Chef Dean Fearing's delicious twist on corn bread stuffing is a kind of chilaquiles, combining crispy fried tortilla strips with crumbled corn bread, jalapeño and cilantro.
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Vegetable oil, for frying fourteen 6-inch corn tortillas, halved and cut into 1/4-inch strips
In a large saucepan, heat 2 inches of vegetable oil to 350°. Working in batches, fry the tortilla strips over moderately high heat, stirring a few times, until golden and crisp, 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the strips to paper towels to drain, then put them in a bowl; add the corn bread.
In a large, deep skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and celery and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeño and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the cilantro, sage, thyme and chili powder and cook until the chili powder is fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the Tortilla Broth to the skillet and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Pour the mixture over the tortilla strips and corn bread, season with salt and toss gently to coat. Let stand until the broth has been absorbed, about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly oil a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Transfer the dressing to the prepared dish and cover with foil. Bake for about 20 minutes, until heated through. Uncover and bake for about 15 minutes longer, until the top begins to brown. Serve at once.
The unbaked dressing can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before baking.
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