As promised, I am providing plenty of options for gluten-free stuffing this Thanksgiving. In this recipe, I combine some ideas that came from a La Brea Bread stuffing recipe the L.A. Times ran more than a decade ago, which happened to be the most delicious stuffing I had ever tasted, with our traditional family recipe. We use a lot of sage in our stuffing, but feel free to adjust the amounts to your liking.
For many years, I quested after the answer to what was that amazing flavor in some stuffing you taste. Finally, and much by accident, I was watching Martha Stewart’s show and she gave away the secret: Bell’s Seasoning. I’m sure some stores do carry it, but if you don’t have it and can’t find it, it’s worth ordering it online. If you’d rather use fresh herbs or what you can find at your local market, that’s fine as well.
2 packages plain Van’s Gluten-Free Waffles
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 brown or sweet onion, chopped
1 zucchini, grated
1 carrot, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 tbsp. butter or coconut oil
1 1/2 to 2 cups gluten-free chicken or turkey broth, preferably organic and low sodium
3 tbsp. Bell’s seasoning
2 tbsp. ground sage or fresh sage
2 tsp. dried or fresh rosemary
4 tsp dried or fresh Mediterranean oregano
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 tsp dried or fresh marjoram
1 1/2 tsp. dried or fresh thyme
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 egg (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 425°. Place the frozen waffles on baking sheets or directly on the rack. Bake for 2 minutes on the first side, then turn them over and bake for another minute and a half on the second side. Remove the waffles from the oven and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°. Prepare a baking dish with the method of your choice.
2. In a large skillet, place the butter or coconut oil and melt over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and celery and stir frequently until caramelized. Add the zucchini, carrots, garlic and parsley once the onions and celery have caramelized and stir until just heated. Turn the flame down to medium-low.
3. Break the waffles up by gently ripping them by hand and add them to the pan (or cube them if you prefer), stirring to combine all of the ingredients. You may need to begin adding a bit of chicken or turkey broth to keep the ingredients from sticking. Once the waffles are added to the pan, add the herbs and spices.
4. Begin to add the broth slowly, stirring as you do, to moisten but drench the stuffing. Once you have reached the desired level of moisture for your stuffing, stop adding broth.
5. If you have chosen to add the egg, which makes a more cohesive stuffing, do so at this time, stirring well to make sure it is thoroughly combined.
6. Arrange the stuffing in the baking pan. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes covered with foil.
7. Remove the foil. Turn the temperature up to 400° and let the stuffing bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the top becomes crispy.
Note: You can also add meat, fruit, nuts and other ingredients that your family normally includes in stuffing. If you aren’t avoiding gluten, skip the waffles and use a couple of loaves of the more rustic varieties of La Brea bread.