Thursday, August 11, 2016

Turkey Tetrazzini

I stored leftover turkey in the freezer for a reason.

I've never actually had turkey tetrazzini, but I've certainly heard of it.  It actually isn't too different from Turkey Divan, just with different veggies and spaghetti.

The recipe I followed was from  Well, almost followed.  I omitted the salt.  Even with making my own unsalted turkey stock from scratch, there was almost sufficient salt from the parmesan, celery, turkey, and onion.  I only added a pinch.  I can't imagine how over-salted it would be if you used a quart of regular broth and then added half a teaspoon.  Since I don't plan to ask anyone to make their own broth for this recipe, I'm instead calling for low-sodium broth and salting to taste.

I haven't followed a recipe as detailed as one I write in a while.  I hereby applaud any reader who tries to make one of my more complex posts.  For something that looks just like a pot pie base until you dump in the spaghetti, it felt complicated.

8 oz dry spaghetti
1 Tb butter
1/2 C finely diced onion
2/3 C finely sliced celery
1 medium carrot, peeled and either diced or cut in matchsticks
8 oz can sliced mushrooms, drained
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 C flour
1/4 C sherry or 1/2 C white wine
1 qt low-sodium chicken or turkey broth
*1 C grated parmesan cheese, divided
4 oz reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
1 C frozen peas
2 C pre-cooked, shredded turkey meat (about 1 lb)
1/2 C panko breadcrumbs
salt to taste

1.  Cook spaghetti according to package instructions, breaking strands into several pieces on the way in.  Drain, then keep moist until ready to use.  Preheat oven to 350º and coat a 9" x 11" casserole with pan spray.

2.  In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.  Add onion, celery, carrot, mushrooms, and pepper.  Cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
3.  Add flour and stir until all liquids are absorbed.  Everything will look pasty.  Add wine or sherry and it will start to melt down.  Gradually add broth, allowing mixture to thicken between additions.  I know it's going to look soupy, but the spaghetti is going to absorb quite a bit of it.  Once all the broth is in, allow to simmer for 5 minutes, to finish cooking the carrots.  While that's going on, stir together breadcrumbs and 1/2 C parmesan to make the crumb topping.  Always use simmering time to prep a later step or do dishes.

4.  Remove saucepan from heat and quickly stir in cream cheese and other 1/2 C parmesan.  Eventually, it will melt into the mix.  Add the turkey and peas.  At this point, it's really going to start to look like a pot pie base.  Taste and add salt if too bland, keeping in mind that there's more parmesan going on top.  Drain the spaghetti if it's sitting in cold water, then add to the mix.  Stir to distribute evenly.

5.  Pour mixture into prepared casserole.  Sprinkle with crumb topping and bake for 30 minutes, until golden and bubbly.  Allow to sit for at least 15 minutes.  The casserole will stay warm for up to an hour, and it is much easier to serve once it cools a bit.

Serves 6

Difficulty rating  :)

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