Having Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance can make Thanksgiving pretty scary. If you’re like me, Thanksgiving is all about the sides – stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes. Don’t get me wrong, turkey is good but stuffing is better. To me a Thanksgiving without stuffing is a frightening thought. So what’s a poor gluten free person to do? Here’s what we do in our almost completely gluten free house.
Obviously the hardest part about making gluten free stuffing is the bread cubes. You can’t just go to the supermarket and buy them…yet. (Have you noticed there are more and more gluten free foods available lately?) One thing I’ve done in past years is to make cubes from cornbread. I would bake a boxed mix a few days ahead of time then cut it into cubes and toast it in the oven on a cookie sheet until crispy. I would then use my father’s recipe, which calls for copious amounts of butter, some broth, chestnuts and sausage. I would add sauteed onions, celery and carrots so I could pretend that it was a little bit good for me. Using the cornbread generally makes for a sweeter, but also denser stuffing.
Last year I tried English muffins from Foods by George. They are puffy, filled with air holes like a gluten filled Italian bread. I thought they would crisp up really well, all the better to soak up that butter. And they did. As I said, they are puffy, so I sliced them horizontally into thirds and then cubed and toasted them in the oven. Since I wanted a little of the sweetness that we had gotten before from the cornbread, I put in a bunch of raisins. Diced apple or pear might be nice. I also strayed from dad’s recipe using walnuts instead of chestnuts, a little less butter, a little more broth.
Once you choose which kind of cubes you’ll be using you’ve got the hardest part figured out. The rest of the ingredients are generally gluten free. If you want to actually see gluten free stuffing being made, check out Gluten Free Girl and the Chef. She’s a great resource for all things sans-gluten and she tells a lovely story too.
When you’re invited to dinner at our house, it’s all gluten free. It’s just easier that way. No worrying about nasty cross-contamination, and people still keep coming back for more. So don’t be afraid, make your gluten free stuffing, ’cause we all know it’s the best part.