Thanksgiving Holiday Table
I posted earlier this week about our Thanksgiving menu. One of the challenges of hosting a holiday meal, is making sure there is something everyone will enjoy. This is particularly difficult in our home, as there are so many allergies to navigate. I used to make several versions of items, to make everyone happy. For example, we would have a gluten-free stuffing, and a regular stuffing. If we are hosting a large group, this normally works out well, but for a smaller dinner, it is just too much food. This year, we are going to have a very small holiday dinner for three people. With such an intimate group, it doesn’t make sense to make two types of everything, so I’m trying very hard to make sure everyone will be able to eat (and most importantly enjoy) everything on the table.
Conquering the Bread Basket
The hardest item on the Thanksgiving menu to make universally appealing, is the bread. As hard as I try, there is no “perfect” substitute for the real thing. The easiest way to manage this is normally to make cornbread. It is a seasonally appropriate item, and the gluten-free version is virtually indistinguishable from the gluten-full one. I do avoid eating corn for most of the year, but will make an exception on holidays.
The next option I have had success in serving, are paleo sweet potato popovers. Popovers are naturally eggy in texture, so the paleo version is not too far off. My husband is a huge fan of these, and we enjoy them all year long. The only downside is that they do take an hour to make, and are best served hot. That makes it a bit tricky to pull off during the holiday, when the oven is normally otherwise occupied.
For several years, I’ve played around with a few versions of this third recipe, trying to get it right. The goal was a roll that was similar to the popover, but a bit less eggy. I also wanted something that could be made ahead of time, and heated up before serving. The recipe I finally came up with hits the spot perfectly. They have a much less eggy texture than the popovers, but are still light and fluffy. They are perfect for soaking up gravy, or eating on their own. Best of all, they can be made a day ahead of time, and warmed up right before dinner.
Sweet Potato Rolls
The ingredients for these rolls are fairly basic. The most esoteric ingredient is the cassava flour, but that has become a staple in my pantry. Other than that, all you need are eggs, grass-fed butter, water, olive oil, mashed sweet potato, and rosemary (optional).
The equipment is fairy basic as well. All you will need is a blender, and a muffin tin! My blender was actually out on loan when I made these last, but my immersion blender worked perfectly. The batter will not be runny, but isn’t going to be doughy either.
The trickiest part of this recipe is getting the muffin tins greased. These rolls can stick pretty easily, so REALLY get the tins greased with butter. I then put the pan in the oven for about 3 minutes before filling with batter. This allows the butter in the tins to melt, and the outside of the rolls crisps up quickly so they are easier to get out when done.
- 3/4 cup mashed sweet potato
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 tbsp grass-fed butter (plus more for greasing muffin tin)
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups Otto's Natural Cassava Flour
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In your blender (or using immersion blender), combine the boiling water and 2 tbsp of butter. Blend until liquid looks like milk.
- Add in the mashed sweet potato, and blend until smooth.
- Add in the eggs, olive oil, and salt. Blend until smooth
- Slowly add in the cassava flour, half a cup at a time. Add in rosemary (if using), giving only one or two pulses to mix into the batter, without chopping up too finely.
- Liberally grease your muffin tin (1/2 tsp of grassfed butter in each works). Put the greased tin in the preheated oven for about 2-3 minutes. Butter should have pooled on the bottom of each muffin cavity, and be completely melted.
- Spoon batter into muffin tin. These do not rise too much, but do not over fill.
- Bake for 40 minutes. Muffins should be golden brown on top, but not burned. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container.