Here is your guide to a trouble free, gluten free Christmas dinner. With just a few simple changes, you can enjoy the turkey with all the trimmings - without any nasty consequences.
This is one of those occasions where it is much easier to serve a gluten free Christmas dinner to everyone, without your guests being any the wiser. Like you, I hate to be singled out and told certain foods are off limits!
It is much more relaxing to know that everything is safe to eat, and that you can spend the day with your family and friends, rather than alone in the smallest room of the house, feeling rotten.
So if you are the one cooking the lunch this year, follow the recipes and guidelines below and enjoy a happy gluten free Christmas.
No problem there you might think? But stop! There is something to watch out for.
You need to avoid self basting turkeys as they may have been injected with a hydrolyzed vegetable protein which is wheat based.
Another danger to be aware of is any flavoring that may have been added. If possible, order a farm fresh turkey, rather than picking up a frozen bird from the supermarket.
What sized turkey do you need?
A good rule of thumb is to allow 10-12 oz uncooked meat per person. If you are serving duck this would change to 4-6oz uncooked per person, and for goose allow 8-12oz.
Cooking times for turkey
The following times are a good guideline for turkey cooking times in an oven at 190 degrees centigrade. You will find a handy temperature conversion chart on my other site, if your cooker is marked in Fahrenheit or is gas.
1.5 - 2.5 kg (3 - 5lb)
||1.5 to 1.75 hours or 1.75 to 2 hours in foil|
||1.75 - 2 hours or 2 - 2.25 hours in foil|
||2 - 2.5 hours or 2.5 - 2.75 hours in foil|
||2.25-2.75 hours or 2.5-3 hours in foil|
||2.75-3 hours or 3-3.25 hours in foil|
||3.25-3.5 hours or 3.75-4 hours in foil|
The weights in the table above relate to a stuffed turkey.
Once the bird is cooked allow another 15 minutes for it to rest before serving time (out of the oven) while you make the turkey gravy.
For a large turkey it may cook better if you first lay the bird on its side and cook for half the time before turning it over. This way the heat penetrates the legs ensuring they are cooked through.
To keep the turkey moist you need to put plenty of butter on the breast and you may also like to lay bacon rashers on top, remembering to remove them 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time to allow the breast to brown.
Brussels sprouts with almonds
- 500g (1 lb) Brussels sprouts
- 25g (1 oz) butter
- 25g (1oz) flaked or chopped almonds
- 2 rashers of bacon, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tsp lemon rind, finely grated
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Remove any untidy outer leaves from the Brussels and cut a cross in the bottom of any large ones.
Boil in salted water for 8-10 minutes or until they are tender. Drain and keep hot.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the bacon and flaked almonds and garlic.
Fry until the almonds are golden. Add the lemon rind and juice and season well.
Sprinkle the almonds over the sprouts and serve.
Cauliflower with apple
- 450g (1lb) cauliflower
- 75g (3oz) butter
- 2 dessert apples, cored and sliced
Remove the outer leaves from the cauliflower and cut into florets.
Place in a steamer or colander over boiling water and steam until tender. (To save space on the top of the stove you could be cooking something else in the pan beneath the cauliflower, such as the stock for the gravy.)
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan, then add the apples and saute gently for about 10 minutes until they are golden. Try not to break them up by stirring too roughly.
Add the cauliflower to the saucepan and continue cooking until it is also golden. Serve.