How’d your vacation go? Mine, like so many others, was hijacked by the omicron surge.

The (booster-ed) son I used to be presupposed to spend Christmas with unexpectedly examined constructive, placing an abrupt finish to our deliberate household feast — and leaving me and my husband with a really costly, 9-pound smoked ham from Parma Sausage in Pittsburgh’s Strip District.

COVID-19, if something, has taught us all methods to pivot. Within the days that adopted, we ate our fill of ham and home made candy pickle sandwiches, and I additionally folded chunks of the cured meat right into a savory quiche Lorraine. I additionally whipped up this wealthy and creamy ham tetrazzini earlier than tucking a couple of chunks into the freezer.

Believed to be named after the Italian opera star Luisa Tetrazzini, and made well-known by chef Louis Paquet within the Twenties, the noodle dish is historically made with hen or seafood. However actually, any protein works, together with ham.

The unique NYT recipe requires fontina cheese and a panko topping, however I used what I had available — shredded gouda and recent breadcrumbs toasted in butter. If you happen to don’t love peas, think about asparagus, spinach or broccoli florets for a brilliant splash of inexperienced.

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

8 ounces button mushrooms, any robust or dry stems discarded, sliced

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

8 ounces cream cheese, reduce into chunks

2 cup chopped leftover ham

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus further for serving

1 cup shredded gouda cheese

Preheat oven to 400 levels (common) or 375 levels (convection). Carry a big pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook dinner the pasta till simply shy of al dente, about 2 minutes lower than the bundle directs. Drain and rinse with chilly water.

In the meantime, in a big Dutch oven, soften 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high warmth, and add the mushrooms. Season calmly with salt and pepper, and cook dinner, stirring solely often, till the mushrooms have launched their liquid and have began to brown deeply, 8 to 11 minutes. Add the garlic and cook dinner, stirring, till aromatic, 1 minute.

Add flour. Stir nicely, till the flour and the mushrooms are evenly mixed and the flour is evenly moistened, about 1 minute. Whisk within the white wine, and let it come to a boil, whisking continuously. Let the wine bubble to scale back barely, 2 minutes. Whisk within the hen inventory, and let it come to a boil. Cook dinner till it thickens noticeably, about 5 minutes.

Scale back warmth to low. Whisk within the chunks of cream cheese (don’t fret if the cream cheese seems curdled), then fold within the ham, peas and the cheeses. Season generously with black pepper. Add the drained pasta and toss with tongs to mix. Style and add salt if needed.

Switch to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. (I divided it between 2 smaller pans so I might share.)

Soften the remaining tablespoon of butter in a small bowl within the microwave or pan on high of the range, and toss with the bread crumbs. Sprinkle the toasted crumbs all around the high of the pasta, and bake till bubbly and browned on high, about 25 minutes.

Let the casserole relaxation for five minutes earlier than serving. Will probably be very creamy at first however will agency up because it cools.

Serve with further Parmesan for sprinkling.

(c)2022 the Pittsburgh Submit-Gazette

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