Tuna Noodle Casserole
takes center stage. But this time it's better; no canned soup here, no pre-packaged cheese. Instead: homemade cheese sauce with fresh milk and the always authentic and richly-aromatic Parmesan cheese grated right in. A splash of white wine, even? Yessir! And yet it's still so easy! Yay! That's the best kind of dinner after a nutty Monday at my office.
Here are the simple steps toward tunay noodly goodness!
Gather the following:
1 small onion, diced
8 oz white mushrooms, chopped medium/small (NOTE: don't wash your 'shrooms. Ever. If there are spots of dirt that concern you, just wipe them clean with a cloth or a paper towel. Washing mushrooms actually degrades their quality and breaks them down, swelling them up with water - ick. Need proof?)
2-ish pats of butter
1 T olive oil
|fresh chopped onion and 'shrooms!|
Combine these in a large skillet; I used a big, non-stick skillet that was T-Fal and sparkly blue. Cook over medium/high heat til the onions and mushrooms are nice and soft.
While this is happening, boil a pot of water and cook a bag of egg noodles (my bag was 12 oz), drain, drizzle with some olive oil and set aside.
Add the following in this order to the onion/mushroom goodness:
1/2 cup of white wine (my 1/2 cup was rather generous!). Drier is better, but I used Pinot Grigio which isn't super dry but it isn't fruity either (somewhere in between) - let the wine cook off for about 3 or 4 minutes, during which time it is perfect acceptable to pour yourself a glass and drink up!
|where have you been all day, my friend?|
6 T all-purpose flour to coat the vegetables (mine clumped up a bit cuz this IS a lot of flour ... it rights itself in the end so no worries: 2 tablespoons of flour to every cup of milk)
3 c milk (I used 2% but I am pretty sure it won't matter much what kind you use so long as it isn't hazelnut or soy or chocolate) - stir the milk in after all the flour has been incorporated and stir occasionally until the milk starts to bubble a little around the edges, still using a medium/high flame. Let it thicken a little then add ...
2 cans chunk light tuna, broken up
1 bag (or a little less) frozen green peas - just eye ball it
|The original and always delicious Parmesan|
1/4-cup-ish freshly grated Parm - the real deal is great in this setting (not the contents of your pre-grated plastic container - tsk tsk) since the relative-mildness of the other ingredients allow the flavor of the Parm to stand out nicely.
Incorporate everything, letting the cheese melt a little, then pour over your ready-and-waiting pot of egg noodles. Mix everything up and throw (well, maybe that's not the right word. "Spoon", perhaps is a little more graceful) the whole thing into a casserole. Top it off with some crushed saltines OR some buttered breadcrumbs (I admit, the breadcrumbs sound better but I only had saltines on hand tonight), a little more Parm, and then into a 400-degree oven it goes for about 10 minutes till bubbly and JUST browning around the top.
|can you say delish? mmm ... I can. But I'll chew and swallow first.|
Yum, yum and yum and a big fat bon apetit, folks. THAT makes for a happy Monday night.