Thanksgiving Sides: Part 2

(Alaina) This potato side dish is decadent and rich. Definitely a recipe that is reserved for special occasions and holidays but totally worth the caloric splurge! This is also adapted from Bon Appetit (can you see a theme this week – AWESOME recipes in the November issue!). Mmmm, delicious.

POTATO GRATIN w/MUSHROOMS
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1/4 c. olive oil
2 c. finely chopped leeks (white and green parts only; about 2 large)
1  lb. 1/2-inch cubes assorted mushrooms (I used shitake and baby bellas)
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
2 c. heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 c. coarsely grated Gruyère or Swiss cheese

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks; sauté until soft and lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Add mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté until soft and liquid evaporates, 7 to 8 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Pat potato slices dry with kitchen towel. Combine cream, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in large pot. Add potatoes. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove lid; simmer until cream is reduced by about half and potatoes are partially cooked, stirring often and watching closely to prevent mixture from burning, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Brush 13x9x2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with oil. Transfer half of potato mixture to dish, spreading out in even layer. Spoon mushroom mixture over in even layer. Spoon remaining potato mixture over, spreading in even layer. Sprinkle cheese over. Cover with foil, tenting in center to prevent cheese from sticking to foil. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover; bake until potatoes are tender and top is brown, 20 to 25 minutes longer. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

(Stephanie) I had a half a loaf of gluten-free bread on hand, so I decided to try out a stuffing recipe from the November issue of Everyday Food. The nuts and mushrooms added a subtle, but pleasing taste and texture.

MUSHROOM AND WALNUT STUFFING
(from Everyday Food, November 2010)
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2 Tbsp olive oil
2 large yellow onions, diced small
3 celery stalks, diced medium (about 2 c.)
salt and pepper
10 oz cremini or button mushrooms, diced small
2 Tbsp fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
1/2 c. dry white wine
1 c. toasted walnuts, roughly chopped (I used pecans)
1 loaf crusty white bread, cut into 3/4-inch pieces (8 c.), left uncovered overnight or toasted (can use gf bread)
1- 1 1/2 c. chicken broth
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and celery; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, 5-7 minutes; transfer to a large bowl. Add 1 Tbsp oil, mushrooms, and sage to skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until mushrooms are browned, about 5 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, until wine is almost evaporated. Transfer to bowl with vegetables; add walnuts, cubed bread, and enough chicken broth to moisten (stuffing should feel moist, not soggy). Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.

Add eggs to bread mixture and toss well to combine. Reserve up to 4 c. for stuffing turkey, if desired.  Spoon mixture into lightly oiled baking dish.  Preheat oven to 400°, with rack in upper third. Bake uncovered, until golden brown on top, about 30 minutes.

Here are some ideas from previous posts!
Sweet Potato & Cranberry Stuffing
Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish
Cranberry Sauce
Gluten-free Cornbread Sausage Stuffing

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Holiday Feast: Stuffing and Cranberries

Stuffing and cranberries are two of the side dishes essential to most Thanksgiving feasts. Stuffing has always been one of my (Heather) favorite parts of the meal. Over the years I’ve tried a number of different kinds and there are many more I’d still like to try (like Nigella Lawson’s Gingerbread Stuffing). This Sweet Potato and Cranberry Stuffing is a winner, incorporating so many of the tastes we love on Thanksgiving with the addition of sweet potatoes and cranberries to the normal onion and herb bread stuffing. The colors are beautiful and festive and the taste is lovely. If you wanted to, you could also add a few stalks of celery with the potatoes.

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SWEET POTATO AND CRANBERRY STUFFING
(adapted from Country Living 2008)

4 Tbsp. butter
1 onion, chopped
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 c. dried cranberries
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped sage
1 tsp. salt
ground black pepper to taste
8 c. white bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 3/4 c. chicken broth

Heat oven to 350F. Lightly butter a 9×13-inch baking pan.

Melt 3 Tbsp. butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 4 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium, add potatoes, and cook until soft and onion is browned, about 15-20 minutes. Add maple syrup, cranberries, and 2 Tbsp. water. Cook until cranberries plump, about 3 minutes. Add sage, salt and pepper and cook 1 minute more.

Remove from heat and toss in bread and broth.

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Transfer to prepared baking dish and dot with remaining butter. Bake until heated through and top is golden (30-40 minutes).

Serves 10.

relish

This is my favorite way to have cranberries on Thanksgiving. This relish is fresh and tangy with just enough sugar to take away the sourness of the cranberries. I always have seconds and am always happy for leftovers (which go well in a fruit salad).

FRESH CRANBERRY-ORANGE RELISH
(Heather)

1 whole orange (peel included), washed, seeded, quartered
1 12-oz. bag fresh cranberries, washed
1/3-1/2 c. sugar

Place the quartered orange and cranberries in your food processor or blender. Pulse until evenly chopped in fine pieces. Add sugar to taste. Refrigerate until serving.

Serves 12.

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CRANBERRY SAUCE
(Alaina)
It should be noted that this is adapted from a recipe that my brother came up with!

1 c. water
1 c. sugar
1 – 12 oz. bag of cranberries, washed and sorted
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. orange zest
1 oz. brandy

Cook water, sugar, and cranberries together until cranberries begin to pop – about 10 minutes. Add zests and brandy and cook for 3 minutes more. Cool and chill.

Can be made ahead and served at any temperature.

Gluten-Free Goodness: Thanksgiving Stuffing and Desserts

We are joining in the carnival at The Gluten-Free Homemaker!

