5@5 - Vanessa Phillips and Tryg Siverson
November 16th, 2010
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

The fourth Thursday of November is typically a flour-heavy feast – from roux gravy to bread stuffing to pumpkin pie.

To some, this is a mere delicious afterthought. Flour schmour. To others who suffer from a gluten intolerance or sensitivity, like Vanessa Phillips, it’s a bona fide culinary nightmare - and the Thanksgiving buffet just turned into an edible war zone.

Phillips and Tryg Siverson are the owners of Friedman’s Lunch, located inside of New York City’s Chelsea Market. As a teenager, Phillips was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance, a condition that requires her to nix all gluten products from her diet – and yes, that means on holidays too.

Because of this, the couple is here to offer a host of tips and gluten-free recipes so that all may safely gorge themselves into a turkey coma this Thanksgiving.

Five Tips to Cooking a Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Meal: Vanessa Phillips and Tryg Siverson

1. Plan ahead
"Sometimes it can take a few days to source quality ingredients, especially if they’re gluten free. Whether you decide to purchase a farm-raised turkey or make gluten-free stuffing, these products may not be readily available at your nearby grocery store - so it’s imperative to leave ample time for purchase.

The good news is that gluten-free ingredients are much easier to find today, thanks to specialty stores and markets like Whole Foods, and online resources like The Gluten-Free Mall.

Don’t leave all the cooking for Thanksgiving Day, as it will overwhelm you and prevent you from enjoying the time with your friends and family. Start prepping the night before. Some easy things you can do to alleviate the pressure: cut your veggies, brine the turkey, dry the bread for the stuffing and make the cranberry sauce."

2. Think about all the ingredients
"If you’re cooking for a gluten-intolerant guest, remember to think about all the dishes - including gravy. Thicken yours with cornstarch instead of traditional flour."

3. Delicious gluten-free desserts are easy
"Some of our favorite Thanksgiving desserts are intrinsically gluten-free and can be enjoyed by everyone, despite their dietary restrictions. (And, it’s important to note that even though dessert is served last, it should be cooked a day in advance.)

Look at what’s in season. Pumpkins and apples, for example, are perfect for Thanksgiving and can be used to make treats like pumpkin crème brûlée, pumpkin cheesecake and apple crumble. Be sure to use gluten-free flours and gluten-free certified oats when making your crumble. Pumpkin pie is also easy to replicate if you purchase gluten-free ginger snaps and use the cookies as a crust."

4. Time to get cooking
"When cooking your meal, it’s essential to season all the food. Salt is a natural flavor enhancer and will make a huge difference; and, butter is our secret for flavorful stuffing. While cooking, watch all your pots carefully. Stir accordingly, make sure the flame is on the right heat and keep tasting your dishes. No one will be a better judge than you. If something doesn’t taste right, don’t be afraid to add more flavor - the best chefs are those who aren’t afraid to take risks in the kitchen."

5. What to do with leftovers
"One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is having some leftover for a delicious post-Thanksgiving lunch. For those gluten-free eaters who miss sandwiches, use the leftovers (and leftover gluten-free bread) to make a delicious sandwich."

Orange-Apricot Turkey Breast
In this recipe we highlight the breast meat, but it’s important to flavor the meat, as white meat can get dry quickly.

8-10 pound, bone-in turkey breast

For the brine:
1 1/2 cup kosher salt
1 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon water or vegetable stock
2 tablespoon black peppercorns
5 cloves crushed garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
1 cinnamon stick
3 bay leaves

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Stir to ensure everything is dissolved. Cool to room temperature. This can be made a day in advance.

Combine the brine and one gallon of heavily iced water in a five-gallon bucket or cooler. Put the turkey breast side down in brine. If you need, weigh down the bird to ensure it’s fully immersed. Cover and refrigerate for 10 to 12 hours, turning the bird once mid-brining.

For the glaze:
1/2 cup apricot marmalade
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier

Combine in saucepan and cook until syrupy.

The day of cooking, remove the bird from the brine and pat dry. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook until the internal temperature reads 158 degrees, or approximately 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. One hour into the cooking, start basting the turkey with the glaze. Do this continually, until the turkey is cooked through or until golden brown.

Gluten-Free Stuffing
We serve this stuffing every year. Sometimes we add sausage, but it’s great both ways.

