Turkey Tetrazzini

1 1/2 lb.  spaghetti, broken in half
4 tablespoons butter
1-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. sliced white mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup flour
4 cup chicken (or turkey) broth
8-ounces cream cheese
3 cup cooked (leftover) turkey, shredded or diced

1 1/2 cups frozen green peas
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
pinch (a big one) ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste
Extra broth for thinning
1 cup panko bread crumbs

Cook pasta until al dente. Drain, rinse, and set aside. 

In a large pot, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté for one minute until fragrant. Add mushrooms and salt, then sauté for 3-5 minutes until the mushrooms start to brown on the edges. Pour in the chicken stock and allow it to cook with the mushrooms for several minutes until the liquid reduces by half. 

Sprinkle in flour and stir for another minute. Pour in the broth and stir, cooking for another few minutes until the roux thickens. 

Reduce heat to medium-low. Cut cream cheese into pieces and add it to the pot. It will be lumpy but it will melt in the oven. Add the leftover turkey,  the frozen peas, parmesan, and nutmeg. Stir to combine, adding salt and pepper as needed. 

Add the cooked spaghetti and stir it to combine. Splash in more broth as needed; you want the mixture to have a little extra moisture since it will cook off in the oven. Add up to 2 more cups of stock if you think it needs it. 

Pour the mixture into a large baking dish and sprinkle the top with Panko crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbly and the crumbs are golden brown. Sprinkle with more parmesan when serving.

Cornbread apple dressing with sausage and pecans

12 tablespoons  butter (1 1/2 sticks)
2 cups finely-chopped yellow onions
3 tart apples, cored and chunked, but not peeled (Jonathan, Winesap or Granny Smith)
1 lb bulk breakfast sausage, with sage (or your favorite bulk sausage)
3 cups coarsely crumbled cornbread
3 cups coarsely crumbled whole wheat bread or 3 cups multi-grain bread
3 cups coarsely crumbled French bread or 3 cups Italian bread
2 teaspoons  dried thyme
1 teaspoon  dried sage
salt and pepper, to taste
1⁄2cup chopped Italian parsley(dried is fine too)
1 1⁄2cups shelled pecan halves (do not chop)
1(14 ounce) can chicken broth(optional, for a more moist dressing)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Melt half the butter in a large skillet.
  3. Add onions and cook over medium-low to medium heat until tender and lightly browned, about 25 minutes.
  4. Remove onion and butter from pan and put in a very large bowl to be mixed later.
  5. In same skillet, melt rest of the butter, add apple, and cook quickly over high heat until lightly browned, but not mushy.
  6. Remove apples and butter from pan and put in the bowl with the onions.
  7. With the pan back on the burner, add sausage, crumbling as you cook it over medium heat, and cook until lightly browned.
  8. When done, remove with a slotted spoon and add it to the mixing bowl.
  9. Reserve drippings for basting later.
  10. Add remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl and combine gently.
  11. If you’re going to stuff a turkey, cool completely in the refrigerator first.
  12. To cook it as a separate dressing, spoon the mixture into a large casserole (13 x 9 or slightly larger), cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45-60 minutes at 350, basting occasionally with cooking juices from the turkey or with reserved sausage fat, if needed.
  13. Uncover the pan for the last 10 minutes of cooking to brown.
  14. Serve hot or warm.
  15. Note: You may need to use additional broth (approximately one 14 ounce can) as necessary to adjust the moistness of the stuffing to your taste, or if there are insufficient drippings from your poultry.

Poblano Corn Custard

11X16-inch baking dish
For the custard:
8 large eggs
6 ears of corn, stripped of silks, rinsed, and kernels cut from cobs ( I’ve used 2 bags frozen in a pinch)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
dash Tabasco or other hot sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup cilantro, leaves only
1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
2/3 cup breadcrumbs
1 quart heavy cream (half & half works well too)
1 poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped (could also opt for canned green chiles for more heat)

For the topping:
1/2 cup fresh goat cheese
fresh ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350º. In a medium bowl, mix the custard ingredients well. Pour into pan, top with crumbled goat cheese and fresh ground black pepper. Bake uncovered for 40-50 minutes, until set. It will puff up, indicating that the eggs are cooked. Cover the pan if the edges gets too brown before the custard is cooked.

Makes 12-14 side servings

Smoky Pimento Cheese Spread

Serve this smoky spread with the usual crackers, or spread on a sandwich in place of a slice of regular cheddar. I promise it will not disappoint.

Makes 4 Cups

2 cups  smoked gouda. shredded
2 cups sharp cheddar, shredded
1/3 cup chopped pimentos
1/2 cup mayonnaise (Dukes is my favorite)
1/4 sour cream
Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
1/2  teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2  teaspoon granulated onion
1/4  teaspoon cumin
1/2  teaspoon chili powder
Pinch of cayenne
Pinch of sugar


Combine all ingredients in a standing mixer bowl. Mix thoroughly with paddle attachment (or your hands) until creamy and the pimentos are well distributed. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving.

Pimento cheese will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about a week.