Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gluten free Thanksgiving- Darcy's Stuffing

My Aunt Darcy has the best stuffing recipe!  You HAVE to try it!  Back in the day when I actually went through the huge hassle of flying home for both Christmas AND Thanksgiving, Darcy would bring the stuffing fixings and we would use some on my gluten free croutons so I could have my own stuffing.  I've been making this on my own for a few years now and am planning on making it this year for the big day. The nice thing about it is that you throw it in your crock pot and while it warms up, you can forget about it until your other dishes are ready to go for dinner. 

Phase 1: 
1 loaf gluten free white bread
1 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp sage

My first step this weekend will be to get some Udi's gluten free white bread from King Soopers (also available here).  (I have also used Whole Foods gluten free white bread.)  With your sharpest serrated bread knife, cut the loaf into small cubes (about 1cm X 1cm cubes).  Throw the cubes on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with onion powder and large amounts of sage.  Toast these in your oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Let them cool off and dry out completely before storing them in a ziplock and set them aside for the big day.

For a gluten-filled version of this recipe, apparently you can buy sage and onion croutons already made.  

Phase II:  This next phase can also be done before Thanksgiving and stored, or can also be made the day of.
1 cup butter
2 cups celery finely chopped
2 cups onions finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
1 lb fresh mushrooms diced
1 lb ground pork

In a large pan, melt butter and saute celery and onions in the butter.  Once these are looking somewhat transparent, add the mushrooms and parsley and let them loose their moisture and let that moisture cook off.   Set this aside.  In the same pan, brown the ground pork and drain any excess grease. Combine all of this in a Tupperware for storage until you're ready for phase III. 

Phase III:
2 eggs
4 cups chicken broth (or 4 tsp chicken bouillon and 4 cups water)
1 cup raisins (optional)

On the big day, 2 hours before Thanksgiving dinner, grease your crock pot.  Beat two eggs in a bowl.  Throw your croutons in the crock pot and pour the eggs over the top.  Add the Phase II mixture and four cups of chicken broth.  I like to use "Better than bouillon."  This is a moist bullion that is gluten free.  I then just combine 1 tsp of this with each cup of hot water to dissolve it and make my own faux chicken broth. The fancy organic boxed broth is usually labeled gluten free as well.  Stir your stuffing and put your crock pot on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours, stir once or twice during this process and serve when dinner is ready!  

This year I'm going to make a vegetarian version of this by leaving out the ground pork and switching to a vegetarian, gluten free bouillon called "Not chick'n".  I'm thinking it will be equally as awesome! 

A note on raisins-- some people don't care for raisins in their stuffing or better yet, have never heard of anyone doing this.  I love them.  Darcy usually made two crockpots, one with, on without (we have a massive family!).  I say, if you don't like the raisins, then don't eat them. 


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Grid's Candied Yams

Yeah, Grid's yams are pretty sweet, but let's talk about food.  Last year Dave made his specialty for me on Thanksgiving, candied yams.  Somehow, my family seems to have missed out on this amazing recipe, so it was a new one for me and, wow, these things just melt in your mouth!  He will definitely be in charge of making these from now on. 

This is an easy, low-prep recipe that you can make just before the meal is ready to serve (not to take away from Dave and his cooking talents, the boy can cook). 

Grid's candied yams
one huge can yams (sorry, I don't have one on hand to check the oz.)
3 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp gluten-free flour to thicken (or corn starch)
coconut for topping
marshmallows for topping

Take the liquid from the can of yams and whisk in the flour or corn starch.  Melt butter and add to yam liquid.  Grease your oven-safe pan and pour yams in, pour liquid over the top, top with marshmallows and coconut, and bake at 350 degrees until bubbling (about 20 minutes).  I'm not a huge fan of coconut texture, so Dave made half without coconut for me. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Gluten Free Thanksgiving- Green Bean Casserole

Halloween was great and all, me as Tinkerbell (again) and Dave as Buckethead (again), but upon turning my Google calendar over to November, I was pleasantly surprised to find that fall break is only two weeks away, which means Turkey Day is just a bit beyond that.  It's time to be thankful, but it's also time to cook!

