No gluten free dinner menu this week. We’re going out of town for the weekend, and meal planning for the week sort of…didn’t happen.
My parents, brother and his girlfriend Siri (and their dog Sasha) are all coming in for Thanksgiving dinner! I am so excited. This is one of the few times a year that we’re all able to get together, and we look forward to it! My dad, step mom and Siri are wonderful cooks, we eat like kings whenever we’re all together. I can’t wait!
So instead of a regular dinner menu, I thought I’d post a sample Thanksgiving menu instead. This may not be what we actually eat this Thanksgiving, but here are some recipes and ideas from family favorites…
Turkey: We usually brine the turkey overnight, which gives it a wonderful flavor and makes for some really exceptional gravy. This year, though, we may try rubbing it with salt and lots of black pepper, then criss-crossing it with a pound of bacon and roasting it very slowly all day long.
Gravy: Use the drippings from the turkey plus some gluten free chicken stock (I like Pacific brand) and thicken with corn starch. My dad taught me to always mix the corn starch with some warm water before adding it to whatever you are trying to thicken, to prevent lumps.
Mashed Potatoes: We like garlic mashed potatoes. Boil some whole cloves of garlic with the potatoes, then mash them together with butter, salt and pepper, and maybe a little cream.
Cranberry Relish: A bag of whole cranberries, a large can of mandarin oranges plus the juice from the can, two cups water, two cups sugar. Cook until the berries burst and the sauce starts to thicken a bit, it will thicken considerably as it cools. I canned some cranberry sauce this week, so I won’t have to make it later!
Stuffing: When we had to cut gluten out of our diet, I thought I’d never have “normal” bread stuffing again. Which was sad. However, I have two very good gluten free stuffing options that are so good nobody will notice they’re not “real” bread! The first is my dad’s Southern Style Cornbread Dressing. You make gluten free corn bread, and then proceed from there…it has fried oysters and onions in it. I will have to get the recipe from him, though…it’s one of those that he carries in his head and I don’t have it written down. The other recipe is for a wonderful sausage and green apple stuffing, my mom found it online at epicurious.com and we adapted it to be gluten free. I am not normally a fan of apples in stuffing, but this is amazing…you don’t taste *apple*, but instead the apples just make the stuffing very tangy and savory. I look forward to it all year! Here’s the recipe:
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 5 cups chopped onion (about 3 large)
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 6 cups diced cored tart green apples (such as Granny Smith)
- 1 tablespoon dried rubbed sage
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 5 1/2 cups Ener-G stuffing/croutons, gluten free (Order these NOW or find them at a health food store…or you could toast a loaf of Ener-G bread until it’s hard and cube it yourself).
Sauté sausage in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, crumbling sausage with back of spoon, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to large bowl. Add butter, onions and celery to skillet; sauté until onions are tender, about 15 minutes. Add apples; sauté until apples are tender but still hold shape, about 10 minutes. Add sage, thyme and allspice; sauté 1 minute. Add to sausage. Stir in stuffing cubes. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)
Preheat oven to 325°F. Generously butter a baking dish. Transfer stuffing to prepared dish. Cover with foil and bake until heated through, about 40 minutes.
Turnips with peas and bacon: This is a new recipe, but looks like a fun vegetable side dish. You need 8 slices of gluten free bacon (Hormel), cooked and crumbled, 1 stick butter, 4 Tbs. fresh dill, chopped, 4 cups turnips, peeled and diced, 2 lbs. frozen peas, salt and black pepper. Melt 1/2 the butter, saute turnips until tender, add crumbled bacon, peas and remaining butter and cook until peas are heated through, add the dill, salt and pepper and cook 30 seconds until the dill is just wilted.
Sweet Potatoes: My mom does a great sweet potato dish. I’m not sure if this is the exact recipe, but it’s really close…I found it on Martha’s website ;o) it’s sweet potato rounds with butter and pecans…MMMMMmmmmm!
Pumpkin Pie: Of course you can’t go wrong with the traditional pumpkin pie…you can use the pie crust recipe found in my apple tart post and use the pie filling recipe from the back of a can of Libby’s Pumpkin. Everything in it is Gluten Free except, of course, use your own crust! If you’re making the Pumpkin Cheesecake below, you might use another filling for the pie. Pecan? Chocolate? Apple or Cherry? Most fillings are easy to do gluten free or are naturally gluten free, so once you’ve got the crust covered it’s easy!
Pumpkin Cheesecake, gluten free: This is one of my very favorites! I use the basic recipe found at epicurious.com and instead of the wheat crackers, I use Mi-Del gingersnaps (about 3/4 of a bag). They work perfectly in this recipe! NOT dairy free, sadly. I have made dairy free cheesecake before…using Toffuti instead of cream cheese, and non-dairy creamer instead of cream etc. They do work, but will cost you a small fortune in supplies. Still, we’re talking about cheesecake here, and it’s sometimes worth it! I prepare the cheesecake as the recipe describes (substituting the GF cookies for the crackers), then top it with lots of whipped cream seasoned with nutmeg and vanilla. A drizzle of warm caramel sauce on top makes it…perfect!
Apple Tart: I may make this for Thanksgiving, or I may have it ready when my family comes in (sorry to ruin the surprise, mom….if you’re reading this, pretend you didn’t hear). You can find the recipe in this post.