I have been working on this post for the longest time and here it is almost Thanksgiving Eve and I am finally getting it typed. I have started painting again and have been pulled away from the computer and back into my art studio - it is wonderful to be painting again, but I do feel a special tie to all of you and our gluten free community.
If you have read this blog for long, you know that we have grown to appreciate the more simple things in life since becoming gluten free. In a sense, the diet forced us to stay at home more, spend more time together in the kitchen and around the dinner table, eat more whole and pure food and to be more thankful for our good health and each other. Yes, hard lessons along the road to "successfully being gluten free." But oh what great blessings.
And now it is time for Thanksgiving again - I remember the first gluten free Thanksgiving dinner I prepared. It seemed like a huge challenge (of course, I was serving close to twenty people!). Once you have figured out that the easiest, healthiest and most affordable way to eat gluten free is to eat pure, whole, naturally gluten free food, then Thanksgiving is not so hard -
Start with plain turkey,
add some potatoes or corn bread (made with GF mix) dressing,
a side of salad or some delicious fresh steamed veggies, and
some cranberry chutney, and you have dinner.
Now just add a delicious homemade pumpkin pie and you have a feast no one could be unhappy with.
Here is our menu for Thanksgiving. What are you planning on serving?
Deep Fried Turkey
We started deep frying our turkey several years ago and have been hooked every since.
Note: deep frying turkey is not to be taken lightly. Take all the safety precautions recommended on your turkey pot including never doing this indoors (even in a carport), keeping children away from the pot and having a fire extinguisher close at hand.
Of course, you will need an Outdoor cooker pot. You can find them at Sporting Goods Stores.
· 4 to 5 gallons peanut oil
· 1 whole turkey (12 to 50 pounds) at room temperature
· Cayenne pepper
The night before, rinse the turkey well, pat it dry inside and out, and set it on end in the sink to drain. Rub the turkey with Cayenne pepper. Leave in the refrigerator overnight.
Follow the directions on your pot for determining how much oil to add. You do not want the oil to spill over when you add the turkey.
Heat the oil to 390 degrees F. Don't set the burner to its highest setting, as you may need to increase the heat after adding the turkey. It will take about 20 minutes for the oil to heat.
Your turkey pot should come with a basket or some other devise for securing your turkey before you put it in the pot.
Carefully and slowly lower the basket with the turkey into the oil.
Maintain the oil temperature at 365 degrees F.
Cook 3 to 4 minutes per pound.
To check for doneness, insert a thermometer into the breast; it should register 180 degrees F.
Carefully remove the turkey from the oil, holding it over the pot for a moment to allow any excess oil to drain back into the pot.
Allow the turkey to rest for 20 minutes before carving.
The perfect side for fried turkey is cornbread dressing. I saw this recipe in Sunset Magazinelast year and can't wait to try it. Alot of work, but hopefully well worth it.
Bacon Apple Cornbread Dressing
1/2 cup butter (use Earth Balance for Casein Free)
8 eggs, divided
2 1/2 cups low-fat milk
2 cups yellow GF cornmeal
1 1/2 cups GF flour (use your favorite mix or one of the pre-made mixes)
3 t xanthan gum
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 teaspoons GF baking powder
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 pound GF bacon, chopped
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2- to 1-in. pieces
3 cups apple cider
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 10- by 15-in. rimmed baking sheet or two 9- by 13-in. baking pans with cooking oil spray and set aside. Melt butter and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk 4 eggs with milk and set aside. In a large bowl, mix cornmeal, flour, xanthan gum, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and 1 tsp. salt. Add milk mixture to cornmeal mixture and mix just enough to combine thoroughly. Stir in melted butter. Pour batter into prepared pan(s) and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool until cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes. Keep oven on.
Cut cornbread into 1/2-in. pieces and spread on 2 large, rimmed baking sheets. Bake until golden brown, stirring once or twice, about 45 minutes. Let cool to room temperature; transfer to a very large bowl.
Meanwhile, in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, cook bacon until brown and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels. Transfer rendered fat to a small bowl and set aside.
Put 1 tbsp. reserved bacon fat back in the same frying pan over medium-high heat. Add celery, onion, and remaining 1 tsp. salt. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer onion and celery to a medium bowl along with bacon. Return pan to medium-high heat and add 1 more tbsp. reserved bacon fat. Add apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned and soft but not falling apart, about 7 minutes. Transfer apples to bowl with onions, celery, and bacon.
Return pan to medium-high heat and add cider. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add cream and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk remaining 4 eggs in a medium bowl. Add 1/4 cup cider-cream mixture to eggs, whisking constantly. Add another 1/2 cup cider cream, still whisking. Whisk in remaining cider cream.
Pour egg mixture over reserved cornbread cubes and toss gently but thoroughly. Add reserved onion-bacon mixture, thyme, and pepper. Toss gently to combine well. Transfer mixture to a 9- by 13-in. baking pan, cover with aluminum foil, and bake until hot, about 45 minutes. Serve hot or warm
I am serving steamed green beans and my Mom's recipe for cranberry chutney.
l can whole berry cranberry sauce
1 small can crushed pineapple
l/2 cup chopped pecans toasted
1/4 cup chopped celery
Combine all ingredients in a medium bow. Chill until ready to serve.
The best for last, Homemade Gluten (and casein free) Pumpkin Pie
For a double crust:
11/2 cups gluten free flour mix - ***For the gluten free flour mix we used 2 cups brown rice, 2/3 cup potato starch, and 1/3 cup tapioca starch. We actually triple this recipe, add it to a big container and use if for almost everything.
3 T sweet rice flour (you can get this from Ener-G)
2 t sugar
1/4 t salt
9 T cold unsalted butter (we used Earth Balance to make it casein free)
1 jumbo egg
1 T cider vinegar (Rebecca's recipe called for 1 1/2 T but that made it smell way too vinegary, so we dropped off 1/2 T - reduced the smell and it worked just fine)
Mix together the gluten free flour mix, sweet rice flour, sugar and salt.
Cut the butter into chunks (this is the part my son liked) using your fingertips work the butter into the dry ingredients until you have a coarse meal.
Make a well in the middle and add the egg. Add the vinegar and using a fork, mix from the center out until you have a soft dough.
Divide in half and refrigerate if too soft to roll out.
For the pumpkin filing, I still think the recipe on the back of Libby can is the best:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) pure pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
Whipped cream (optional)
MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
POUR into pie shell.
BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.