It's already been a busy day at PawPaw's House prepping for Thanksgiving. All the chairs are up on tables, the kitchen/dining area is swept and mopped. The carcass of a turkey is boiling for broth. When the floor is dry I'll start cutting up sausage for Pastalaya. It's a recipe that has many variations, and PawPaw will make his own variety.
We have the family over here for the Wednesday night meal. It keeps Momma from having to serve a meal the night before Thanksgiving. She does the big feast at her place on Thursday, a traditional sit-down Thanksgiving.
Jambalaya is a cajun specialty, cooked normally in big pots to feed lots of people. Like most cajun dishes, it's rice based and easily prepared to feed a bunch of people. This other version uses pasta instead of rice and covers it all with a milk sauce, heavy on the cream and cheese. I'll be using most of a turkey and a big box of sausage for the meat, along with the cajun trinity of onions, bell peppers, and celery.
Oh, hell, I may as well tell you the recipe.
One turkey carcass, boiled for broth
Four pounds of sausage
4 cans rotel tomatoes
4 cans cream of mushroom soup
32 oz velveeta cheese
Quart of half & half.
4 cups onion, chopped
4 cups bell pepper, chopped.
some chopped celery, for flavor
3 lbs pasta. I'm using penne noodles
Peel the remaining meat off that turkey carcass, set it aside. Save the broth for later. That's too much flavor to throw away. Chop your sausage. In a big pot, sautee your vegetables in a little oil. When they're done the onion will be translucent and sweet. Add cream of mushroom soup, rotel tomatoes. slice the velveeta and add it to the mix. Stir frequently so it doesn't stick.
Boil your pasta to the al-dente stage and drain it. Fry your sausage. I like to put sausage in a big black pot, and cook it all together until it starts to brown. Sausage is already cooked, but this takes some of the grease out of it. Drain your sausage.
About this time, add that quart of half to your sauce mixture.
Put your pasta in a big roaster pan. (I use steam-table trays) Add turkey and sausage. Pour the sauce mixture over the whole shebang, give it a quick stir, and run it into a 350 oven for about 20 minutes, until everything firms up. You want it a little wet, but not runny.
Tonight we're serving it with a big salad and yeast rolls, but garlic bread would go with it as well. That recipe ought to serve about 30 people. It's easy enough to halve, or quarter, but this is not a recipe you want to cook for two people. You'll eat it for a week. However, this is a good recipe to take to a church social.