I was staring at those Chicken-less Strips at Trader Joe's and mulling recipes in my head, and thought, "Aha! Tetrazzini!" Well, sometimes I think that without any provocation or context, because I love it so, but it so happens that the only non-vegetarian components to that sumptuous but simple dish are (1) chicken and (2) chicken broth. And Imagine (the broth company) makes a pretty darned good No-Chicken Broth. Unfortunately TJ's does not carry that, so I had the rare experience of going to Whole Foods and spending less than $25, though not much less … everything else was from TJ's, though. And you could actually use any good (i.e. non-carroty) vegetable broth.
The ingredients are listed in order of their use:
3 TBS butter
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 TBS flour
1/4 C cream, combined with
1 C No-Chicken Broth
salt, to taste
1/4 C dry sherry (PLEASE use the drinkable kind!)
8 oz spaghetti, broken in half and cooked al dente
2 C Chicken-less Strips, chopped very coarsely
1/2 C shredded Parmesan
Preheat oven to 375º
Melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet or similar pan – I used an All-Clad handled stir-fry pan – and then sweat the mushrooms until soft.
Sprinkle on the flour and cook a few minutes to kill the raw taste. Add the cream and broth, stirring constantly until the sauce begins to thicken. Add salt as needed.
Remove from heat, and add the sherry, spaghetti, faux chicken and half the cheese. Stir until mixed, then turn into a greased baking dish. Sprinkle on the rest of the cheese and bake 30 minutes, or until top is browned to your liking.
I served this with pan-braised haricots verts (also from TJ's), though fresh green peas would be awfully good if you can find them. Mrs. O did take me to task for using the oven on a barn-burner day and making such a rich dish besides, but she and our visiting friend ate a good portion each and broke out the ice cream afterwards. And they agreed it was all but indistinguishable from the "real thing."
re: c oliver
1. I write them the way I want to read them, and thank you. This was originally written by someone who brought it (the chicken version) to a CH meetup/potluck several years ago, and I just noticed he'd put the cream out of order, which almost put me off when I made this last night. So I revised it.
2. Vegan? Not bloody likely! As it is she's less than totally doctrinaire about the vegetarian thing; if we're in a dim sum or a Taiwanese place, she won't eat only purely veggie because it won't be an adequate meal. She's not about to give up cottage cheese, yogurt or eggs.
When I was first thinking about a veggie version I wrote a mushrooms-only recipe but never got around to cooking it. This one came about when I was thinking of things to do with those chickenless strips.
Yes, I've been finding that shallots add a sort of meatiness to sauces and other preparations that none of their relatives can match. Wish I'd gotten to know them years ago!
Awesome! I'm actually very surprised TJs doesn't have a chickenless broth or bullion of some sort....
I don't buy the faux meats with any frequency but have used those same strips for a chickenless salad that my omni friends hoovered up, only later when asking me why i ate it did it register to them it wasn't really chicken....
TJ's does have a fairly decent vegetable broth, which one could use instead. Too many of those taste too heavily of carrots and/or celery.
Ralphs, our Kroger affiliate, carries all the other Imagine brand broths but not the No-Chicken. Whole Foods is the only source I've found here. I've used it for making pilaf, too, and when it's reduced it becomes more chicken-y.