Wrestling With Food: Turkey and Spinach Tetrazzini a la Undertaker

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    • Wrestling With Food: Turkey and Spinach Tetrazzini a la Undertaker

      The WWF Cookbook is a treasure trove of crazy recipes from the Attitude Era, each of which is purportedly the creation of one of the wrestlers. In Wrestling With Food, Sydney is on a mission to try cooking all of them to see if any are actually edible.

      This week, I’m making Undertaker’s Turkey and Spinach Tetrazzini. So, this cookbook was published during the weird time where the Undertaker was a biker, and his entrance music was Kid Rock. Now, my memory is hazy of this time, but was there ever a reasonable transition between you know, Undertaker Classic to Biker Undertaker? Or did he one day toss off the leather hat, hop on a bike, and that’s how it all happened?

      Anyway, a tetrazzini is a hilarious choice for the Undertaker, given it’s just good old comfort food, and that’s about the last thing I can picture him eating (or making). Kudos to whomever pulled this selection. In his comments on the recipe, JR says Undertaker’s “lady” makes this for him all the time, and he loves it. I guess it would have been less exciting to call it Undertaker’s Girlfriend’s Turkey and Spinach Tetrazzini, but goddamn it, I just want to trust the WWE. I expect transparency from those McMahons.

      (NOTE FROM TOM: JR mentions that the Undertaker’s “lady” makes him this to keep him happy, implying that bad things happen when he’s unhappy, so add subtle allusions to domestic violence to the WWF Cookbook’s many crimes against humanity.)

      But let’s move on.

      The ingredients:

      8 oz. spaghetti, broken into 4-inch lengths.

      Salt to taste.

      1 dead turkey (cut 3 cups bite-size pieces of cooked turkey from the carcass).

      2 9-oz. packages frozen creamed spinach, thawed.

      1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese.

      1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped.

      2 large cloves garlic, minced.

      10 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.

      Pepper to taste.

      Okay, SO. Right off the bat, I did not have any leftover turkey. It’s a two person household, folks. I don’t roast turkeys on the weekly. I subbed with a chicken from the grocery store (JR SAID IT WAS OKAY) and then tore the meat from the carcass.

      The process:

      1. Preheat oven to 450F.

      2. Cook the pieces of spaghetti in large pot of boiling, salted water until tender. Drain thoroughly, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.

      3. In a large bowl, mix spaghetti, turkey, creamed spinach, ricotta cheese, tomatoes, garlic, 8 tablespoons of the cheese, and the reserved cooking liquid. Season with pepper.

      4. Spread the mixture into two 9-inch pie plates and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cheese. Bake 10 minutes, or until the top is light golden colour.

      As meals go, I have to say this is a fairly easy one to prepare. The worst part is pulling the chicken from the bones, and making sure you don’t overcook the pasta. I will admit, it didn’t look all that appetizing midway through:

      I transferred it into the two 9-inch pie plates and put them into the oven as directed, waited about fifteen minutes, and then took them out.

      VOILA.

      Those two dishes represent what is supposed to 4-6 servings. I’m going to have to assume these are wrestler-sized servings, because in no way would the average person be able to eat even 1/6 of this in a sitting, much less half of one of those pie plates.

      The verdict:

      Me: Okay, so I was a fan, to be honest. It WAS a smidge bland, so if I made it again, I would just spice it up a little bit with whatever I had handy. It just needed a bit of a kick. I’m a fan of a baked pasta dish (I love ziti) so this was up my alley.

      Comments from Tom:

      “Is there chicken in here?” (I unevenly distributed the chicken in the pie dishes. One had a heck of a lot of spinach, and one pretty much had all the chicken. My bad)

      “It’s… okay, a little bland.” (Agreed)

      Tom’s star rating: 2 1/2 out of 5 stars.

      We did go back for leftovers and I would make it again – for example, I think it’d be the perfect dish to serve Steve Blackman, should he ever accept my invitation to come round for dinner and game night. We’ve got Parcheesi, Steve! And Pictionary! COME ON LETHAL WEAPON, STOP IGNORING ME.

      However, like I said, I would just season it differently. Also, as you can probably tell, this is not a low fat dish; it’s one of those things you should make at MOST once a month, which I’m sensing is a theme with this cookbook.

      (NOTE FROM TOM: Like Mark Henry’s Sexual Chocolate Cake, there was kind of too much of everything with this, or at least with the cheese and spinach. Having said that, I still ate it twice so… yeah.)

      – Look out for another Wrestling With Food soon, or check the Wrestling With Food archives for a full rundown of all the recipes covered so far. In the meantime, you can follow Sydney on Twitter.

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