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Turkey Tetrazzini

Indio, California: Not so sure, exactly, why I became so obsessed with this high-carb fatty dish, but there is usually no reasoning to my focus, so I just "go with it" and DT just "eats with it". My Driver deserves some-sort of Guinea Pig of the Year award. Thank goodness we he exercises so much to burn off all the tetrazzini carbs I have been serving the past several weeks. This dish wouldn't seem so indulgent if not for the sad, sad fact we will be dining on Fettuccini Alfredo on the 31st... because it is December 31st and that is what we eat on the last day of the year.

Just like we have black eyed peas on the first day of the year. Tradition.

After making Turkey (or chicken) Tetrazzini for weeks now, tonight I finally prepared the perfect (to me) tetrazzini. Just enough turkey, mushrooms, peas, pasta and cheese. No celery. The correct combination on the fifth attempt. Go, me.

The recipe is really just too-too much for the RV kitchen. Mushrooms and onions to saute in a skillet, a pot to boil the pasta, a colander to drain the pasta, a huge mixing bowl to gather the ingredients and then - wham - a big casserole to bake the finished masterpiece. The above list does not include measuring cups/spoons, cutting boards, knives, etc.

That said, I have made tetrazzini five times in the motorhome, helping the task a bit by purchasing already-sliced mushrooms and already-shredded mozzarella.

A bit of trivia: this dish was invented in San Francisco and named for Italian opera singer Luisa Tetrazzini.

Olive oil
One medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound mushrooms (white or crimini are best), sliced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
8 ounces creme fraiche*
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
Black pepper, to taste
8 ounces dry spaghetti, broken in half, and cooked two minutes less
     than package directions, rinsed, drained and cooled
1 pound cooked turkey or chicken, coarsely chopped (about 3 cups)
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup frozen peas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup coarsely shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Italian-style bread crumbs 
Chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish, if desired

Heat oven to 375°. Oil a large heavy casserole dish (9x13-inch or larger). Heat a skillet over medium heat and coat the bottom with a little olive oil. Saute the onion until soft, and the onion begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic, sliced mushrooms and thyme and saute, stirring often, until the mushrooms are soft and have released their liquid. Remove from heat. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a plate and leave to cool.

Place the chicken stock, wine, creme fraiche, salt and pepper in a very large mixing bowl. Use a whisk to combine. Add the cooked pasta; stir. Add the chopped turkey (or chicken), mozzarella, peas and the cooled mushroom mixture. Stir very well. Mixture will feel a bit soupy - this is good. 

Pour the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish (I use my 11-inch round stoneware baking dish). (At this point, the casserole can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for a few hours.) Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese over the top, then the bread crumbs.

Bake at 375° for 45-50 minutes, or until bubbly and browned on top. Let rest 10 minutes and serve, garnished with chopped Italian parsley, if desired. Serves 4 runners or 6-8 normal people.

*NOTE: Creme Fraiche is a thick cream, similar in style to sour cream, but creme fraiche will not curdle when cooked. In most supermarkets, it is located next to the sour cream in the refrigerated section. Do not substitute sour cream in this recipe - it will most-likely curdle. If you can't find creme fraiche, use softened cream cheese... or a little white sauce or - in desperation - a can of cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup.

Until my next update, I remain, your no-more-turkey correspondent.

RV PARK:  Motorcoach Country Club - The Crown Jewel of Motorcoach Resorts. 400 sites, three pools, three spas, fitness center, golf, bocce ball, tennis, 2-mile waterway, fine-dining restaurant, bar, security, planned activities, perfectly maintained. Sites for sale or rent.