So....what to do when you are awake at 6am and are snowed in from one BEHEMOTH snow storm? Wrap yourself in your trusty horsey fleece blanket, bring the space heater as close to you as possible, sip on some diet Mountain Dew (ya.....I know....but I have a headache), and post your recipes for a gluten free Thanksgiving!!!!! Now, I am starting to wonder if this is REALLY such a good idea. I don't need to be starting my day out with a headache AND major cravings for the best comfort foods out there....but what the heck. I've already started so in the words of Linguine in Ratatouie....."LETS DO THIS THING".
Ok, going to start off with a dish that, up until recently, have never had the pleasure of eating at a Thanksgiving dinner. I also am wondering how this amazingly simple and plain dish could have been missed by my family for years of Thanksgivings? Well....no crying over spilled milk. At least we NOW know what we were missing and our TDay feasts will never again be lacking.
Welcome to a gluten free Green Bean Cassarole :)
For starters, I needed to figure out how to make gluten free french fried onions. Because, well, I'm sorry, no green bean cassarole is complete unless it is topped with thos delectibly crispy and savory rings.
The recipe starts out as you would with most fried veggies or onion rings. Buttermilk and onions. Now, there is no need to dash to the store for a carton of buttermilk. You can make your own at home with a little bit of lemon juice and milk.
The measurements are basically this. One Tablespoon lemon juice per one cup of milk. My measurements for this recipe are 1 1/2 cups milk, 1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Whisk well until the salt is dissolved then add your thinly sliced and rings separated onion.
Let the onions soak a bit in the milk stirring once in a while to ensure all onions are getting a good bath of the white stuff.
Now for my flour mix, I chose two starchy flours and one meal flour at one part each. I used 1/3 cup arrowroot flour, 1/3 cup tapioca flour, then 1/3 cup teff meal/flour. The teff will add texture AND a good robust nutty flavor that the bland starchy flours will be missing. The arrowroot is a good starch and will help bind everything together. In a plastic bag, throw the flours in with an additional 1 teaspoon salt. Warm up your oil (about a 1/2" worth) in your skillet on medium/high then lower the heat to medium once oil is hot and begins to ripple. Toss a few of the soaked onions in the bag to coat with your mixture then place the coated onions in to cook.
Now I found that I REALLY had to watch these as the onions overcooked very quickly. So just keep an eye on them and take them out of the oil and onto a plate lined with a paper towel after they cook about 5 or so minutes.
I hate to toot my horn on these, but you really could not tell the difference and being cooked fresh lended a MUCH better taste than the stale canned glutened variety :)
Now it's time for the cream of mushroom soup. I am sorry to be a picky girl, but the pre-made cream of mushroom soups out there are just...ummmm....ICK. So I since I was on a roll making the french fried onions, why not make my own cream of mushroom soup? I will say, I WAS very intimidated in making a cream soup without using regular flour. So many gluten free flours are grainy, temperamental, funky tasting, and do not brown. So what flour can I use to make a good roux for a cream soup base? After going to a local celiac support group meeting I learned that sweet rice flour works well for soups. Soooooo I figured I would give it a try and WOW, I am amazed! The sweet rice flour works AMAZING and thickened my soup to the consistency of regular condensed cream soup!!! I am NO longer apprehensive of making my favorite fall soups. Sweet rice flour...you are my comfort food saviour.
Now for the soup, I started out with 2 lbs of diced button mushrooms and sauteed them on medium with a dash of olive oil until the mushrooms were cooked and giving off liquid. Mmmmmmm I wish we had "smellascreen" at this moment...Or better yet...."lickascreen" hehehehe
Now set this aside and get going on your roux.
In a medium saucepan on medium heat, melt 6 tablespoons of butter then whisk in 6 tablespoons of sweet rice flour
Cook the flour and butter on medium whisking frequently until your roux gets a nice golden color (about 10 minutes or so).
Once roux has browned, stir in 2 cups of milk. I used 1% and the ending product was ever bit as creamy and thick as whole milk would have made. Now keep whisking this for about 10-15 minutes. It will start to thicken quickly and to avoid clumps, you need to be a good babysitter and giving it lots of love and attention ;) Once thick, stir in your mushrooms and that's all there is to it!
Now I am SURE I don't need to tell y'all how to put together the rest of your green bean casserole RIGHT? Well....if I do...then here you go. Open 2 cans of green beans (I am weird and prefer the taste and texture of canned beans vs. fresh cooked beans). Stir in the soup with the beans and add 1 Tablespoon of Tamari gluten free soy sauce, top with french fried onions, then bake in the oven at 350 until soup becomes bubbly.
