Monday, October 14, 2013

Delicious Gluten Free Stuffing!

When I was first considering eating gluten free last summer one of my biggest concerns was - what about Thanksgiving?  You see, I LOVE StoveTop Stuffing.  Like the kind of love that I would make a box of it and eat just that if I wanted to.  I just couldn't imagine a Thanksgiving meal without it.  But I put those feelings aside as it wasn't Thanksgiving yet and we discovered that my husband has a serious intolerance to gluten so we continued to pursue our gluten-free diet.  And it's been good. I can honestly say I don't miss bread most of the time and I am snacking a lot less than I used to.   And then October crept up on us and I realised I had my first gluten free Thanksgiving meal to prepare.  Most of the meal wasn't an issue, turkey and a pile of veggies (I follow my Auntie Sue's rule of thumb when it comes to serving veggies at a holiday meal - make sure there are lots!), my gravy I already figured out with corn starch instead of really was just the pies and the stuffing I wanted to make work.

Here's how the stuffing played out - it was absolutely delicious.  We had dinner guests who had never eaten a gluten free bread (to their knowledge before) - one of which only likes box stuffing, not homemade and they loved it!  I loved it too.  I made my bread from scratch, but I'm sure you could use a store made gluten free bread to make this work.

First - the Bread

I used Elana Amsterdam's Scrumptious Sandwich Bread recipe from her Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook.  I will admit when I first mixed this batter I had my doubts.  (My gluten free bread baking experience has been hit and miss).  But this recipe really worked and it was quite quick and easy for a bread.  Do yourself a favor and put this book on your cookbook want list.  It is a really great little Gluten Free cookbook.

Here's the bread recipe:

3/4 Cup creamy roasted almond butter at room temperature
4 large eggs
1/4 blanched almond flour
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp ground flax meal

Preheat the oven to 350* F.  Prepare a 7x3 inch loaf pan with non-stick spray.  In a large bowl, mix the almond butter until smooth (she suggests a handheld mixer, I used my Kitchenaid mixer).  Blend in the eggs.  In a medium bowl combine the almond flour, arrowroot powder, salt, baking soda and flax meal.  Blend the almond flour mixutre into the wet ingredients until thoroughly combined.  Pour the batter into the loaf pan.
Bake for 40-50 minutes on the the bottom rack of the oven, until a knife inserted into the rack of the loaf comes out clean.  Let the bread cool in the pan for 1 hour, then serve.

Second - preparing the bread cubes

I let my bread cool while I was at church.  When I returned to it, I removed it from the pan and sliced it into bread cubes.  I put the cubes into a large bowl.  Meanwhile, I melted about a 1/4 cup of butter, adding a tsp of garlic powder into it.   I poured the melted garlic butter mixture over the bread cubes, coating all the cubes.  I spread the cubes onto two baking sheets and put them into an oven set to 225*F.  Let them bake to dry out (about an hour, but keep checking).  You could skip the make your own bread step and start here with store made gluten free bread.

Third - the Stuffing!

This stuffing recipe would be good with both regular bread and a gluten free bread.

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp dry thyme
  • all of your bread cubes (or 10 cups of bread cubes)
  • 1½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 egg
Preheat oven to 350* F.  Melt butter in a large pan. Saute onions, salt, sage, and thyme for 5 minutes on medium heat, until onions are soft. Turn off heat. Add bread cubes and gently stir them into the onion mixture. Slowly pour chicken broth over the bread cubes folding everything carefully so the bread cubes do not break apart too much. In a small bowl, gently whisk the egg and add it to the stuffing mix. Continue to fold everything until the egg is incorporated. Scoop uncooked stuffing into a medium casserole dish and bake uncovered for 40 minutes or until nice and toasty on top.
*I would have added some celery if I had it - 2 or 3 stalks chopped up well, cooked in with the onion and herb mixture.

So there you go - proof that you can have a gluten-free Thanksgiving supper that with a delicious gluten-free stuffing.  Looking forward to my Christmas meal now :)