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Turkey Tetrazzini

By Dave Snowden  ·  December 29, 2009  ·  Cooking

200912282326.jpg The final cooking blog for Xmas, back to less serious stuff tomorrow! My promised recipe for the best recipe I have found for cold turkey. Its takes a bit of effort and it involves sauces sensitive to any failure to attend to them continuously. I doubled all these quantities today as I had a lot of people to feed, and you might want to do the same anyway. This is a great dish cold or to reheat. Apologies to Steve by the way, I hadn't realised that our office in Singapore is now majority vegetarian, with consequences for his eating habits. I gather than my blogging about congealed blood sausages has not helped!

I should also say that there are many recipes for this dish and I have tried many of these over the years so the following represents my best combination of multiple components. You need a pound or more of cold turkey, half a pound of pasta, 4oz of silvered and blanched almonds, lemon juice, half a pound of button mushrooms, half a pint of double cream, a glass of dry white wine together with cooking cheese and shaved parmesan. Most recipes use spaghetti but i prefer to use a thick tagliatelle ideally with Basil or some other strong herb. I also use the white meat as the source is white, the pasta ideally green and it makes for good presentation. Overall this dish needs a fresh green vegetable and a crisp white wine. I used broccoli and a sauvignon (which I have always preferred to Chardonnay.

So to the process:

  • Sauté the almonds in olive oil and salted butter until golden stirring continuously, then remove from the pan with a slotted spoon onto kitchen towel to drain.
  • Add a good spoonful of lemon juice to the remaining fat and and sauté the sliced mushrooms until soft, in parallel with this cook the pasta so the two are complete together. Drain the pasta and mix it in a large oven dish with the mushrooms and almonds, mixing well and fast to prevent the pasta sticking together. If necessary spend time separating the pasta strands now, you don't want your guests doing it after you serve it.
  • Now in a heavy pan (if you don't have a heavy pan you do not understand sauces) melt three good tablespoonfuls of butter and mix in floor slowing to form a roux. I use a flour shaker for this and a wooded spatula. You want the roux thick enough to start to separate, but only just and then you mix in ¾ of a pint of turkey stock - I use a whisk to prevent any lumps forming. Heat up a half pint of double cream in the microwave and blend that in along with the wine then add a quarter pound of greeting cheese, folding the whole picture over a low heat until it is a smooth sauce.
  • Half the sauce gets added to the pasta, and the shredded turkey is added to the remaining source now removed form the heat. Both these should be folded again and again until everything is covered with the sauce.
  • Now create a well down the centre of the pasta and pour the turkey mixture into that space, smooth it over, cover with the flaked parmesan and put it into the top oven of the Aga on the second shelf for half an hour. For those without an Aga then its 190°C.

It's an indulgent meal so you might as well go the whole hog (ironic that phrase) and finish it off with organic vanilla ice cream and slices of Red WIlliam Pears, if you want to be really indulgent pour some of the remaining double cream over that, the way it flakes in contact with the cold ice cream is wonderful. Then go to bed, wake up the next morning and take out that gym membership.