Friday, January 14, 2005

Tuna Noodle Casserole to share

I made a casserole this morning to take to a family from our church tonight. A friend from church has just came home from the hospital and is in the last stages of cancer. I talked to her twenty-year-old daughter and made arrangements to come with dinner tonight. The daughter has quit her job and suspended her college year to take care of her mom. When Pastor Keith made the announcement in church that they would like people to come by and visit or bring dinners, he had tears in his eyes and his voice broke. I was moved to act. I am also planning to make a homemade lasagna this Saturday to take to my friend who has lung cancer. A little home-cooked food will be welcome I'm sure.

Here is the new recipe which I made this morning and which worked great. Well, I haven't eaten it yet, but it sure looks good!

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Dice one small onion, and 2 stalks of celery, add to pan with 3 T. margarine and saute. After this is somewhat translucent, add 2 cans of mushrooms, drained, and 1 T. of Worcestershire Sauce. You can also add 3 T. of Sherry, but I didn't have that in the house, so I added 1 T. of soy sauce instead for flavor. At this point, you could also add a package of frozen peas, heated through. I didn't do this today, but that is because I forgot. Doh.

Make a roux in a separate pan by melting 4 T. of margarine and adding 1/2 c. of flour. Stir when thick for one minute, careful not to burn, and then slowly add 2 cups of milk (I used 2% because that is what I had.) When the roux is thickened, season with salt and white pepper to taste. This is important, since roux is very bland. Take your time with the seasonings. Add 1 cup of chicken broth, heat through to a bubble, and then add the onions and mushrooms and liquid from that pan, and stir the sauce together in one pan. (Adding the broth to a roux is something that I have never done before, but it seasons it and makes it creamy and light.)

Cook one large package of Pensylvania Dutch curly egg noodles in salted water until cooked but not too soft; el dente - firm to the tooth in Italian. Drain. Open three cans of tuna, drain, and flake the tuna into the noodles. Stir in the sauce and put into two medium sized casseroles: one for them and one for you!

The recipe says to toss cheddar cheese and bread crumbs together, drizzle with a bit olive oil, and put onto the top of the casserole before baking. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until the top is brownish and the casserole looks finished. It will depend on the size of your dish. I am also bringing a green salad, seven-grain bread and an apple pie. Then George and I are going out to the Methodist church for their spaghetti dinner fundraiser.

Have a wonderful day, and I hope your weather is better there than here--another day of wind, rain and fast-dropping temperatures in Boston. But, at least we are not sliding down the hillside as they are in Nevada and California. What crazy weather we have endured recently. Oy.