Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Slim Turkey Tetrazzini

The best thing about Thanksgiving is the left overs. Anyway, I think so. Pie every day for a week? Don't mind if I do. 27 ways to use up Turkey? Lets get going.

As a child, my favorite left over dish (unsurprisingly) was Turkey Tetrazzini. It was special-- more special than even Turkey Stew, which I loved (and still do love) because it was covered in cheese and cream sauce. Two of my favorite things.

Of course, now, although I still do love cheese and cream sauce, its not something that I indulge in often, and its not something that I generally cook. I would always rather splurge on a cookie. Thank goodness its cookie day today...speaking of which...

So, yesterday I decided to kill several birds with one stone. Those birds being a. left over turkey, b. left over mashed Parmesan cauliflower, and c. left over cheese from the cheese platter. Put it all together and what have you got? Slim Turkey Tetrazzini!
Al dente spaghetti, turkey, and broccoli smothered and baked in a creamy sauce that uses no butter and very little milk and cheese, topped with grated parmesan and bread crumbs-- delicious, and far lighter than the traditional recipe. 

I truly just eye balled all of the indgredients-- I'll give some rough estimates, but you'd be better off coming up with your own sauce to pasta ratio.

1/2 pound spaghetti boiled for about 8 minutes
about 2 cups pureed cauliflower
about 1/3 cup milk
about two tablespoons cheddar cheese
about 4 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan (reserve two for topping)
about 3/4 cup shredded white turkey meat
1/2 cup frozen (or fresh) broccoli florets

Boil the spaghetti, strain, and put into the baking dish. I used my dutch oven. In a sauce pan, pour the pureed cauliflower, and add the milk, salt, pepper, oregano, cheddar cheese, and half the Parmesan cheese.
Stir, and simmer on a low heat until the cheese is melted.
If you're using frozen broccoli, thaw out in your microwave. If you, like myself, do not have one, then run it under hot water. Or think ahead and boil it with the pasta, which is what I should have done. Shred the left over turkey meat over the pasta.
Add in the broccoli, and pour the 'cream' sauce over the top. Use tongs or two forks and stir it all around to make sure the pasta is well coated. 
Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan on top, as well as the bread crumbs, and a dash of salt, pepper, and paprika.

If you, like me, make this dish in the  morning and cook it when you get home from work in the evening, pour a little bit of milk down the sides to make sure it doesn't dry out. Bake covered at 375 for about 20 minutes, then uncover it and bake for another ten, or until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.
And that's that. You're all done, and it is delicious. 
At least I think so. But what do I know. Happy Thansgiving Eve. I am thankful for so many things. 

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