Tuna Noodle Casserole

I’m on sort of a “blast from the past” jag here with Crummycook-ing.  First coleslaw, now tuna noodle casserole.

On the surface, the motivation was quite different.  Debbie and I had bought a boatload of canned tuna at Costco and then more — on sale — at Giant, so we had a surfeit of tuna.

In addition, Debbie had, some years ago, attempted to recreate the tuna noodle casserole of her childhood, complete with potato chips on top.  As I recall, it was OK.  She seemed more wounded by the experience.  Her typical comment: “I thought that the potato chips on top would rescue it.”

So it kind of had to be a retro cut at tuna noodle casserole to honor Debbie’s bad experience, but it didn’t have to use cream of mushroom soup or any of the classic shortcuts.

So I found two recipes in Epicurious, a more classic one, albeit with a real Bechamel sauce and real sauteed mushrooms rather than soup.  And a more healthful one, which appealed to me because it had fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme which I could bring in from my herb garden.

Debbie didn’t like the looks of the healthful one, but I set out to get some missing ingredients for it anyhow.  Fortunately I had the presence of mind to get some cheddar cheese for the classic one, because, when I got home, that’s the one I proceeded to make.

Good news.  It turned out really tasty.  Debbie had small seconds last night, and some for lunch again this noon.  Her only beef was how many dishes it took me to make it.  I do a pretty OCD mise en place, with containers for everything, and the recipe called for three or four different pots and pans — a skillet for the mushroom mixture, a dutch oven for the roux and to combine everything, a baking dish for the sojourn in the oven.  I managed to use just a baking dish and a casserole, so I feel a bit falsely accused of too many pots, but she’s right, really.  I have to learn how to use fewer.

One thought on “Tuna Noodle Casserole”

  1. Dan,
    Cole slaw, properly made, is a delicacy and its making an art, not to be sullied by mentioning it in a posting with the word “Crummy” in it.

    Tuna noodle casserole, now matter how well prepared, no matter how much comfort and nostalgia it may provide, no matter if sushi grade tuna is used, no matter if Chef Marcel makes the Mornay sauce, no matter if the noodles are hand made in Italia, is something for school lunches. If you need to use noodles in a casserole dish, why not stroganoff?


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