Adventures in Eating: Turkey Tetrazini
By the time most of you read this column, Thanksgiving will have been history. You will have baked (hopefully) or purchased your cooked turkey, and some of that good stuff is still in your refrigerator. Leftover turkey, whether it be made into curry, salad, sandwiches, hash, etc. is always welcome. Turkey is a bountiful food that lends itself to infinite varieties of creativity.
Our daughter’s husband’s grandfather was from Louisville, Kentucky. His favorite was turkey hash. I never knew there was such a dish, and when we were with him for one Thanksgiving, I accommodated him with his favorite. I was most gratified when he exclaimed, “tastes just like what my wife used to make.”
This month’s recipe is one I know you will enjoy “fooling around with.” Luisa Tetrazzini, the Italian opera star of the early 1900’s, lent her name to this dish, which is decidedly American in character.
I am putting you to the task of reading the recipe as I have it. Your job will be to give it your own touch by embellishing its ingredients.
1(7-8 oz.) spaghettini
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 green pepper, seeded,in pieces
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
4 cups milk or 2 cups milk and 2 cups half and half (or part turkey broth)
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2 cups cooked turkey or chicken, cut into 3/4 inch cubes, or shredded
1 pimiento, chopped or 1 small jar pimiento
1/3 cup grated or shredded parmesan (markets have this already for you)
2 tb. chopped green onions (green and all), 2 tb. chopped parsley, 1/4 cup white wine (as part of your liquid measure) 1/4 cup chopped celery.
Cook spaghettini according to package directions, drain thoroughly, and Saute mushrooms, green pepper, green onion, and celery in butter until tender, stirring constantly. Stir in flour and seasoning. Add milk or half and half (or part wine, or turkey broth) gradually, and simmer until thickened, stirring constantly. Combine with Swiss cheese, turkey, spaghettini, pimiento, and parsley. Turn into shallow 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over top. Bake covered in slow oven (325 degres for 40-45 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Uncover to brown last ten minutes. Seasonings: a dash of garlic powder, dry oregano and basil is also a good addition. If you have peas, or other veggies, throw it in You may surprise yourself. Try it!
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