Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of all. It is purely about being grateful for all that life has given us and celebrating with wonderful, bountiful food. Throw in some delicious wine and home-baked desserts and it is truly a festival of riches. I wait all year long for this week and hope that you are enjoying it too!
Today’s Fall Fest from the Food Network is dedicated to our favorite Thanksgiving side dishes. Check out all the amazing recipes below and head over to the Food Network to see all the recipes in the entire Fall Fest celebration. Keep up to date with the Twitter feed by following #fallfest and the take a look at the new Pinterest board for all the food porn!
Every year you hear people using the terms stuffing and dressing interchangeably, but they are actually different techniques. Stuffing refers to cooking your bread cube mixture inside the bird, “stuffing” it in the cavities firmly. Dressing, on the other hand, is the term used when you bake it in a dish outside of the turkey.
There are several reasons why you want to bake the dressing outside of the bird. First and foremost is for safety. If you cook the turkey until it is done but still moist, the stuffing inside will not have reached a safe temperature and could make your guests ill. If you cook it long enough to have the stuffing reach a safe temperature, your bird will be overdone. The bread stuffing also absorbs moisture from the bird, leaving the breast meat in particular even drier.
The best way to cook a turkey is to place some aromatics such as shallots, onions and/or garlic in the main cavity along with some wedges of fresh lemons and fresh herbs. These ingredients perfume the meat from the inside and do not add to the cooking time. You are safe to cook the bird to just the right temperature and will serve the most delicious, tender, and moist turkey you’ve ever had!
Today I am sharing a new favorite recipe. When I first heard from the doctor that I was gluten-intolerant, my mind flashed forward to Thanksgiving and all the foods I adore but would have to give up. I was heartbroken. But since then I have learned a lot about how to cook and bake with alternative ingredients and I am thrilled to share this recipe that is not only safe for those of us with gluten-intolerance or celiac to eat but also darn good!
I found the recipe for the savory GF cornbread on the website of Amanda, AKA Maroc Mama, a fantastic adventure into a Moroccan American Kitchen. She met and fell in love with her husband on the streets of Marrakech and shares stories and recipes from her blended family. He was recently diagnosed with celiac and Amanda has been adapting her favorite recipes just like me. If you have ever dreamed of going to Morocco, take a stroll through Amanda’s blog and you will swear you can smell the Moroccan spices!
I made a few adjustments to Amanda’s recipe, but by and large it is the same. Make sure you check out her version and the beautiful baked corn pudding recipe she also has converted to gluten-free. Remember, recipes are just road maps. As long as you keep the ratios the same (especially important in baking), you can make changes all day long, LOL!
I combined the cornbread with some baked gluten-free bread cubes to create a lighter than normal cornbread dressing, but it is optional. If you want all cornbread, just replace the regular bread cubes. And of course, if you do not have to worry about gluten, you can use regular bread and your favorite cornbread recipe.
I also added one of my Thanksgiving secret weapons … turkey flavored Savory Choice Liquid Broth Concentrate. This product is truly remarkable. It gives you a blast of real turkey flavor and can be used in soups, gravies, and even as I did, to make your dressing taste like it was cooked inside the bird! I mixed it with melted butter and drizzled it over the cornbread cubes before baking them. I always add some to my turkey stock and also my gravy. It makes everything taste fantastic!
Have a wonderful holiday my friends. I am incredibly grateful for each and every one of you! Enjoy your time with family and friends, eat far too much good food, and make sure you have an extra piece of pie for me!
Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Cornbread Stuffing or Dressing
© 2012 Jane Evans Bonacci, The Heritage Cook®. All rights reserved
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 large shallot, peeled and sliced
About 10 large fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
4 cups gluten-free cornbread cubes (see recipe below)
8 to 10 slices gluten-free bread (or more cornbread if you prefer)
Leaves stripped from 2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sweet apples, such as Gala or Fuji, washed, cored, and chopped
1 cup pecan halves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 egg, beaten
1-1/2 to 2 cups turkey stock, preferably homemade (use more if you prefer moister dressing)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9×13-inch baking pan; set aside.
In a large skillet, melt the 4 tbsp butter over medium heat. Sauté the onions and celery about 4 minutes and then add the shallots and sage. Continue cooking until vegetables are softened, and starting to brown. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl to cool.
Bake your cornbread (use the following recipe or your personal favorite). Let cool and cut into cubes as directed. Toast until crispy and dry. (Note: this is very important to the texture of your final product. Make sure you toast the cubes thoroughly.) Set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, using your hands, scoop the cornbread cubes into the large mixing bowl with the vegetables. Just use the cubes and leave behind the crumbs. Save them to add crunch to the top of your dressing or as mini croutons on your next salad.
Add the regular bread cubes (if using), thyme, apples, and pecans to the cornbread/vegetable mixture. Toss with a large spoon until everything is evenly distributed. Pour in the 1/2 cup melted butter and toss again. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Stir in the beaten egg and turkey stock and transfer to the prepared baking pan.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and crusty on the top. If you want crunchier dressing all the way through, stir it halfway through baking to expose more of the bread cubes to the heat.
The dressing can be baked up to a day ahead. Store, covered, in the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking to warm up slightly. Place in a 325°F to 350°F oven and bake until heated through and re-crisped. Serve hot.
GF Savory Cornbread for Dressing
Slightly modified from original recipe by Maroc Mama
Yield: 1 (8×8-inch) cornbread
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
3/4 cup cornmeal, medium or coarse ground
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup butter, divided
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Grease an 8×8-inch baking pan; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine the two flours, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, onion and garlic powders, basil, and Parmesan. Whisk together until thoroughly blended.
Melt 1/4 cup of the butter and whisk into the flour mixture; add the milk and beaten egg. Whisk to combine all of the ingredients and stir until smooth. Pour into the prepared baking pan and spread into the corners, smoothing the top with an offset spatula.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes until the bread is cooked through and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven (leave the oven on) and cool the cornbread to room temperature. Cut the square into 1/2-inch strips and then cut the strips crosswise into cubes. Spread the cubes on a baking sheet.
Melt the remaining 1/4 cup of butter and mix it with the Savory Choice Turkey Concentrate. Drizzle on top of the cornbread cubes. Toss gently and place back into the hot oven. After 8 to 10 minutes stir the cubes and continue baking another 10 to 15 minutes or until they are toasted and dried out, stirring occasionally.
Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature before using to make your favorite stuffing or dressing.
Make sure you stop by these other Fall Fest participants and enjoy their offerings too!
Feed Me Phoebe: Five Spice Winter Squash Soup
Chez Us: Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Virtually Homemade: Brussels Sprouts Salad With Avocado and a Tangerine Vinaigrette
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Spicy Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes
Red or Green?: Bolitas Bean Salad
And Love It, Too: Potatoes Au Gratin (Gluten and Dairy-Free)
Devour: Thanksgiving Yam and Sweet Potato Sides That Are Almost Desserts
The Heritage Cook: Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Cornbread Stuffing or Dressing
Cooking With Books: Rosemary and Pear Potato Salad
FN Dish: Old School Sweet Potato Soufflé
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