Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Turkey Noodle Casserole

Mmm, mmm, good! Turkey Noodle Casserole made without the addition of any Campbell's Soup® products, thank you very much!

At this point in the game, we're all fairly tired of T-U-R-K-E-Y! We kicked off turkey season with a hearty turkey dinner while our daughter was here visiting in October (as she couldn't join us for Thanksgiving because of the ski resort season back in Vermont), then we went to a benefit turkey dinner in Crab Orchard in mid-November, another turkey dinner at the children's school, and another at a pastor friend's Baptist church (try as he might, we probably won't join but we might pop in now and then–you see, we would like to find a church but we're sort of grazing right now). That is an average of one turkey dinner, with all the fixings, a week for the entire month before Thanksgiving!

So imagine our boys' delight when I announced in Liberty this evening after our chiropractor appointments (Dr. Michael Turner at Back and Body loves to see us coming and he is a dear person with great talents, a friendly staff and reasonable rates) that I had a turkey noodle casserole at home in the oven on timed bake! Oh, my, you could hear the hollerin' all the way home! There was a brief attempt at lobbying for Mexican food but I said if I get dragged in there one more time, I'LL go on strike! (Nothing against it, we have just dined there a little too often and options around here can be limited.) So we compromised: I'm going to Danville tomorrow with friends and won't be home until late, and Dad can take the boys out to the Mexican restaurant. Fine. Throw in the promise of a few after-homework chess games, and it's a deal.

The one thing I do get upset about is when I bake a casserole, no matter how creamy, it dries out. Perhaps I should have baked it for 30 minutes instead of the 45 on timed bake. I have always loved tuna noodle casserole, made with white tuna, so you can readily substitute chicken or turkey for that (especially if your husband grouses about tuna noodle casserole–some childhood memory). You can even substitute crab meat, langostinos (mini-lobsters in many freezer sections) or shrimp for the white meat. Last night I made "creamed turkey" with a white sauce and with the leftovers assembled this easy casserole for supper tonight. It's even kind of turkey tetrazini-ish (I suppose if you substituted spaghetti that it would be). But the best part is that, finally, a week later, the turkey is ALL gobble, gobble GONE!

Turkey Noodle Casserole a la Catherine
  • leftover turkey bits (about 4-6 cups, or more)
  • 1 bag of frozen broccoli bits
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
  • 1 shallot or small onion
  • 2 garlic cloves minced (or more to taste)
  • 1 package sliced mushrooms (this was the one thing I did not have on hand!)
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2-4 cups whole milk and/or half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs (I make my own by lightly toasting crumbled bread)
  • salt and pepper (I also use paprika and dried chervil or parsley)
  • 4 tablespoons fresh parsley if you have it
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 16-ounces very wide egg noodles (or whatever your preference: I use Mrs. Miller's®)
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Boil water and cook noodles according to package instructions. Lightly steam broccoli until just done (I do mine in the same multi-steamer pot with the pasta).
  3. While water is heating, make ROUX/White Sauce by melting 6 tablespoons butter. To this add chopped small onion or shallot, minced garlic, and mushrooms. Sauté for a few minutes. Add flour until blended and stir quickly. Slowly add milk/half-and-half and whisk gently until thickened (you must watch this part carefully). Add more liquid if too thick: you want a sauce that is like a good gravy in consistency. Add salt and pepper and other seasonings to taste (you can also add a few tablespoons of chicken stock base and there are many out there that don't have MSG in them). Take off heat once thickened.
  4. Stir in chopped turkey, chopped fresh parsley and sour cream and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.
  5. Drain noodles and immediately toss back in with white sauce mixture. Add broccoli and stir gently.
  6. Pour into greased, large 2 quart baking dish or a 13x9 dish.
  7. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and toss with 2 cups of breadcrumbs to coat and any seasoning you'd like (if you use homemade breadcrumbs). Toss in the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese after you've combined the bread and butter. Sprinkle equally on top of casserole.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until slightly brown and bubbly.
To counteract all of that casserole-y goodness, serve with a tossed salad and a glass of good white wine!

PS The Casey County News ran my story on the sale of Hazel's Store today. You can read it on-line here.


sweetjeanette said...

oh my goodness, this does sound delish! Thank you!

Christmas Goodies Recipe Exchange

Sheila Henline said...

Mmmmm... this sounds good! I can't wait to try it. There's always turkey around Christmas, too! *smile*