Welcome to the new and improved Carano's Cucina. I make a lot of kick ass food and go out to some amazing restaurants. Take a look around and make yourself at home :)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Turkey Casserole

Seriously? It's really been since November 20 since I posted a blog?? I can't believe it. Time really does fly. So allow me to apologize for staying away so long, and apologize in advance for the photos that go with this blog. I was just sizing them and noticed how incredibly dark they are. I realized that I had adjusted my flash so my Christmas tree photos with the lights on would be darker, and show the lights more. And apparently I forgot to change it back. I fixed them as best I could. The final product pictures actually turned out OK. It's the rest that are bit dark and weird looking.

So without further ado, this is a casserole I made with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving (actually a week or so after Thanksgiving when I had another dinner). If you shy away from butter, then read no further. This recipe is chock full of it. Everything is betta with butta.

First of all you want to make a pound of pasta or egg noodles. I used rotini pasta for this. At the same time, in the same pot with the pasta, cook a bag of a frozen vegetable medley. I used carrots, cauliflower and broccoli. You will also need about 2 cups of chopped/cubed cold leftover turkey. No bones please.

You will also need about a cup and a half of shredded cheese. I used cheddar.

I'm working from memory here, because like the dork I am, I didn't write down what I was doing. Shame too, because this casserole was really delicious! First you start with a classic white sauce, 1 stick of butter and 1/2 cup of flour in a large pot on medium heat. Cook them together until it's just starting to change color. Don't let it brown though. It should be a golden tan color.

Slowly add 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of chicken broth and stir until it starts to thicken. Stir in about a teaspoon of salt, pepper to taste and about a teaspoon of dried thyme. Then add in your cheese. You can turn the heat off at this point, the cheese will melt from the heat of the sauce.

Add the rest of your ingredients to the pot... pasta, veggies, and turkey. Stir to coat in the sauce.

Pour the whole mixture into a buttered (OK, you can use cooking spray here) casserole dish and top with bread crumbs and if you're feeling like you want to go for it, dot the top with more butter.

Everything is already cooked so it doesn't have to stay in the oven very long but bake it at 350 for about 30-40 minutes. Check and make sure the top is browning and the casserole is bubbly.

This really was delish! So much better than anything you can make with cream of whatever soup! Serve with a salad or some crusty bread or heck, why not both? And enjoy!

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