Friday, January 25, 2013

Tuna Noodle Casserole

I love a good casserole. They're so homey and comforting. This is a very basic tuna noodle casserole. A good jumping off point if you want to make one from scratch (and not using canned soup). I'm not saying you're a lazy bastard for using canned soup. I'm just saying you don't love your kids. Kidding! I'm kidding! Calm down. I really liked this, although I do think next time I might jazz it up with a little sharp cheese melted into the sauce and maybe some predictable peas (which is really the opposite of jazzy, but I don't have to make sense on my own blog). I think that flu shot I got is making me loopy.

Serves 4 to 6

5 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 cup diced portobello mushrooms
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 shallot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1 tablespoon minced chives
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk (whole)
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 cans tuna, drained
8 oz. wide egg noodles, cooked until al dente and drained
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup panko

1.      Preheat your oven to 350º F. Grease an 8- x 8-inch baking pan.
2.      In a large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high until foaming. Stir in mushrooms and cook until mushrooms have given off all of their liquid and cooked through (10 or so minutes). Season lightly with salt and pepper, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
3.      Add another 1/2 tablespoon butter to the frying pan, then cook onion, shallot and celery together for about 5 minutes, until softened. Stir in the chopped herbs and the sherry and cook for another 2 minutes.
4.      Add 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high until melted. Stir in the flour to make a roux and cook for about 2 minutes. Then whisk in the milk and chicken stock, bit by bit, to make a smooth sauce. Cook, stirring, until just slightly thickened (another minute or two). Then add the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper to taste.
5.      Flake the tuna into the white sauce, then add the mushrooms and noodles; stir until well combined. Transfer the mixture to the greased baking pan.
6.      In a small pan, melt the last tablespoon of butter. Stir in the minced garlic and the panko breadcrumbs and cook, stirring, until the panko is golden brown. Sprinkle this all over the casserole. Put the casserole in the oven and bake until it is bubbly, about 30 minutes.

slightly adapted from By fiveandspice
onion, shallot and celery
adding herbs
adding sherry
adding butter
adding flour
adding milk
creamy white sauce
adding lemon zest
stirring in tuna and cooked mushrooms
stirring in cooked egg noodles
in the casserole dish
mixing butter, garlic and panko
panko sprinkled on top
tuna noodle casserole

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