1 1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cup small diced apple (we prefer Granny Smith)
1 1/2 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 cup butter
9 cup bread cubes (we like Udi’s or Everybody Eats)
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage
1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Poultry seasoning to taste
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Dry the diced bread in a 300-degree-Fahrenheit oven until semi-soft.

In a large sauté pan, cook onion, celery and apple in butter until tender. Stir in one-third of bread cubes. Then, turn into a large bowl and add remaining ingredients to taste. This is ready to eat, but you can also broil it in the oven for 10 minutes to make it crispy.

Pumpkin Pie

For the crust:
2 cups gluten-free gingersnap cookies (35 to 38 cookies)
2 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, diced small
1 tablespoon rice flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Put the cookies, rice flour and sugar into your food processor and pulse until you have fine crumbs. Then add butter and pulse until moist clumps form. Press the crumb mixture into bottom and sides of a lightly greased pie plate. Bake in the oven for eight to nine minutes, or until golden-brown.

For the filling:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz) pure pumpkin purée
1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk

Combine the sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in a small bowl. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture; gradually stir in evaporated milk.

Pour the mix into the pre-baked pie crust.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven, or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. For an added bonus, top it with whipped cream.

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: Bite • Dietary Restrictions • Gluten-free • Holiday • Holidays • HolidayShopping • Make • Recipes • Thanksgiving • Thanksgiving

soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Rathany

    I am sad that this article fails to mention that most turkeys have gluten that they get from processing and that if you are serving anyone celiac, that you will have to know what to look for to not poison them with the bird. Butterball, Jenny-o and Honeysuckle are safe brands.

    November 18, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
    • SE

      The turkey itself is gluten free. But not the extras. We just discovered that with a turkey we got from Target (store branded). It apparently said gluten free but there was a gravy packet that had wheat flour! So much for that. But Butterball has no guarantees either. Unless you can get one that does not include gravy, seasonings, or any other extras.

      November 19, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
  2. Kelly Salasin

    Given that the Thanksgiving holiday falls smack in the middle of my 21 day cleanse, prescribed by my doctor, I feel better knowing that others will be facing the holiday without traditional stuffing and pie. Join me here to commiserate: http://livercleansediary.blogspot.com/

    November 18, 2010 at 8:15 am |
  3. Markc

    I love how vogue it has become to be "Gluten-free". We're all drinking the dairy and meat association’s cool-aid that somehow eating natural food such as wheat (Gluten) is bad, and eating high fat, cholesterol ridden animal products is so much healthier. If you truly have a "gluten" allergy, then obviously you have to avoid gluten, same as you would if you had a soy or diary allergy. Perhaps the meat and dairy associations can come up with some more catchy phrases like "vegetable free", "fiber free", "vitamin free"

    November 18, 2010 at 6:58 am |
    • Susan

      Mark, I shared your skepticism until it happened to me. I had become severely anemic (not in my head but by the numbers) when I was diagnosed with celiac, and a year after going gluten-free I am healthy and not anemic any more. I agree with you that it seems unreasonable that, after thousands of years, people would suddenly start having problems with wheat in the kinds of numbers that we are seeing, and you are probably right that there is some element of trend-following to it. I think that the real question, though, is what have we done to our food supply to trigger these problems? Going gluten-free is not fun. Most of the available substitutes are not worth the money or effort to obtain, and most of us would love to be free of this restriction but are motivated to 'be good' by the knowledge of what we would experience if we cheated even a tiny bit. Don't be so quick to judge us and, by the way, many celiacs are also dairy and casein intolerant, so I think you are targeting the wrong industry :)

      November 18, 2010 at 9:03 am |
    • lalajj

      Vogue? I'm sorry but being gluten intolerant is not fun. How the hell is it vogue? I think about the fact that I can't eat another Dunkin Donut again...have a beer...go out to eat without being the embarrassing "special dietary needs" person....i'm going to miss so many things....because when i accidentally ate a dish with flour in it I felt like I was hit by a truck the next day and had a bad case of the runs. ITS NOT A FASHION STATEMENT DUMMY! And the fact that I eat gluten and wheat-free now means I celebrate having no IBS symptoms anymore which leads to a much better sex life.

