Thursday, November 25, 2010



Josh Butler has been the executive chef for Florida’s governors beginning with Lawton Chiles. Many consider him Florida’s “Top Chef,” and considering those heads of state, members of royal families, Hollywood legends and legion of dignitaries who enjoyed his stellar dishes, there should be no debate.

Josh Butler, Florida's Top Chef

Chef Josh-still a very young man- maintains his Florida and Deep South culinary influences, incorporating them into so much of his cooking. Here is his signature Oyster Dressing, one he attributes to his grandmother. In Dixie, this is a holiday staple, perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s Day feasts.

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cups crumbled cornbread
  • 3 cups stale bread crumbs, small dice
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 pint shucked oysters, drained, reserve 1/2 cup liquid
  •  pinch cayenne
Preheat oven to 350°.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Sauté onions and celery in the butter until tender, add a small pinch of cayenne, and let cool.
Combine cornbread and bread crumbs in a large bowl; gently fold in sautéed onions, salt, pepper, and parsley.
Add beaten eggs and toss more; moisten with the oyster liquid until moist but not soggy. Gently stir in the oysters.
Pat the mixture into a large lightly buttered rectangular baking pan (it should make a 1-inch layer in the pan). Dot with remaining butter and bake about 45 minutes, until golden brown and set in the center.

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