Thanksgiving is a holiday that revolves around eating.  Unfortunately, us gluten free folk can usually be left with nothing to eat except mashed potatoes if the chefs use traditional preparation methods.  Through a few easy changes, and a few not-so-easy ones, you can replicate a traditional thanksgiving meal that is 100% gluten free and safe for us Celiacs.  Unfortunately, much of my traditional recipes are not vegetarian, but feel free to play around with adjustments on these recipes as your heart desires.  Also, these recipes can be made more easily with gluten and they are worth trying for you normal eaters out there!

Last year, Dave and I ended up at our new place for Thanksgiving.  We were still in disarray from our recent move, trying to build a pantry, putting shelving in closets, trying to buy a couch, and the general chaos that was my first semester of teaching four new college classes.  I was very excited to cook for the two of us and have a relaxing day.  I mapped out a whole menu and got the timing down so I could prep a few things ahead of time, but on the day of, only cook for about two hours and be ready to chow down. I planned and I thought a lot about the timing of one oven and six dishes and I had fun doing the actual cooking. 

First, here is my Thanksgiving Day menu.  I'll try to post my family recipes now in gluten free form as we get closer to the big day.

Turkey and gravy
Mashed potatoes
Candied Yams
Green Bean Casserole
Pumpkin pie
Hard Apple Cider

Dave insists that Thanksgiving requires cranberry sauce.  I don't remember this being a part of any of my traditional family meals, but if I find a fun alternative to pouring the stuff out of a can, I'll be sure to let you know, or, better yet, YOU let ME know.

Thanksgiving spread 2009.  Now that is a small table, but the base is from the Stanley Hotel.  Spooky! 
Today's recipe is Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole. The standard, easy green bean casserole requires two ingredients that are filled with gluten:  cream of mushroom soup and French's fried onions.  My recipe is copied and altered from Alton Brown, the nerdy chef from Food Network.  Original Recipe

My onions got a little over done.  Also, this was a pretty huge batch for two people.  I'd cut back for small crowds.

2 onions
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp gluten free flour
Handful of gluten free bread crumbs
Kosher salt
2 Tbsp butter
12 oz mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup gluten free chicken broth (or gluten free chicken bullion and water)
1 cup half and half
1/2 tsp pepper
 3 cans green beans (cut or whole, whichever you prefer)

First, start by making the onion topping.  Take two good sized onions and slice them (don't dice) so you have long strips.  Take these strips and toss them in 1/4 cup gluten free flour (I prefer Jules Gluten Free) as well as some large bread crumbs (take these from your stuffing bread crumbs that you'll make, we'll discuss these at a later date), and a large pinch of kosher salt.  Once the onions are coated, grease a cookie sheet and spread the onions out and bake at 475 for 30 minutes, tossing them twice during that time.  You can see mine got a little too well done, so be sure to keep an eye on them!

Next, in a frying pan, melt 2 Tbsp butter, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and add 12 ounces of diced mushrooms.  Let these heat up for about 5 minutes.  Then add 2 cloves of minced garlic and 1/4 tsp nutmeg, wait two minutes.  Now add 1 cup of chicken broth (I use "Better than Bullion," which is gluten free and create my own broth by taking a tsp of that and 1 cup of water**.  Be careful with your bullion brand, this is where gluten can creep into your recipe.)  Add 2 Tbsp gluten free flour, stir, and bring to simmer.  (**Note, if you don't have gluten free flour on hand, feel free to use corn starch instead.  In this case, you'd add 2 Tbsp corn starch to your cold cup of water, this keeps it from clumping like it would if you added it directly to the heated mix, you could, theoretically, replace your flour on the onions with corn starch as well).  Now add 1 cup of half-and-half and let thicken for 8 minutes.  Take three cans of drained green beans, 1/4 of your cooked onions and stir them into your mushroom and cream mixture.  Pour this into an oven-safe container.  Put the rest of the onions on top.  Bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees.  Serve!

Stay tuned for more gluten free Thanksgiving  Recipes!

For the record, I wrote this about a month ago.  I am SWAMPED at work this week!