We all know the holiday season gets tricky when you’re gluten free (buffets! cocktail parties!) and Thanksgiving is certainly no exception. For many, Thanksgiving dinner involves a set-in-stone menu, and any changes to the norm would elicit great protest.
So how do you keep things safe for those who are gluten free without messing with everyone else’s traditions? One dish at a time. This year I decided to tackle a classic turkey day staple, the green bean casserole. In its original form, green beans are tossed with gluten-heavy “cream of mushroom” soup and then topped with equally wheat-covered French-fried onions. This is one of those instances where not only was I able to reproduce the dish, but the gluten-free version actually tastes much better than the one I remember.
Start off by sautéing fresh mushrooms and a little garlic, then stir in a combination of stock, milk, and cornstarch. The sauce thickens almost immediately, at which point you can toss in the cooked green beans. (Either boil fresh halved green beans for about 3 minutes or use thawed frozen green beans.) Spoon the mixture into a casserole dish and then choose something crunchy for the top. I like to fry up some sliced shallots, gently coated in rice flour, for both taste and texture. If you’d rather not deal with this step, you can also use crispy rice cereal (I like Erewhon’s crispy brown rice cereal) tossed with olive oil and paprika.
I’ll have some other favorite gluten-free recipes on my table this year as well. I use my turkey stock for everything in the meal that requires broth. My Sweet Potatoes with Savory Granola, a welcome break from sugar-coated sweet potatoes, can be found here in the Oregonian. And you may remember another of my family classics, Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage, from last year’s post. Whatever you’re serving, I hope you enjoy the holiday with lots of people you love! Cheers, LbR