May 7, 2011

Not Yo Mama's Tuna Noodle Casserole

I love a good tuna noodle casserole. The creaminess, the crunchy potato chip topping - I'm salivating thinking of it. But I've yet to master a good t.n.c. There are just so many elements one can play with and manipulate! Do you add peas or not? Potato chips or panko? Egg noodles or spaghetti? What is your ratio of tuna to noodles? Condensed soup or cream sauce? Ok well that last one is easy - condensed soup only makes an appearance in this house for green bean casserole.

So after much debating about how to make my t.n.c for dinner, I opted for using a recipe. I know, what descent home cook uses a recipe for t.n.c.?

Well, I did and I will from now on - holy deliciousness. The only thing I feel this was missing though was some green peas, although the hubs didn't feel it needed them. I don't know to me it's just not a good t.n.c without peas.

The hubs and I both agreed this was the best t.n.c we have ever had - the flavor, the creaminess, the texture - So good, so comforting, and so wonderful!!

courtesy of Epicurious

1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 oz mushrooms, trimmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick (4 cups)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/4 cup Sherry
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice - I omitted this in fear of curdling my milk (frequent blog followers will know I have issues with milk curdling in my cooking)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (6-oz) can tuna in olive oil, drained (we used 2 cans)
6 oz dried curly egg noodles
1 1/2 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs (I used a mixture of panko and bread crumbs)
4 oz coarsely grated Cheddar (1 cup)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
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Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Cook onion in 1 1/2 tablespoons butter (I used Pam) with a pinch of salt in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to moderately high and add mushrooms, then sauté, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms begin to give off liquid, about 2 minutes. Add soy sauce and continue to sauté mushrooms, stirring, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated. Add Sherry and boil, stirring occasionally, until evaporated. Remove from heat.

Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat and whisk in flour, then cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes. Add broth in a stream, whisking, and bring to a boil, whisking. Whisk in milk and simmer sauce, whisking occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in mushroom mixture, lemon juice, and salt. Flake tuna into sauce and stir gently. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Cook noodles in a 5- to 6-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain noodles in a colander and return to pot. Add sauce and stir gently to combine. Transfer mixture to baking dish, spreading evenly.

Toss together bread crumbs and cheese in a bowl. Drizzle with oil and toss again, then sprinkle evenly over casserole. Bake until topping is crisp and sauce is bubbling, 20 to 30 minutes.

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