Updated December 10th, 2013
So now that the last of the turkey leftovers have been consumed, we thought we would circle back and tell you how things worked out. Overall, it was a lovely holiday with lots of family, food, and even a lively poker game with the cousins! Our GF family members were very appreciative and no one seemed to miss the gluten. Look below for our italicized comments.
Thanksgiving is one of the holidays we just love hosting for family or friends. Although the menu is fairly standard, the new twists you make off of the typical classics can be a fun challenge for those who love to cook. One of our favorite Thanksgiving meals was right after a trip to New Mexico when we served a mole made from chilies bought at the Santa Fe farmers market and a spicy cornbread stuffing with three different types of peppers.
This year we have a new challenge: how to make a (mostly) gluten free Thanksgiving dinner that everyone can enjoy. With a couple of family members managing a gluten sensitivity, we wanted to be able to make some menu tweaks that eliminated the gluten, but not in a way that had the non-gluten sensitive crowd disappointed.
So we worked out our standard Thanksgiving menu, with the alterations noted:
Turkey – No change
Stuffing – Using a gluten free cornbread mix as base for Paul’s sausage and sage cornbread stuffing. The trick is finding a mix that’s not too sweet. We’ll do an early trial using the Hodgson Mill or Bob’s Red Mill mixes, with a scratch version using rice flour as a fallback. We made batches of both the Hodgson Mill and Bob’s Red Mill cornbread mix and they were both great. In fact, we all agreed this was one of out best stuffings ever and we will add these GF mixes to our pantry staples.
Gravy – One of core elements of a good gravy is a flour roux toasted to a nutty brown, which is why contemplating substituting corn starch seems like our biggest tradeoff. The key is being able to thicken the gravy, without giving it that gloppy, take out Chinese food consistency that corn starch sometimes takes on. We need to do some research on arrowroot which we remember a chef once recommending at a cooking class. Any other suggestions would be appreciated. Based on some online research, we bought King Arthur’s Gluten Free flour mix to use in the gravy. It was a bit different to work with than regular flour resulting in the first batch of roux burning, but the second batch worked just fine.
Pumpkin Pie – This is probably the easiest challenge to meet, especially after trying this recipe for a pumpkin flan. Everything you love about pumpkin pie, without the crust.
Dinner Rolls – This is where we are drawing the line. Since we’ve got a couple of teens and tweens around the table who probably are only looking forward to two things: the twice baked potatoes and some pillowy dinner rolls, we aren’t going to go for a substitute. In fact our joke right now is that we are making these with all the extra gluten we have taken out of the stuffing, gravy, and pumpkin pie.
So we think we’ve got everything covered, especially after we went back and looked at our previous Thanksgiving post. Check back after the holiday when we’ll give a rundown of what worked and what didn’t.