Monday, September 13, 2010

Only two recipes into this blog and 'comfort food' is already the name of the game, folks.

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.

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