Do holidays strain your family sanity? Each year before the holidays begin, my husband and I have the “expectation” talk. We learned to have the talk while attending a young couples class years ago. We were learning how to best communicate; talking through our expectations proved very helpful. Before Thanksgiving, we discuss our expectations for the holiday. We’re totally honest. Maybe he needs to have some quiet time each day with a good book, maybe I want to sit as a family and watch a movie, or he wants to hang out with some friends – whatever it is, we’re honest and share our expectations. We even have a code word for it. We call it a “Clear Request.” Then we go into the holiday knowing how we can best serve each other. During the traveling, long waits, and family gatherings, we each know what our spouse is hoping for. It’s one way we try to be considerate of one another. We now have this talk before vacations (life-saver!!), big events, and sometimes even before a long weekend.
Since I’ve continued eating a grain-free diet, I wanted to find a way to include dressing on our Thanksgiving table. I’d also been missing biscuits, so I tested for a few days until I was able to create a biscuit recipe that didn’t make me miss grain. Then I combined it with my favorite dressing ingredients. So really you get two for one here. The biscuits are incredible. Buttery, flaky, and absolutely perfect with some butter and jam. When dried and combined with the onions, sage and butter, you’ve got a dressing recipe that will meet everyone’s expectations!
Grain Free Stuffing
Make the biscuits ahead of time so they have time to dry out.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large yellow onions, chopped
15 fresh sage leaves, chopped
12 stale grain free biscuits, broken into small pieces (see recipe below)
1 large egg
1/4 cup heavy cream (substitute with coconut milk for Paleo or Gaps)
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon coarse Celtic sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350ºF and adjust the rack to the middle position. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and stir occasionally until golden brown and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add sage and stir for about 30 seconds. Remove skillet from the heat. Add biscuit pieces. Whisk together egg, cream and chicken stock, then pour over biscuit mixture. Season with salt and pepper and stir until incorporated. Pour stuffing into a buttered 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, until golden brown.
Grain Free Biscuits
I prefer to make my own baking powder to ensure that it’s grain-free. Here’s the recipe: 1 part baking soda + 1 part cream of tartar + 2 parts arrowroot. I make the baking powder in large batches and store it in a glass jar. You can substitute the coconut milk with heavy cream. Makes 1 dozen 3-inch biscuits
2 1/2 cups almond flour or meal
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons grain-free baking powder (see above)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into tablespoons
1/4 cup coconut milk (I prefer a canned coconut milk such as Native Forest. It’s much thicker than the milk found in a carton and also contains less preservatives)
1/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and adjust rack to middle position. Place almond flour, coconut flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 2-3 times to combine. Add butter and pulse, 8-10 times until mixture looks like wet sand with pea-size clumps of butter. Pour mixture into a mixing bowl and stir in the milk and water. The mixture should be tacky, but not loose or runny. If it’s too loose, stir in a tablespoon more of almond flour.
Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, scoop dough and place each dough mound on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining dough. Using your fingers, press gently on the tops of the dough mounds to flatten them just a little. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown on the edges.
To get these ready for the dressing: Cool biscuits, cut each in half lengthwise and leave out on the counter overnight. (or toast in a 300 degree F oven for 15 minutes until dried out).
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