Now, next is some Butternut Squash Risotto.
As I have mentioned in the past, I have raided my dad's garden quite a few times and have a wonderful assortment of winter squashes. Butternut is top on my squash list and I have been trying to incorporate as much of the golden squash beauty into as much as I can. I DO have to say, this recipe was found from a trip to the dentist. While in the chair getting my bi-annual teeth cleaning, Rachel Ray was mixing up this recipe and I was instantly hit with the "idea lightbulb". I also thought it would be a totally awesome gluten free side dish for Thanksgiving.
For starters, you will need 2 cups of Arborio rice. It's such a lovely dense starchy thing. Great for the gluten intolerants out there craving some STARCH and fullness in their meals.
Another thing I found while shopping at WinCo the other day. They sell arborio rice in BULK and for a fraction of what I paid for this package. The thing about buying in bulk is to ensure you RINSE your product very well to ensure no possible cross contamination as bulk buying can raise the CC (cross contamination) drastically.
Now, dice up a small onion like so...
Then warm up about 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a LARGE skillet with about 2-3 cloves minced garlic. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes or until the onion starts turning translucent. Next stir in 1 cup white wine and let it simmer out. Now, add your rinsed rice to the skillet and sprinkle with salt.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan heat up 1 cup water and 1 quart chicken broth to a boil, then lower heat to simmer the liquids. Keep stirring your rice occasionally to toast it evenly. After about 15 minutes when your rice is toasted start ladling in the broth.
The entire cooking time of the rice will be about 20 minutes, so space each ladle of broth accordingly. Now during this time, take 10 oz of cooked butternut squash and spoon it into a blender with 2 tablespoons evaporated milk then puree. Rachel did not call for this, but after making this dish a second time, I wanted a smoother texture. Once your rice is fully cooked, stir in the butternut squash puree and add 1 1/2 cups of shredded parmesan and romano cheese mix.
She calls for parmigiano reggiano but that can get expensive. I also omitted the minced sage and replaced that with a dash of smoked paprika. I didn't care for the flavor of the rice when I added the sage the first time I made this. Anywho, to each his own. It's a nice looking side dish and very satisfying.
Now, next on the list is from one of my all time favorite bloggers, The Pioneer Woman. This lady is amazing and BOY does she know how to throw ingredients together. I stole her "Jalapeno Cream Cheese things" and made a tasty side dish. I didn't take pictures to document as they are SO ridiculously easy to make. So here be a picture of the final product (mouth is now drooling and stomach is starting to protest at this post...)
Take a lb of jalapenos chop off the tops, half them, and using a spoon, scrape out the insides. Get one 8oz package of cream cheese and fill up the halfs. Remove the bacon from the package and slice in half. Then wrap a piece of bacon around the stuffed pepper and grill them up for about 10 minutes or until the bacon is crispy and cooked. Since we got DUMPED on and my grill was under a foot of snow, I just used a toaster oven on broil and it worked just fine. They were only lacking that signature smokey grilled flavor, but were all gobbled up none the less. Speaking of dumped....this picture was taken that morning....
"Were not going out for you to take a picture of us...NUH UH! NO WAY"
So I wish I would have documented the stuffing adventure but it was complicated and I was flustered. I ended up making my sausage from scratch as after driving to 5 different stores I could not find ONE sausage that I could eat. I then made my own gluten free bread, diced it up, dried the cubes, then seasoned the stuffing and baked it up. I neglected to write down the measurements and I didn't think it was fair to post "a dash of this, a pinch of that" lol! So I PROMISE I will make more stuffing and actually WRITE down what I did (for my sake as well as I have been known to be a bit forgetful and ditzy at times ;)
I had to add a few pictures from my families EARLY gluten free thanksgiving. I hope y'all don't mind...
Kass and my dad
My sweet grandpa
The table (I have to lend credit of this to my mother. She is a table decorating QUEEN)
(notice the plate of jalapeno cream cheese things mostly gobbled up?)
And of course.......THE FOOD!
I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and enjoys family, food, football, and fun!
Now, I will post all side dishes and recipes in a moment. Right now, my stomach is to the point of rolling on the floor yelling and screaming like a 2 year old to fill it with food. My friends in the blogging world, I WILL be back to post the recipes. I promise ;)