Ah the smell of sage was in the air at the Leger house on Friday when my mom and I made four stuffing recipes that were all submitted for the stuffing contest last month. There was a lot of dicing, chopping and seasoning going on in that house – certainly more so than on any major holiday. But it was all worth it.

So just how much food did we go through in this marathon cooking session?

4 loaves of gluten-free bread

4 cups of chicken stock

1 big whole stalk of celery

1 onion (but I could have used one more)

1 lb. of ground turkey

1 apple

Half a container of mushrooms

Dried cranberries

Two eggs

And tons… of spices: sage, marjoram, parsley and more…

And we were off to the races…

Stuffed  with Cooking Lessons

The Taste Test at Dinner

The Taste Test at Dinner

I have never made a stuffing from scratch before—so I learned a few things that may be common knowledge to those who cook a lot.

  1. There’s a fair amount of preparation that is involved with making stuffing. From baking bread (in my case), to cubing the bread, cutting the onions, celery, apples, and mushrooms
  2. There’s a little bit of precooking as well. One recipe we tested required ground turkey to precook, while all of the recipes required the precooking of celery, onions, butter, spices etc.
  3. It didn’t take all that long to make. All of the recipes except for the slow-cooker recipe required only 30-40 minutes of cooking.

I had four recipes on the table for dinner after only 3 or so hours of cooking.

As for judging the recipes, we had six people at the table for dinner and we made chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy to go along with our stuffing taste-testing. We all chose the one we liked the best and it was unanimous! Our favorite recipe was a Sage Dressing sent in by Heidi Kelly, aka Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom. She says it’s a favorite that her grandmother made in Austin, Minnesota. I have linked to the recipe for your use!  Heidi will win a fabulous prize from the Linden Hills Co-op.

Additional stuffing notes:

My mom and I do have a few additional thoughts on stuffing that we learned while we were cooking. First off, I would like to try Heidi’s dressing in the slow-cooker. When you see her recipe it does have directions for the crock-pot, but since I only had one crock-pot for the cook-off, we decided to do the oven directions. About half of the family members liked the texture of the slow-cooked stuffing and thought it was worth trying with other stuffing recipes.

Another thought comes from my mom. She likes to add a little meat to all of her stuffings for flavor. She usually does ground turkey or even Hormel Little Sizzlers sausage. We only followed the directions and ingredients for each recipe. We did not add anything we thought should go into the stuffings.

Thanks to everyone for your submissions!  Good luck with your gluten-free stuffings this Thanksgiving.

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