Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Sides
For our Thanksgiving dinner, I’ll be cooking my favorite dishes. Many of the recipes are already on this blog, but I just made a few changes to the menu, and I want to share two side dishes with you.
Corn is a must-have at my Thanksgiving table, and I developed a new recipe this year—a Louisiana Style Succotash. The recipe is in Gluten Free & More Magazine’s special gluten-free holidays issue. Cajun style sausage and a touch of cayenne pepper bring the flavors of New Orleans to this traditional American Indian dish. I also add fresh marjoram, which offers a sweet-savory fragrance to the corn and lima beans. I’ll cook the recipe on Wednesday, and then pop it into the microwave for a few minutes to reheat before serving.
Mashed Potatoes with Kale have become a favorite since I created this recipe last year, also for Gluten Free & More magazine. Caramelized onions and earthy kale give these creamy potatoes great character. While I don’t focus on health for our Thanksgiving menu, I certainly don’t mind including beneficial ingredients. Kale offers so many nourishing elements—bone strengthening vitamin K, calcium and magnesium; antioxidants; lots of vitamin C; powerful nutrients that protect our eyes; fiber—I try to include it in our meals frequently, and along the way have come to appreciate its complex flavor.
I always draw up a day-by-day plan for Thanksgiving week, to make the event stress free. Today I'll be making the stock for my Make Ahead Gluten-Free Mushroom Gravy and Cranberry Sauce with Grapefruit, Honey, and Ginger. Check out the introduction to the potato recipe to see how to weave them into your preparations. For a helpful timeline and lots more Thanksgiving recipes, check out my blog post from last year.
Louisiana Style Succotash
Leftovers reheat well in the microwave and make a satisfying filling for tacos, or an irresistible bed for fried or poached eggs. I like Aidells Organic Cajun Style Andouille sausages, which are made with smoked chicken, and are, of course, gluten free.
Makes 8 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 ounces Andouille sausage, cut into ½-inch cubes
2 large red bell peppers, cut into ½-inch pieces
½ large red onion, chopped
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 16-ounce bag frozen baby lima beans, partially or completely thawed
1 16-ounce bag sweet corn, partially or completely thawed
1 cup chicken broth
⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh marjoram
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage cubes and sauté until beginning to brown, stirring frequently, about 6 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a plate.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoons oil to the skillet, then the bell peppers and onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the lima beans and cook until beginning to soften, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the corn, broth, cream, cayenne, and sausages with any juices on the plate. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the corn and beans are cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
Stir the marjoram into the succotash. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve hot or at warm room temperature. (Can be made ahead. Cool slightly, cover and refrigerate. Reheat in a microwave before serving if desired.)
Mashed Potatoes and Kale
Peel and cut the potatoes up to 2 hours before cooking, then place in the pan in which they will cook and cover with cold water. When convenient, turn on the heat, cook and mash the potatoes. They can be cooked early in the day and then reheated in a microwave, in 3 minute intervals. Because they hold their heat well, I reheat them first, then the succotash.
Makes 8 servings
1¼ cups (or more) whole milk
½ cup (1 stick) butter
2 bay leaves
4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt plus more as needed
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large bunch (about 10 ounces) black kale, stems removed, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
⅓ cup water
Combine 1¼ cups milk, 2 tablespoons of the butter and the bay leaves in a heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and let steep while the potatoes cook.
Place the potatoes in a large pot. Add enough cold water to cover by at least 1 inch. Add 2 tablespoons of salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Uncover and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Pour into a large strainer and let drain 5 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Mix in the kale. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add ⅓ cup water, cover, reduce the heat to low and cook until the kale is just tender but not mushy, about 10 minutes.
Press the potatoes through a ricer into the pot they cooked in and mix in the remaining 5 tablespoons butter (or return to the pot they cooked in, add the remaining 5 tablespoons butter and mash with a hand masher). Reheat the milk mixture, stain into the potatoes and stir to blend. Stir in the kale mixture. Mix in additional milk if needed to make moist, fluffy potatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Photos from Gluten Free & More magazine