Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tuna stuffed shells

This is the story, all about how, my life got flipped turned upside down, by a tuna casserole that I thought would be the jam, and it ended up going in the dog bowl, to Sam.

That doesn't work as well for me as it does for the Fresh Prince. Par for the course.
You win some, you lose some. And sometimes you lose some that you were so very excited for, and actually took a decent amount of time to put together, and the disappointment kicks you in the side-gut, and you just have to live with it. That's where we're at with this recipe. I've always thought there should be cooking shows that do bad recipes, just so you can spot them in the wild when you happen upon them...maybe I'll fill that niche with my SNAFU section someday. This one warrants a top place in the SNAFU section, right up by the meatball casserole debacle...I'll type the recipe and then tell you what things I did differently, that way we can try to see where I went wrong!
 1 head garlic
4 T olive oil
1 small white onion, diced
1/4 cup flour (I used whole wheat organic)
4 cups milk (I used skim)
1 whole wheat English muffin, torn into chunks (I used a half a wheat hoagie roll from the chicken phillies)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 pinch crushed red pepper (I have large pinchers so I use a lot of the red pepps!)
1 (10 oz) package frozen spinach, drained (I used 3 cups fresh spinach)
3 (5 oz) cans tuna, drained (I always use albacore in water, not oily and quality white colored tuna)
about 20 jumbo pasta shells, cooked (I used uncooked)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (I added this ingredient)
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Slice the top off the garlic head, and place it in a a small piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle 1 T of olive oil over it. Wrap it up and roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Once roasted, set aside to cool.
Lower the oven heat to 425 degrees. In a food processor, add the torn English muffin, Parmesan, crushed red pepper, and salt and pepper. Blitz that baby till you get some nice breadcrumbs. Check out my new food processor...she's sexy, no?!

Transfer half this mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add spinach, tuna, and tomatoes. The colors! So perdy...

Bring the remaining 3 T olive oil to a medium high heat in a large skillet. Add the onions and saute until they start to soften, 6-8 minutes. Add the flour and whisk it. Whisk it good. Whisk it real good. Slowly add milk one cup at a time, whisking constantly until it's smooth...should take about 5 minutes total.

Smash the shizz outta that garlic you have cooling (squeeze it out of the skins first). Just lay it on the counter and use the side of a knife. I was surprised at how easy it smushed. It was soooo aromatic too, I had such hopes for the flava this was meant to bring into my life. Which made this even more disappointing...don't worry, I will be roasting and smashing garlic for other recipes soon. The process was fun, easy, and I still can't get over the loverly smell...

Toss the gahhhhh-lic into the sauce mixture with another pinch of salt and peppa. Add half the sauce to the tuna mixture and keep half for the topping of the noods. Look how thick and creamy...

Fill the noods with the stuffing and be amazed at the gorgeousness. "Oh, how pretty the shells are...these are going to be SO GOOD!"  That's what was going through my head at this point in time...oh, how wrong you were, Abby Lynn.

Cover the noods with the remaining sauce, and then the remaining breadcrumbs, and then a little sprinkle of cheese if you so choose. It won't make a difference. Even cheese can't help this dish. Bake for 45 minutes until bubbly and brown. Then feed it to your dog.

I didn't even take a picture for you. It was that bad. It looked good. It smelled delish. But it didn't deliver. Such is life. Main Man actually ate this for 2 meals. He didnt' love it, but he said it was filling. And as you read in the Fresh Prince of Bel Air rap above...Sam the man go the rest of the meal I had such high hopes for. Until next time, Pinterest...

I do have an amaaaaazing recipe to share tomorrow that was born the same day this was made, so there is a silver lining. I know you're on the edge of your's to awesome Friday recipes!!

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  1. All that work, and then to the dog. Bummer! :(

  2. It does look incredibly delicious.....hate when all that work doesn't pay off.