fact that this recipe is more than 150 years old. Over the years, every single person I have ever served it to raved that it was the best they ever had and requested the recipe. It wouldn't be a holiday in our family without it.