Monday, November 28, 2011

Gluten-Free Turkey Day Review

The great gluten-free post-Thanksgiving dinner was a mixed bag, but the good more than made up for the bad!   With a nine pound turkey breast and plenty of extras, we still have a week of leftovers and some good memories.

I did the turkey in what I call the "Scarborough Fair" style (parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme) with the herbs pureed and spread under the skin of the turkey breast to flavor the meat.  Herbs on the surface of the skin don't penetrate; the skin is designed to keep things out.  I nearly burned the turkey when I turned it up to 400 to brown, but caught it just in time. The drippings were pretty brown, but when I poured a few cups of water in the pan and let it sit, it made gorgeous, dark, flavorful gravy. The Honeysuckle White brand frozen turkey breast did come with a gravy packet, but I prefer to make my own.  I did look at the ingredients to see if the website had accurately listed the entire turkey as gluten-free.  The gravy packet used white rice flour, corn starch, and guar gum as thickeners instead of wheat flour! It was good to see that the company was making an honest effort to make their product safe for more people.

I cheated a bit on the cereal-based stuffing.  For lack of time and money to hit a specialty store for gluten-free corn flakes, I used corn chex instead.  The result was a gooey, nasty tasting mess and went straight into the trash.  I've no idea if the flavor of flakes differs so much from chex that it would vastly improve the dish, but I can't imagine it being enough to be edible.  I want to be fair to the recipe in that I did change the cereal, but I don't feel inclined to waste time and money on a re-try when it came out so terrible.  It would be different if it were just slightly off. 

The crustless strawberry cheesecake with fresh vanilla whipped cream was perfect, even if I did feel ready to explode by that point! 

It felt a little odd having Thanksgiving dinner with just the two of us instead of the big family crowd I'm used to associating with holidays.  I think I have some work to do in redefining what it means to be a family. 


KellyK said...

Glad you had a good Thanksgiving!

I made GF pumpkin bread as part of my contribution to Turkey Day at my in-laws', and I wanted to share the recipe with you. I didn't try any myself, but my mother-in-law, the one in the family who can't have gluten, said it was delicious. It also had a nice consistency and held together very well. It didn't crumble or fall apart like some GF recipes do.

I started with this recipe:

I couldn't find any of the flours or the xanthan gum, so I used Hodgson Mill gluten-free multipurpose baking mix to substitute for everything but the tapioca starch, which I did have. So, 1 cup of the baking mix, half a cup of the tapioca starch.

I planned to substitute apple cider for the apricot or peach juice, but the mix ended up not needing any additional liquid.

KellyK said...

Oh, and I also love your description of the turkey herbs as Scarborough Fair style. :)