From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I probably should buy smaller turkeys. While we are not traditional turkey lovers, my gang so loves the leftovers that are crafted from turkey remains, that I dare not bring anything less than an 18 to 20 pound bird into the house. I try, as best I can, to vary the dishes I make from leftover turkey, so each year I deliberately add a few new entrees to my permanent rotation. I gave this turkey casserole a trial run tonight, and my taster extraordinaire has given it his much coveted "Spousal Seal of Approval" That means it is good enough to share with you and will again appear on my table. The Silver Fox has been busy of late and he can now add dictation, data entry and all-around good-nature to his skill set. He has made it possible for me to continue sharing recipes and chatter with you and despite my pirate patch and restricted activities, I am getting better, much better. Hopefully, next week I'll be back in fighting form and once again able to read and comment at will, at least until the next transplant is done. I know you will love this casserole. It is rich and creamy and it is a wonderful way to dispose of those last handfuls of turkey. I can't help but think it would be a marvelous dish to tote a church supper or pot luck and if you have a large family they'll be on clouds nine from first to last bite. If yours is a group of two or four, make two smaller casseroles and freeze one of them for later use. I really hope you'll give this casserole a try. You won't be sorry. Promise! Here is how it's made.
Turkey Noodle Casserole...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite Courtesy of Fine Cooking magazine
4 tablespoons unsalted butter; more for the baking dish
3/4 cup coarse dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound assorted fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick
3 tablespoons minced shallots
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups low-fat milk
3-1/2 ounces (1-1/2 cups) grated sharp white Cheddar
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
8 ounces pappardelle pasta or wide egg noodles
3 cups shredded or diced roast turkey
1) Position a rack in the center of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 3-quart baking dish. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.
2) Mix breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon olive oil, Parmigiano, and sage in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
3) Heat a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan and then add e mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened and golden on edges, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and add shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring until softened, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
4) Melt butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk constantly until it colors slightly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and gradually whisk in enough milk to form a thick, smooth paste. Set pan back over heat and whisk in remaining milk in a steady stream. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 3 minutes, whisking constantly. Turn off the heat and stir in Cheddar and parsley. Season to taste with more salt and pepper. Set aside.
5) Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente, about 1 minute less than package timing. Drain and spread pasta in an even layer on bottom of prepared baking dish. Sprinkle turkey and mushrooms over pasta. Pour sauce on top and use a fork to distribute it evenly.
6) Sprinkle breadcrumbs over entire casserole. Set on a baking sheet to catch drips and bake until golden-brown and bubbling, about 50 to 60 minutes. Let rest 20 to 30 minutes before serving. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.
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