Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gluten Free Thanksgiving 2011

So this is my first gluten free Thanksgiving.

We have gone to friends in the past where everyone brought a dish.  No way I can be sure that everything is GF or cross contaminated so that was out.  So we invited friends and family and had a house of adults, children and one in the oven.

I will preface this by saying I am a foodie and like to cook.  So I put the menu together, we made a list of ingredients and then a layout of what could be made when; because, there is never enough oven space.

To take the risk of cross contamination out of the picture we had our friends who are Napa lovers bring the wine.  It was delicious.  I used to be able to drink a few glasses a night, especially on a long, special night.  But since I was diagnosed I can usually drink one glass otherwise my stomach feels a little rough.  The wines they brought were delicious.  The Arns is a delicate but full wine with nice oaky tones and Pride is a full napa cab.

My sister and brother-in-law brought over cheeses.  They got them from a cheese store and they were out of this world.  Some washed rind cheese, goat and hard cheese, with quince paste and apples and pears.

The menu

APPS:  confit tomato, tomato-basil-mozzarella, melon-prosciutto
SOUP:  Creamy Tomato Fennel
SIDES:  Creamy corn polenta, Brussel spouts, green beans, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing
TURKEY:  Roasted brined breast and confit leg and thigh
DESSERT:  Pumpkin Pie, Apple Pie, Flourless Chocolate Cake, Cinnamon Ice Cream, Vanilla Ice Cream

I prepared some confit tomatoes.  This is done days ahead.  Score the bottom of the cherry tomatoes.  In a large pot pour 4 cups EVOO, a bunch of thyme, rosemary and 12 garlic cloves and a few tablespoons salt.  Cook for an hour at 200 or until tender.  Peal the skin and store in the olive oil.  We also made skewers of tomato, basil and mozzarella and another with honeydew and prosciutto.

Soup.  I made a tomato fennel soup.  I sauteed two fennel and two large onions until translucent then added 10 large tomatoes and simmered.  Once soft I immersion blended.  Salt and pepper to taste and a bit of heavy cream.

Sides:  The polenta I actually got off the side of Rice dreams box but this was rice milk, green chiles, polenta (GF Bob's Red Mill), cheese and corn kernels.

For the brussel sprouts I fry up in a bit of peanut oil with salt and pour a little rice vinegar over it before serving.

Green beans sautéed in some oil and prosciutto fat and and shallots with a dash of GF soy sauce.

Cranberry sauce.  I used two 12 oz bags.  One cup water, one cup OJ, two cups sugar and cooked until all berries popped.  Then I add a handful of dried cranberries and a bit of Vermont maple syrup.  This I made a few days ahead and stored in the fridge.

Potatoes are the realm of my wife.

Stuffing, here comes the dilemma.  So I baked 3 loaves of GF bread.  Then cut them into bits and toasted them in the oven.

They have to be dry.  They add onions and celery that we cooked in some rendered bacon fat and then salt, pepper, chicken stock.  It was good, it was different but not in a bad way.  Everyone seemed to enjoy it.

Turkey two ways seems to be "the thing" this year.  So I cut off the legs and wings Tuesday and dry rubbed with salt, sage, thyme and bay leaf.  Wednesday I confit in duck fat and peanut oil for 3 hours and stored in the fat until Thursday.  I reheated to 500 degrees and pulled the legs out and then put under the broiler to crisp the skin.  The meat was soft and tender and moist and delicious.

For the breast I brined on Wednesday in a salt bath with aromatics and buttermilk.  Rinsed and roasted with the cavity stuffed with lemon, onion and pear.  Rubbed the skin with butter, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika.

For Dessert with got a GF pumpkin and apple pie from 2 Good 2 Be Bakery and they were a hit.  As expected you could not tell they were GF.  I made my flourless chocolate cake which was enjoyed by all.  You can find the recipe here from

Cinnamon Ice Cream I found the recipe here on allrecipes and my vanilla recipe I found here on

At this point there is still a pile of dishes to clean but dinner was great, the dessert was awesome and the company even better.  Hope you had a good Turkey Day and this may give you some ideas for next year.

The Un-Gluten Guy

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