Monday, April 8, 2013

A recipe - a family favorite at that!

As an apology for my peanut butter rant I promise to keep my mouth shut and simply share a recipe that I turn to quite often. Tuna Noodle Casserole. Now, this is not you momma's tuna, unless your name is Kelli Andel, in which case I totally adapted this recipe from your mom.

Anyway, there is no cans of anything used in this recipe. Actually, once you master a simple homemade cream of mushroom soup you can use it as the base in anything you want. My family goes bonkers over my green bean casserole every Thanksgiving. Why? Because I make my own base from scratch and use fresh green beans. Amazingly, when you use fresh wholesome ingredients people really like your cooking. Go figure.

Okay, enough of me. Now here is the recipe for the soup base.

Basic Cream of Mushroom Soup:

1/2 Cup of Mushrooms (give or take, I can stretch em' if I need to)
2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
2 Tbsp of Flour
2 Cups of Milk (I use whole, non homogenized organic milk. You can use whatever milk you have, this just happens to be the milk I have.)
1/4 Cup of Fresh Parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

Chop up your mushrooms. Place them into a large skillet that has been greased with the olive oil over medium heat. Saute until the mushrooms are soft and coated in the oil. Next, add the flour. At this point you are making a roux. If you don't know what that is get off my blog...Kidding! It is when the flour mixes with the olive oil (or whatever fat you are using) and creates lumps. You may need more oil or more flour, depending on how your roux looks. The flour should bind around the bits of mushrooms. If you aren't sure, it is probably fine but I found this video. It is a lot more technical than I will get but it gives you an idea if you have never made a roux before. Think gravy.

Once your roux is set (about 5 minutes of cooking) add the milk slowly one cup at a time while you stir. From there you are basically going to stir and simmer. Your base will thicken as it cooks. As it is simmering I chop up my parsley and throw it in, plus I season with salt and pepper. Viola!

Tuna Noodle Casserole:

1 12oz. Box of Whole Wheat Penne (you can use white, gluten free, whatever strikes your fancy)
2 2.5oz. Cans or tetra packs of Tuna in water (I use the tetra packs because there is oftentimes BPA in the lining of cans. Check it out! Actually, due to concerns of BPA and GMO's, I recently ordered my first flat of tuna online. I will keep you updated but here is what I got.)
Cheese, whatever kind you want. (whether you like a little or a lot, it is up to you, I would say about two cups though. Also, I like a sharp, grass-fed cheddar. Bomb! Get it at Trader Joe's)

Boil the box of whole wheat penne. I use Hodgson's Mill. It is certified non GMO, grown in the United States, and available for a low price at Winco. Cook according to package directions. Drain and return it to the pot. Add all of the soup base you just made, the tuna, and a cup and a half of the cheese. Feel free to taste test and add more salt or pepper if desired. Stir until everything is incorporated. Next, place in a casserole dish and top with the remaining cheese and little bit more fresh parsley. Bake! For about 15 minutes until all the cheese is melted and it is hot throughout.

Enjoy! My family loves this recipe. It is totally kids friendly and they eat the mushrooms without a blink. I always serve with steamed peas and carrots and red chard on the side. Delish!

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