Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Tuna Casserole, that ol' favorite

I can't believe it took me so many years to introduce the kids to tuna casserole. My mom was a whiz at it, and I remember the anticipation I'd feel when I saw her take out the can-opener - it meant we were going to have a tuna dish, and her favorite was and is the casserole. It was our favorite as well.

Here it is - based on memory to come extent and to a couple of recipe sites. While simple to set up, with baking time, this dish may take up to 45 minutes to get onto the dinner table!

Ingredients:
One large handfull of noodles (my measurements tend to be peculiar when it comes to noodles. Also, I used Soba noodles.)
Three tablespoons butter (I replaced it today with "I can't believe it's not butter")
Two and a half tablespoons flour
One and a quarter cup milk (I use SkimPlus)
One cup shredded Cheddar cheese for the sauce, and a half cup for the top
One cup of peas or mixed vegetables
One can tuna, drained
Half teaspoons each of salt and pepper
Sliced tomato to decorate the top of the casserole
  • Cook the noodles, most take around 8 minutes to get to a nice al dente texture
  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter, then slowly add the flour as you mix it in. Also add pepper and salt to taste. Mix till this has a smooth consistency, but don't let it brown.
  • This is when the kids can get involved. Have them add in the milk, then the cheese and mix to a sauce. Always stay very close (see K at work in the picture above!)
  • Mix in the the peas, tuna and noodles, preferably in that order so that you get as even a mix as possible of all the ingredients. K was pretty excited to give me a hand as all the ingredients were added and then all that glorious mixing...!
  • You'll have to do the heavy lifting - pour the whole mixture into a greased pan. I use pyrex, and for the quantities above you might want a 2 quart, simple square pan
  • Add a layer of cheese as topping, and arrange the tomato slices for decoration
  • While you are at the stove, mixing up the ingredients, you might want to start pre-heating the over to 300 or 350 degrees. Go with 350 degrees, if it's a small oven, such as the one I like to use for my quick meals. F (175 degrees C). The dish should be ready in about 30 minutes
  • You can serve it by itself, or with a small garden salad on the side. I suspect hubby will be breaking out the hot sauce, though







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