Sunday, December 26, 2010

turkey tetrazzini (or thanksgiving, part II)

Today's posts are earmarked from last month, but somehow it seemed appropriate to post them now. Hope your holidays are merry and bright!

November 26, 2010

Yesterday marked one of my favorite days of the year. I worked out early so that I could veg out for the rest of the day with D and Esme in front of the TV, drinking beer, napping, eating, and watching football. I took two naps yesterday. It was heaven.

Anyway, while D was cleaning up after his evening workout, I threw together this recipe from some of the ingredients we had leftover from the big meal on Thursday: turkey breast, half a bottle of white wine, some half-and-half, a can of mushrooms, a couple of shallots, and some fresh herbs. I always keep homemade sourdough breadcrumbs in the refrigerator because they're so much better for you than the kind you buy ready-made (lots of hydrogenated oil in those), and well nigh anything tastes good breaded with them.

I once made a version of turkey tetrazzini for my family during the holidays, and when we ate this batch, D and I agreed that it should become a tradition for the day after Thanksgiving.

turkey tetrazzini

1 package angel hair, cooked and drained
1/2 stick of butter
1 medium to large shallot, finely diced
3 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. dry mustard powder
1 1/2 cups chicken stock, warmed
1 cup chardonnay (or other dry white wine)
1 1/2 cups half-and-half, warmed (I used a combo of fat-free & regular)
a couple of cups of diced leftover turkey
1 large can mushrooms, drained
1 tbsp. chopped fresh chives 

1 tbsp. stripped thyme leaves, chopped
1/4 cup (plus reserved 2 tbsp.) grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
2 tbsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook pasta to a couple of minutes shy of the package directions - it will cook the rest of the way in the oven. Drain and reserve.

In a large, heavy pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallot and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until it’s beginning to brown. Add flour and cook 1 to 2 minutes, until floury taste is gone. Whisk in hot chicken stock. Bring to a boil and add wine. Boil for a minute or so to let it thicken. Reduce heat, add half-and-half, and heat through. Turn off the heat. Add mushrooms, turkey, herbs, 1/4 cup of Parmesan, and pasta. Stir gently until everything is incorporated.

Spoon pasta mixture into a buttered 9-x-13 pan. In a small bowl, mix together bread crumbs, reserved 2 tbsp. Parmesan, Italian parsley, and olive oil. Scatter over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until bubbly. Crank the heat up to broil for the last couple of minutes so that the breadcrumbs get a bit browned on top.

Finally, here's to you: with a beer in my hand, wearing PJs with a cat asleep at my feet, I'm toasting the efforts of every Thanksgiving cook who made it to the finish line this year, no matter how many mishaps you had in the kitchen. Hope you enjoy your leftovers as much as we did ours.

Mmmmmmm... Zzzzzzz...

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