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gluten-free stuffing for friendsgiving with udi's gluten-free bread

Friendsgiving + Gluten-free Mushroom Stuffing

Udi’s Gluten-Free graciously provided a box of goodies for this year’s friendsgiving celebration.

Friendsgiving is a pretty awesome holiday. Like Thanksgiving, it usually involves a traditional set of dishes like a turkey, cranberry sauce (complete with a debate over whether or not you slice the kind from a can) and stuffing.

gluten-free stuffing at friendsgiving 2013

It also includes the added bonus of being celebrated with the people you choose to involve in your life, not just the ones that are lucky enough to be your family. Often we do not spend holidays with the people we let in to our lives from outside our families, and Friendsgiving is the perfect time to do this.

There is no stress about who makes better stuffing (um, me!) or if you deviated from the family pumpkin pie recipe. There is plenty of laughter and maybe even a few drinks. A lot of fun and ridiculous stories.

This year, I brought a gluten-free mushroom stuffing, my famous apple & sage gluten-free stuffing and some pretty spectacular gluten-free cupcakes. Mostly, I wanted to eat stuffing. (I would argue that it is the best part of any Thanksgiving feast). So, I have to make it. Then I know that it is gluten-free and safe for me to eat.

(Although, this year my friends were pretty great. Someone bought gluten-free animal crackers and someone else made sure the chips & dips were safe for me to enjoy).

gluten-free stuffing recipe

This gluten-free stuffing recipe happens to be vegetarian, but that doesn’t mean it is lacking in the flavor department. A healthy dose of fresh thyme and parsley along with a variety of mushrooms ensure a complex flavor that will satisfy meat eaters and vegetarians alike (as long as you don’t actually stuff it in the bird). Mushrooms + turkey = a match made in heaven. Mushrooms + corn casserole + cranberry sauce = happy vegetarian guests. Mushrooms + gluten-free bread = happy gluten-free you!

This recipe is perfect with Udi’s Gluten-free Multi-Grain bread. It is best if you freeze the bread overnight, as this makes dicing the bread easier. If you don’t have time to freeze the loaf, just tear the slices to keep from smashing the bread.

Gluten-free Mushroom Stuffing
Recipe Type: Side
Cuisine: American
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 1 hour 5 mins
Serves: 12
This recipe was adapted from one in the November/December 2011 Jamie Magazine. We have made it at 2 Christmas dinners, 2 Friendsgivings and 1 Thanksgiving. It has become a family standby – it isn’t even in a magazine anymore. That’s how you know it’s good – it is now just a page clipped and saved in a binder.
  • 1 ounce (30 grams) dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) boiling water
  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 loaf [url href=”http://udisglutenfree.com/products/whole-grain-bread/”]Udi’s Gluten-Free Multi-Grain Bread[/url], frozen over-night if you can*
  • 2-8 ounce packages (about 450 grams) white, crimini or similar mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1-8 ounce package portobello mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • A small bunch of (10-12 stems) thyme, leaves picked and stems discarded
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 bunch of parsley, leaves picked and chopped, stems discarded
  1. Pour the boiling water over the dried mushrooms and set aside.
  2. Grease an 11×13 baking dish with olive oil.
  3. Dice the loaf of bread and set aside.
  4. In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until translucent and soft, but not yet golden (about 5 minutes).
  5. Drain the porcini, reserving the soaking liquid, and add them along with the other mushrooms, bay leaves and thyme to the skillet. Cook until the mushrooms are softened. At this point, if you are cooking ahead, stop. You want to assemble the stuffing right before putting it in the oven.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (if your oven is a little hotter because of other dishes, you can adjust the baking time). While the oven heats, let the mushrooms cool slightly. Remove the bay leaves.
  7. Strain the reserved soaking liquid to remove any grit from the dried mushrooms.
  8. Stir together the mushrooms, the diced gluten-free bread and the parsley. Spread evenly in the baking dish.
  9. Pour the reserved soaking liquid slowly & evenly over the stuffing. You want to moisten the stuffing but not soak it. You may not need all of it (although I always have).
  10. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 35 minutes covered. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. You want the bread to start looking nice and golden brown.
*Freezing the bread makes it easier to cube. If you are using room-temperature bread, it will smush less if you tear it.[br]For added crunch, you can stir in some chopped pecans, hazelnuts or walnuts before baking.


hot ginger apple rum punch

Friendsgiving & an epic punch

friendsgiving 2012

My friends have this tradition, that I had no idea was a thing that lots of people do until this year, called Friendsgiving.

