It’s gluten-free Thanksgiving all week long at my house! And I’m certain everyone is really appreciative and not at all getting burned out on traditional Thanksgiving food. I don’t care how many times the request has been made that “Maybe we should just go to Denny’s on Thanksgiving.” I know they LOVE it.
Last night we enjoyed some recipes for a gluten-free cornbread, pecan, and sausage stuffing and a butternut squash salad that I tweaked in many, many, ways; again taken from the New York magazine holiday eating piece. This time I stole from April Bloomfield, which I think is only fair given the amount of time she stole from me as I waited outside The Spotted Pig in hopes of getting a table.
The most labor intensive part of this ordeal is mixing all of the herbs and spices together before you slather them on the squash for roasting. I used a mortar and pestle, even though the instructions in the original recipe are quite different. I just love the satisfaction of grinding up a bunch of crunchy things in a bowl. It makes me feel all primitive and stuff.
As you can see in the first photo above, it’s a pretty simple salad after you’ve grinded the crap out of the marjoram & friends, made even more so since I nixed the pomegranate seeds. I have a thing about fruit in salad. Or fruit in savory main courses. Cooked fruit in pies (unless it’s citrus), and basically anything unless it’s fresh fruit. I realize it’s not okay to be so picky once you’re already eliminating everything from your diet, but I honestly can’t help it. I’m just not a fan of mixing savory and sweet unless it involves chocolate, salt, caramel, and gluten-free pretzels.
Which is why I also cut out the cranberries in this stuffing, but feel free to add. I think it’s perfect just like this —
Be sure when you use this recipe you buy gluten-free cornmeal, or even a gluten-free cornbread mix. Cornbread is not gluten-free, unfortunately, and you must look at labels to avoid the big sick.
By the way, I stuff my turkey with lemons and onions, never with foods I actually want to eat. Do people still do that? Are you wasting perfectly delicious bread products in the cavity of your turkey? I think it’s time to stop that tradition. No one should waste amazing gluten-free cornbread, pecan and sausage stuffing on the butthole of a bird.
Here’s how you can make these dishes as well!
Butternut Squash Salad
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 1 hour
adapted from New York Magazine/April Bloomfield
2 medium cloves of garlic
2 tbs. fresh marjoram leaves
1 tbs. plus 1 tsp. whole coriander seeds, toasted
1/2 cup olive oil, plus 2 tbs. to drizzle over salad
1 tbs. sea salt
1 large butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeds scooped out
4 handfuls salad greens
3 tbs. balsamic vinegar
4 ounces Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine garlic cloves, marjoram leaves, coriander, salt and chiles in mortar and pestle and grind together into a paste. Mix olive oil into mixture and stir well.
2. Place the butternut squash halves into a baking dish cut side up, and slather on the olive oil and herb mixture. Pour 1/2 cup water into the baking dish, avoiding the squash. Put two layers of foil over the dish and bake until a knife slips easily into the squash (45 minutes — 1 hour).
3. Remove the foil, flip the squash over and roast for 10 more minutes to brown the squash. Remove from oven and let cool. When squash is cool, remove from skin and cut into cubes.
4. Toss cleaned salad greens with 1 tablespoon olive oil and juice of half a lemon, salt and pepper. Add squash, pine nuts, and shaved Parmesan. Drizzle balsamic on top of salad and serve.
Makes: 8 servings
Gluten-Free Cornbread, Pecan & Sausage Stuffing
adapted from Epicurious
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 2 hours
1 loaf gluten-free corn bread, cubed
2 cups pecans, toasted
6 leeks, white and pale green parts only
3 celery ribs
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage (about 3 links)
2 cups chicken broth
1. Preheat oven to 325° F. Cut corn bread into 1/2-inch cubes and place in a large shallow baking pan. Bake in middle of oven until just dry, about 20 minutes. Transfer corn bread from 1 pan to a large bowl and in pan toast pecans in oven until insides are golden, 10 to 20 minutes.
2. Halve leeks lengthwise and then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. In a bowl of cold water wash leeks well and lift from water into a sieve to drain. Chop celery. In a 12-inch skillet cook leeks and celery in butter with salt and pepper to taste over moderately low heat, stirring, until leeks are tender, about 25 minutes.
3. Remove sausage from casings and break into small pieces. Add sausage to leek mixture and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes, or until sausage is cooked through.
4. To bowl of corn bread add remaining corn bread cubes, pecans, sausage mixture, broth, and salt and pepper to taste and toss together. Cool stuffing completely. Stuffing may be made up to this point 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring stuffing to room temperature before proceeding.
5. In a shallow baking dish bake stuffing in preheated 325° F. oven 1 hour (for moist stuffing, bake covered entire time; for less moist stuffing with a slightly crisp top, uncover halfway through baking time).
Makes: 12 servings
Are you peeing your pants yet? You should be.