Monday, November 14, 2011

Tuna macaroni casserole

This is not my normal tuna noodle casserole recipe. Mama K makes it better than anyone else...there's even potato chips on top!! She also adds frozen peas (blech! The only veggie that Justin and I both hate with a passion)...and when I make her version I started adding mushrooms and onions. Justin loves the stuff...I get all excited about basil-y chicken and he can't control himself around tuna noodle casserole. Go figure. But I saw this in my Food magazine and thought maybe I should give another recipe a try and see if we can't improve on an oldie but goodie.

1/2 box wheat elbow macaroni
1 cup panko
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1.5-2 cups shredded mexican cheese
2 T olive oil
1 small diced yellow or white onion
3 T all purpose flour
2 cups low sodium chicken broth (I didn't have this on hand like usual so I used boiling water and chicken boullion to make my broth)
1.5 cups whole milk (I used the rest of my fat free half and half)
2 cans (5 oz each) albacore tuna, drained and flaked
I also added 1 can mushrooms

Preheat oven to 425 degrees if you're going to cook this right away. I made it the night before and left it in the fridge for Justin since I had dinner plans that evening with friends and he had been pushing snow all night.  I like him to have a good meal in his belly before going to bed after not sleeping all night and drinking coffee and eating gas station food.  I lurve him :)

Boil water to cook pasta until it is a couple minutes undercooked. Drain and toss together with tuna and mushrooms.

In saucepan, heat 2 T olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened (about 8 minutes).  Add flour and whisk to coat onion with flour.

Slowly shisk in broth, then milk.  Cook, stirring constatly, until sauce comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce is thickened, about 8 minutes.

Stir sauce into pot with pasta and tuna, mix evenly. Transfer tuna mixture to a 9x13 baking dish and cover with shredded cheese. Mix panko, parmesan, and 2 T olive oil thouroughly. Top the tuna mixture with the panko mixture and bake until sauce is bubbling and crust is golden, 17-20 minutes (if you're throwing it in the oven from the fridge, I would go 25-30 minutes since you're starting it cold rather than hot).  Let cool before serving!

I liked it alot but I wasn't home when Justin ate this so I texted him to ask him how it was.  His foodie critic eloquent response? "It's ok. Don't really care for the crumbly shit on top."  There it is, folks....I guess if you're not a crumbly shit person then this dish is not going to be high on your fave list! I guess if it ain't broke, I shouldn't go trying to fix it, so I'll probably just stick with our tried and true recipe from here on out. But from the looks of the pan...either he was hungry, or it really wasn't all that bad.  :)

Fat Stats (serves 8):
357 cals per serving
8 g fat
22 g protein
49 g carbs
3 g fiber

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