Friday, November 20, 2009
Not Your Mamma's Tuna Casserole
This recipe is way better than the traditional cream of... soup version. It has more flavor, is more economical (without buying the processed soup), and is a bit healthier. The recipe for the white sauce could be used in any recipe to replace the standard cream of... soup, just add desired veggies or meat to achieve the needed replacement. It's the same technique as making a standard white sauce or gravy, and is very versatile.
-1 lb. whole wheat egg noodles, cooked al dente to package directions
-1/4 c. butter
-4 stalks celery, diced
-1 onion, diced
-1/4 c. flour
-1 t. salt
-1/2 t. black pepper
-1 1/2 c. skim milk
-2-3 cans water-packed tuna, fully drained
-3/4 c. light mayonnaise
-2 c. frozen peas, thawed
-Spices to play along with dish- curry, dill, cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning, cumin, thyme, lemon pepper (my current favorite is 2 teaspoons of garlic powder along with 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning and 1/8 tsp. of cayenne)
-Salt and pepper to taste
In a small saucepan, melt the butter or margarine over medium heat. Stir in celery and onions. Cook for 3 minutes, until veggies are slightly cooked but still crispy. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes. Whisk in milk, bring to a boil and simmer until thickened to a condensed cream-of soup consistency. Cool. In a large bowl, combine cooled sauce, tuna, mayonnaise and peas. Stir in any additional desired seasonings and salt & pepper, to taste. Add cooked noodles, stir to coat and pour into a large casserole dish. (Can be refrigerated until dinnertime at this point.) Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until heated through and bubbly.
Some optional topping ideas: shredded cheese, breadcrumbs mixed with melted butter, crushed potato chips or crackers, crushed goldfish (these would all be excellent, but we like ours on the healthy side and skip these options).