Friday, July 16, 2010

Random Pantry Meals, Tuna Noodle Casserole Edition

There are a few foods that have the potential to be creepy and/or terrible under the wrong circumstances. Think chafing dishes or buffets. Tuna Noodle Casserole, Salisbury Steak, and Meatloaf are all really high on the list.
I had high hopes tonight for a cress pesto. When I went to look at the cress in the garden, though, I realized I'd be lucky to get a cup of leaves; let alone the almost 5 cups I needed. My yard is less than ideal from a food perspective. Kale grows really well. Everything else languishes and is sad and pathetic.
Since the pesto was a non-starter, I raided the pantry and came up with noodles, tuna, and panko. The fridge had half and half and pepper jack.
Tuna Noodle Casserole? It's actually really good. You can't really tell by the pictures, but we did actually use plates.

Maybe one of these days I'll feel particularly adventurous and I'll try Salisbury steak. I'm not going to hold my breath for that one, though.

Tuna Noodle Casserole
1 T butter
1/2 onion, diced
1 rib celery, diced
1 c crimini mushroom, chopped
2 T sherry
1 t soy sauce
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
2 T butter
1/4 c flour
1 1/2 c broth
1/2 c half and half
1 t paprika
1 can tuna, drained
3/4 c pepper jack, grated
2 c panko
1 T vegetable oil

    1. Preheat the oven to 375. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and heat until they start to sweat. Add the mushrooms and salt and cook 3-5 minutes. Pour in the soy sauce and sherry and cook 3 minutes more.
    2. Push all the onion and mushroom mixture to once side of the skillet and add the remaining 2 T butter on the empty side of the pan. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and cook until the flour becomes golden, stirring occasionally. Once the roux has become golden, whisk in the broth and allow to simmer. Pour in the half and half and then stir the entire pan to incorporate the mushroom mixture. Add the paprika and tuna and season to taste.
    3. Cook the pasta according to the package, then drain. Add the pasta to the mushroom mixture and stir. Turn into a medium baking dish.
    4. Stir the grated cheese, panko, and 1 t oil in a small bowl, then pour on top of the casserole.
    5. Bake 25 minutes until the top is golden, then bask in the awesome.
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