Thanksgiving is about welcoming everyone to the table, and sometimes that means accommodating specific dietary restrictions. An increasingly common dietary need is that food be prepared without wheat, as the gluten present is intolerable by people with allergies and celiac disease.
Jacqueline Mallorca's The Wheat Free Cook collects recipes that substitute for—or are built on an absence of—this problematic ingredient, and includes a chapter on gluten-free groceries.
While her recipe for stuffing on one level simply substitutes rice-flour bread (available at many grocery stores including Trader Joe's and Whole Foods) for the traditional white or cornbread, it is nice to be able to follow tried-and-true proportions developed especially to factor the change in bread texture, so that your final product ends up crumbly but moist.
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, destringed and chopped
- 1/2 pound ground pork, crumbled
- 1 teaspoon minced sage or 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- 2 ounces pancetta, finely chopped
- 2 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs made from day-old rice flour bread
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups gluten-free chicken broth
- 1/2 cup quinoa flakes
- 1 cup ready-to-use roasted chestnuts, cut in half, or 3/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried lavender
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh marjoram leaves, minced
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Grease an 8-by-l0-inch oven-to-table baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat in a large skillet. Add the onion and celery, and cook, stirring, until translucent, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Increase the heat to medium, and add the pork, sage, lemon zest, and pancetta. Sauté until the pork loses its pink color, about 7 minutes, breaking it up well. Set aside.
Place the breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Drizzle with cups of the chicken broth little by little, tossing at the same time, until evenly moistened. Add the onion and celery, sausage mixture, quinoa flakes, chestnuts, Herbes de Provence Blend, and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper, remembering that the chicken broth will contain salt, and mix well.
Bake, uncovered, until the top is lightly browned and crunchy, 35 to 40 minutes.
- makes about 4 teaspoons -