It is a pretty simple concept: you gather up your friends, have people to sign up to bring things, eat food, play games and celebrate. You celebrate being thankful with the people who, while they aren’t family, are some of your favorite people on the planet.

There is something about turkey, stuffing, and pie that brings people together. And get together we did. My group of friends sounds like it could be the punch line to a joke: What do you get when you gather a handful of technology consultants, a lawyer, a designer, a medical technician, a lobbyist, a medical researcher, a couple of teachers, a Groupon employee…

You get 23 people. A mix of people from two groups of friends that merged together when a couple of straight guys traded numbers in the bathroom at Wrigley Field. And have been friends ever since. (And next fall the two halves will be united by a marriage. Let’s call it fate).

You get an epic feast.

You get beer pong and dance offs.

You get laughs.

You see how damned lucky you are. Just how much you have to be thankful for.


Because one of them insists that the next time I need to use an epi-pen, it is going to be his job. Because one of them shares your shoe size and love of footwear. Because one of them gets endlessly harassed about that one party 5 years ago… Because one of them loves to bake almost as much as me.

Because who else is going to listen to your stories of gentleman callers? Or tease you about being a robot? Or remind you just how crazy it is to change from a pair of 5″ stilettos to a pair of 3.5″ pumps because your feet hurt and you need sensible shoes?

Just them. My pretty awesome friends.

It was an amazing evening. I had a blast.

But in the preparations, there was just one problem. All these people know I write a food blog. And they are expecting something amazing.

So, I had to open with a bang. Show off during dinner and still have a stand-out dessert.

I made Hot Ginger Apple Rum Punch, Parsnip, Apple & Sage stuffing, Mushroom Stuffing and Cranberry Upside down cake. in 3.5 hours. Because I am a show-off. And I wanted to make sure that there was enough food there that I wasn’t stuck with turkey and plain mashed potatoes.

I will get the rest of those items posted here sometime soon, but the first recipe I want to share with you is the one for the punch (it was the most requested recipe at the party). It was my opening bang, A gallon was gone in half an hour, and it might just be my new signature drink.

hot ginger apple rum punch

Hot Ginger Apple Rum Punch

Recipe Type: Drinks
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Serves: 12
  • 10 ounces (300 grams) of ginger (a piece about the size of a woman’s palm), washed
  • 10 1/2 cups (2L) water
  • Juice from 6 large lemons
  • 6 1/2 cups (1.5L) Fresh apple cider (cloudy apple juice, NOT spiced cider)
  • 2 cups (480 mL) dark rum*
  • ~1/4 cup (35 mL) honey,
  1. Slice the ginger with the skin on and add to a large pot with the water.
  2. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Strain the water through a sieve and return to the pot. Discard the ginger.
  4. Add the lemon juice, apple cider and honey. (I dont measure it, just hold it above the pot, squeeze and circle around the pot 4 times).
  5. Simmer for another 15-20 minutes. You want to get your punch good and hot. Taste it. It should only be slightly sweet. If it is too tart, go ahead and add a smidge more honey.
  6. Remove from the heat and either add the rum (and apple spirits, if using). Place in a punch bowl (or cool looking jug for transport to a party). Serve as promptly as possible, to keep the alcohol from evaporating and the punch from getting cold.
  7. You could also divide up the spirits into 12 glasses and top with even amounts of the apple, lemon, ginger mixture if you want to do individual servings.

*You can also replace half of the rum with an apple spirit such as Apple Jack or Calvados – I used Apple Jack when I served this to my friends.