1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black
pepper, or to taste
Put the almonds in a toaster oven or regular oven and bake at 350 degrees F until
they are golden brown (about 10 minutes).
Butter a casserole dish (such as an 8-8-inch
square baking pan).
Put 2 cups of water on to boil with 1 teaspoon salt. When it boils, add rice,
cover, reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and let sit for
Melt fat in a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Chop celery into small dice.
Add to the fat along with the mushrooms. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring
occasionally, until mushrooms begin to brown and all the liquid they give up has
evaporated. Shake flour over skillet and stir to blend as evenly as possible with
the vegetables. Add the broth in a slow stream. The flour will seize into a tight
mass but keep adding liquid and stirring; it should relax. Add the milk, tarragon,
turkey, pimento and pepper. Stir until the mixture boils, then remove from heat.
Combine with rice in the prepared casserole, sprinkle with almonds and bake
minutes, or until heated through. You may add cheese and/or breadcrumbs to the almond
topping if desired.