Today is an auspicious day: my paternal grandmother turns ONE HUNDRED AND ONE.
I know, right? She was born in 1909. Happy Birthday Grandma!
Because she’s a hundred and one she’s not really up-to-date on the how-tos of internet surfing, but I figured it’s the thought that counts. I’ll probably bake her a cake too.
Today’s post is about leftovers, which are rather inauspicious, but it’s in the spirit of the sort of thing my dad remembers his mother making for him when he was younger.
Casserole. I’m not a huge fan of casseroles. Believe it or not I’m not a huge fan of turkey, either. I know, it’s shocking. It’s always a struggle for me to figure out what to do with my leftovers once I’ve finished a major turkey holiday such as Thanksgiving or Christmas or Easter. Sure, there’s soup, but aside from the Pie’s favourite Hot Turkey Sandwiches (*shudder*), what else are you going to do? Turkey salad, turkey sandwiches, cold turkey … and turkey casserole. But this one I actually like. I pulled it off the internet a few years ago and the ubiquitous casserole dish finds its way into my refrigerator like clockwork when there’s turkey around. The original recipe calls for asparagus, but I use broccoli because asparagus is out of season.
Get your mise en place ready, because all the steps kind of follow each other really quickly so it’s good to be prepared ahead of time.First, chop up and gently steam about 2 cups broccoli.
Chop up a bunch of green onions (I used three green onions and a shallot) and a red pepper and set all your vegetables aside.
Cook one cup penne or similar pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
Grate one cup cheddar cheese.
Have your garlic-in-a-jar at the ready.
Have also ready the following:
6 tablespoons flour.
1 1/2 cups chicken broth.
3 cups cooked diced turkey.
1 cup soft bread crumbs.
1 tbsp melted butter, cooled.
Also you will need 2 cups milk, but I don’t have a photo of that because the chicken broth was in my only remaining measuring cup.
Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish.
In a large saucepan on medium-low, melt 6 tablespoons butter (that’s slightly less than half a cup).
Add the red pepper and sauté until tender.
Add 2 teaspoons garlic and the onions and cook for a further minute.
Stir in the flour until well blended.It should look all mushy.
Stir in chicken broth, cooking until thickened.
Stir in milk and cook, stirring, until thickened and hot.
Add in salt and pepper to taste, together with any herbs of your choosing, such as oregano or basil, then add the broccoli and the turkey. Heat through.
Stir in the cheese and cook until it’s all melted in.
Stir in the cooked drained pasta.
Pour it all into a baking dish.
Mix your melted butter with your bread crumbs.
Sprinkle that over top.
Bake for about 30-35 minutes until hot and bubbly.
Let it sit for about 5 minutes before serving.
You can keep leftovers covered in the fridge for a couple days, too.