      November 18, 2010 at 10:06 am |
      • ms yellarose

        Fear not lalajj. if you'd like to have a beer, try Redbridge. It's made from sorghum and is gluten free real beer. You can find it at any liquor or specialty store. As a celiac, I do indeed understand the hassle of trying to eat out, however, if there is a Carrabba"s chain in your city, try there. They even have a gluten free menu and it is very tasty. Happy eating, and good luck!

        November 18, 2010 at 11:32 am |
    • SE

      You refer to gluten free as "vogue," and somehow clump dairy free in the same? You are ignorant! For those of us who have food intolerances and food allergies such as myself, food is a nightmare. I have to work around ten-twenty food allergens, a handful of which – mushrooms, peanuts, and wheat – are fatal. I have had to go gluten free just to get away from wheat. Is it really "vogue" for a person who has to go on certain diets to avoid components and ingredients that are fatal and that make them ill? NO!

      I'm glad gluten free is receiving more attention in the media because for those of us with allergies and intolerances, the FDA has not done a very job in enforcing the new food labeling for allergens nor is there any consistency between all the different companies.

      But there is nothing "vogue" about being gluten free or dairy free or cholesterol free or meat free when a person has a medical condition that prevents them from having those ingredients or components.

      November 19, 2010 at 8:40 pm |
  4. Chris

    Um...using bread cubes for a gluten-free stuffing? Is that a major FAIL, or am I missing something here?

    November 17, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
    • DB

      Udi's is a pretty well-known brand for gluten-free products. The recipe could have been clearer by saying gluten-free bread cubes

      November 17, 2010 at 11:41 pm |
    • liz

      Gluten free bread is used.

      November 18, 2010 at 4:14 am |
  5. Nels

    Sounds good to me. Since our species has been eating wheat for about 10,000 years and most plants put up toxins as a way to not get eaten it is little wonder that evolution has not made us all with the same ability to digest gluten. Way to go on bringing more info to light on gluten problems.

    November 17, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
  6. Alex

    Wow. Number 4 is an eye opener. Salt and butter?? Who knew those made food taste good! ;)

    November 17, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  7. MumsToo

    Be careful when choosing a turkey! Some companies like to make their turkey taste more turkey-like. They sometimes inject broth or flavorings into their birds. Avoid these birds. There can be gluten hiding in them. That goes for all meats actually.

    November 17, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
  8. Dimitrios

    Funny, touching, memorable short Thanksgiving stories about holiday disasters, family & friends. http://amzn.to/aV2dQa

    November 17, 2010 at 10:04 am |
  9. missymiss

    this is good i am glutenfree living now makes me feel so much better thx thx

    November 16, 2010 at 11:01 pm |
  10. Jdizzle McHammerpants@Truth, Head

    *867-5309, my bad.

    Yeah, I work. Or at least I'll be here, maybe not so much of the working.

    November 16, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  11. Breanna Banks

    I'd hit both at the same time.

    November 16, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      In yo face, Truth! First!

      November 16, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
      • Truth

        Ok, Ok, you win today.
        Shouldn't you be going home now or something? When is closin time at da bank?

        November 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        We close at 6 CST, but we rotate 9-6 shift with the 8-5 shift, as well as every other Saturday until we hire another person (I am one of two bankers). Today I get off at 5. 30 mins. I live at 123 Baker street, my phone number is 907-867-5307, my SSN is 123-45-9876. My FICO is in the TANK, good luck with that ID theft.

        November 16, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
      • Truth

        Baker Street...That likely eitehr makes you Sherlock Holmes or Gerry Rafferty...!

        And for the record, I have banked with your organization for many years. Great group. Take yourself an extra bailout out of petty cash...:)

        November 16, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        And Jenny and I share a phone number.

        November 16, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
      • RichardHead

        Well,We started the day with National Fast Food Day, Protected the Honor of our fearless leader,Dodged Vegans throwing vegetable verbiage our way and now end up with gluten free whatever. It was a tuff day. Gotta work tomorrow or are you taking off?

        November 16, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
      • Truth@JDIzz, RichHead

        That's a good recap...I am about to be off like the proverbial prom dress, and it looks like we are about to get hit with a typhoon or storm from the film "The Day After Tomorrow"...

        See you tomorrow all!

        November 16, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
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