It’s not necessary for those following a gluten-free diet to miss out on any of the flavors of Thanksgiving Day. With a little creativity, almost any Thanksgiving dish can be re-created to be gluten-free. Today we have a stuffing recipe (that can be adapted to be made for non-gluten-free eaters too), and two dessert options: Pecan-Walnut Tart and Pumpkin Creme Brulee.

If you are hosting someone with a gluten-free allergy, you’ll want to think through your menu to see how much can be gluten-free. Check the turkey you are buying to make sure there are not gluten additives. Make your gravy with cornstarch instead of flour. Mashed potatoes are almost always gluten-free. Choose to make a gluten-free stuffing (or serve it as a second option). Vegetable and sweet potato side dishes can often be gluten-free. Dinner rolls are a hard conversion, but you can buy gluten-free flour mix and make biscuits, or try our pumpkin muffins made with rice flour instead of wheat flour.

We have two wonderful options for dessert in today’s post and you can use the crust recipe from the Pecan Tart to make a gluten-free crust for pumpkin pie (the filling of which is often gluten-free). In fact, you could make our Blueberry-Cranberry Pie using the gluten-free pie crust since the filling for that pie is made with cornstarch and thus gluten-free. Options for a gluten-free Thanksgiving abound!

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GF CORNBREAD SAUSAGE STUFFING
(Heather and Christina W.)

3 c. 1/2-inch cubes brown (or white) rice bread
3 c. 1/2-inch cubes GF cornbread (make from a basic recipe, substituting rice flour for wheat flour)
1 1/2 c. GF chicken stock (or water if you don’t have stock)
1 lb. turkey sausage, sauteed
1 tsp. salt
ground pepper to taste
4 Tbsp. butter
1/2 c. fresh chopped parsley
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped sage (or 1 tsp. dried)
1 Tbsp. fresh chopped rosemary (or 1 tsp. dried)
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped thyme (or 1 1/2 tsp. dried)
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 eggs, beaten

In a large bowl combine the bread cubes, corn bread, and enough stock to make a fairly moist mixture (I used 1 1/2 cups). Season with salt and pepper.

Melt butter in a pan. Add celery, onion, and garlic. Cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Tip in the fresh herbs for the last minute. Add the onion mixture to the bread mixture along with the sausage and apples. Let cool slightly. Add the eggs and gently combine (you may add a 3rd egg if you feel the mixture is too dry).

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Spread in a buttered 9×13-inch pan. Bake at 350F until golden browned and warmed through, about 45-60 minutes. If you want a crispy topping, leave uncovered. Otherwise, cover with foil halfway through cooking.

Note: If you want to make this recipe for gluten-eaters, just use regular wheat bread and regular corn bread.

Serves 9-12.

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GF PECAN-WALNUT TART
(adapted from Martha Stewart)

GF pie crust to line tart pan (recipe below)

2 eggs
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. maple syrup (I used dark corn syrup)
1 1/2 c. pecans (I left mine whole)
1 1/2 c. walnuts (chopped or whole)

Line the tart pan with the GF crust. Whisk together the eggs, sugar and salt. Add the nuts and syrup. Pour filling into tart shell. Bake at 350F for 55-60 minutes or until set. Cool in pan.

GF SWEET PASTRY
(Healthy Gluten Free Cooking)

3/4 c. rice flour
3/4 c. fine cornmeal (polenta or masa)
3/4 c. potato flour (if you don’t have this, use more masa or polenta)
1 heaped tsp. xanthan gum (optional)
pinch of salt
10 Tbsp. butter
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 egg mixed with 2 Tbsp. cold water

Sift the flours, xanthan gum and salt together. Cut butter into cubes and gently rub into the flour mixture. Stir in the sugar. Make a well in the center and gently add the egg and water mixture. It should just bring the flour together using a fork. Collect the dough together with your hands to judge accurately if you need more water. It is tempting to add extra liquid but try not to as it will make the pastry too wet. Damp pastry is easier to handle but will make the crust tough and will shrink when baked.

On a lightly rice-floured board, gently knead dough for a few minutes to form a silky dough. Flatten slightly, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. This will make the pastry easier to roll.

When chilled, roll pastry between parchment paper and use as required.

Makes 2 crusts.

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GF PUMPKIN CREME BRULEE
(A Harvest of Pumpkins and Squash)

6 egg yolks
1/3 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
3/4 c. pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp. finely chopped crystallized ginger (optional)
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp. demerara sugar (or whatever you have)

Preheat the oven to 275F. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until lightened in color. Add the brown sugar and whisk until dissolved. Add the cream, pumpkin, ginger, and cinnamon and whisk until blended. (I used a hand mixer.)

Place six (or eight if you want to make smaller portions) ovenproof ramekins in a large baking pan. Divide the cream mixture among them. Pour boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until almost set and the center still has a slight jiggle (mine took closer to an hour).

Remove the pan from the oven and lift the ramekins from the hot water. Let cool briefly; refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day to chill thoroughly. (I recommend making these a day ahead so they can chill properly.)

When ready to serve, place the dishes on a baking sheet and sprinkle 1 1/2 tsp. demerara sugar over each one. Use a handheld torch to carmelize the sugar, or, if you don’t have a torch, place the pan under a preheated broiler and, watching carefully to prevent burning, broil until the sugar melts and turns a light golden color. Serve immediately.

Serves 6-8.

One more recipe I’d like to recommend is Pumpkin Pie Bars. I made them this past weekend for a shower and couldn’t believe how delicious they were, despite being gluten-free. In fact, I fed them to all my gluten-eaters and they loved them too! You’ll find the recipe here.