Co-owning and running a legacy family food business is not easy, but Julie Vaucresson sure makes it look like fun. You can see the joy on her face but you can also see it in the faces of her husband and children. Holiday time is no different for her than it is for her customers. She will be cleaning, cooking and hosting. One of her favorite dishes, passed on for generations in her family, is oyster dressing. It’s a Creole food tradition that she can’t get enough of, and she’s willing to share her recipe with Black Southern Belle readers.
Yields 10 servings
2 pints oysters
1 loaf stale French bread, cubed
1 pound Vaucresson Creole Hot Sausage, out of the casing
1 pound ground chuck
8 tablespoons butter
1½ onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup Italian parsley, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon dried sage
Creole Seasoning and black pepper to taste
Drain oysters, reserving oyster liquid. Chop one-pint oysters coarsely and leave the remaining pint whole. Set oysters aside. Soak French bread in oyster liquid.
Brown ground chuck together with hot sausage in a heavy skillet. Drain off grease and set aside.
Add butter to skillet and melt over medium heat. Add onions, bell peppers, and celery and sauté until soft and translucent. Add green onions and garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes.
Add parsley and oysters, both whole and chopped. Cook until the oysters’ edges curl.
Wring out bread to remove excess liquid and make sure it’s easy to break apart. Stir into oyster mixture and cook over a medium heat, adding small amounts of stock until desired consistency is reached. Season to taste and pour into a greased 9×13 inch casserole dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until browned and bubbly.
Julie Vaucresson is the owner and operator of Creole Made Easy, LLC (CME), a complimentary entity of the Vaucresson’s Sausage Company. Vaucresson Sausage Co is a 124 year old family business located in the heart of New Orleans’ Creole Seventh Ward commercial corridor. Visit Julie’s website iamjuliev.com to sign up for her newsletter and to receive updates about her upcoming cookbook and Creole mustard line.