Friday, November 29, 2013

Turkey Tetrazzini

Years ago, I started Mrs.4444 Cooks, inspired by the one and only Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. I actually got to meet her once, in the lobby of BlogHer '09 Chicago, and I'm happy to confirm that:

*That she's every bit as down-to-earth as she seems on her blog (and on her cooking show).
*Her husband is a smokin' hot gentleman.
*Her boys are adorable little rascals who reminded me of puppies playing together (They were bored 4-5 year-olds at the time, and I didn't blame them.)

Anyway, although I don't get to Ree's blog very often, I am "friends" with her on Facebook, and she shared some tempting after-Thanksgiving recipes, so I thought I'd give one a whirl.  I liked it very much, and Mr.4444 proclaimed it "wonderful," so I thought I'd share it here.

This recipe reminded me of my Chicken Spaghetti recipe in the way that's it's prepared, so if you've made that, this one should be a snap. I'll warn you, though; this recipe is not for anyone in a hurry. I estimate that I was in the kitchen for an hour and a half, as there are a lot of ingredients to prep (or maybe I'm just slow):

Yes; that's stuffing on that plate with the turkey.
No, I didn't use the stuffing, and that was far more than enough turkey, too.
The containers in the middle-back hold frozen turkey broth; I had to thaw it.
Here's a handy photo of the ingredients after prepping
(click to make it nice and big):

Here's a list of the ingredients, in order of use:

4 Tbls. butter
4 cloves of minced garlic
1 pound of mushrooms (the best part, IMO!), cleaned and quartered 
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
1/3 cup flour
4+ cups turkey or chicken broth
1 8-oz pkg cream cheese, softened 
3 cups shredded or chopped turkey
1 cup finely-chopped black olives
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
4 slices of cooked, chopped bacon
1 cup grated Montery Jack cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

After you prep everything, put the pasta on to cook. When it's done, drain it and set it in a very large bowl (I use my biggest Tupperware bowl.).

Heat a large skillet to medium-high and melt the butter. Add the garlic and saute for a couple of minutes.

Add the mushrooms. At this point, I must interject to advise you that the best way to clean mushrooms is to wipe them with a clean, dry cloth.

See? Nice and clean and not slimy! Oh, and yes, I rebelled against the quartering advice and cut some of them in sixths and even eighths!

Add the salt and cook some more (2-3 minutes)

Pour in the wine and cook 5-7 minutes, until about half of the liquid has evaporated.

Next, sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and use a whisk to mix it in.
(Congratulations; you have made a "roux," which is a flour/fat mixture used for thickening sauces.)

Then add three cups of the broth, and cook it a few more minutes to thicken it a little. For what it's worth, I couldn't get mind to thicken much at this point, but I had added four cups of the broth, instead of three. It didn't turn out to matter, though.

Next, reduce the heat to low and cut the cream cheese into small pieces, adding it to the roux.
Stir to mix it in well. This is about how much it will melt in.

Then add the remaining ingredients: turkey, peas, bacon,

and cheeses.

Mix well. At this point, pour it all over the spaghetti in a very large bowl and mix it well.  Add the extra cup (or more) of broth now, as you want it to be nice and moist, as the spaghetti is going to soak up some of the broth. When I made this, I used four cups of broth, plus another 3/4 cups.

Top with breadcrumbs and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly and the top is browned.

For what it's worth, this recipe made enough for me to generously fill three 2-quart casserole dishes. I cooked one for Mr.4444 and me and froze the other two without putting the breadcrumbs on the ones that I put in the freezer.

The only thing I might do differently next time (and there will be a next time) is maybe add finely-chopped celery to the mushrooms/garlic. Sorry I don't have a photo of the finished product; I was too busy eating!
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