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!


Anonymous said...

Only thing that picture is missing is a pumpkin cheesecake with ginger snap crust.

YellowBunnies said...

Mmmmmm. I totally made that this year, but it was just a pumpkin pie with ginger snap crust. You definitely made my year when you made the cheesecake! Mmmmmm!