Tuna Casserole

There are some days when I just crave comfort food. Saturday was one of those.

I won’t bore you with the details, but let’s suffice to say my spirits needed lifting. Plus, it was cloudy, windy a little cooler than it had been all week. So, I turned to one of my favorite comfort foods — tuna noodle casserole. It’s been at the top of my list since my childhood.

I usually don’t have a set recipe when it comes to tuna casserole. This time, all I did was saute some celery and red onion in a little olive oil and added two cans of tuna (water drained), a can of cream of mushroom with roasted garlic soup, a half-cup of Miracle Whip Lite, a tablespoon of cornstarch, a half-cup of milk and salt and pepper to taste. I cooked this a bit while my homemade egg noodles (from Hosmer, S.D.) cooked.

When the noodles where al dente, I drained them and mixed them with the tuna in a greased casserole. I then topped this with a little grated Cheddar cheese and baked for about 35 to 40 minutes.

It tasted great.

Here are a couple of other recipes for tuna casserole. Give them a try. I’ll guarntee you feel better if you’re down in the dumps.

Tuna Noodle Casserole
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4½ tablespoons unsalted butter
10 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and sliced ¼-inch thick (4 cups)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
¼ cup sherry
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
1 6-ounce can tuna in olive oil, drained
6 ounces dried curly egg noodles (Pennsylvania Dutch style; about 3¼ cups)
1½ cups coarse fresh bread crumbs (from 3 slices white bread)
4 ounces coarsely grated cheddar (1 cup)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook onion in 1½ tablespoons butter with a pinch of salt in a 12-inch heavy skillet over low heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until softened, about five minutes. Increase heat to moderately high and add mushrooms, then saute until mushrooms begin to give off liquid, about 2 minutes. Add soy sauce and continue to saute until the liquid the 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 low heat and whisk in flour, then cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes. Add broth in a stream, whisking, and bring to a boil. Whisk in milk and simmer sauce, whisking occasionally, five minutes. Stir in mushroom mixture, lemon juice and salt. Flake tuna into sauce and season with salt and pepper.
Cook noodles until al dente. Drain noodles and return to pot. Add sauce and stir gently to combine. Transfer mixture to buttered 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.
Yield: Serves: 4 to 6

Tuna Rice Casserole
12 ounces water-packed canned tuna, drained
1 10.5-ounce can low-sodium cream of mushroom soup
½ cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup diced onion
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1½ cups cooked brown rice
2 teaspoons canola oil
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place tuna in a bowl and flake with a fork. Fold in half the mushroom soup, 2 tablespoons shredded cheese and the onion. Add salt and pepper to taste. Microwave brown rice 90 seconds on high or according to package instructions. Place rice on bottom of casserole dish and toss with oil and salt and pepper to taste. Spread over bottom of dish. Spoon tuna mixture on top, and cover with remaining soup. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 20 minutes. Place under the broiler to brown top, about 1 minute.
Yield: Serve 2.
Approximate nutritional analysisper serving: 624 calories (27 percent from fat), 18.7 grams fat (7.3 grams saturated, 7 grams monounsaturated), 84 milligrams cholesterol, 57.5 grams protein, 54.2 grams carbohydrates, 4.3 grams fiber, 682 milligrams sodium.

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