Saturday, 6 December 2008
Recipe #4 -- Tuna Noodle Casserole
There is a whole lot of this ... ... outside, so I stayed in to work on this ... ... my Colourful Coffee Cups quilt blocks. Once I get busy creating, I tend to forget to make meals, and consequently when I finally realize I'm hungry, I'm more than just a little hungry. With no time to waste, I whipped up another one of my favourite in a hurry meals ... Tuna Noodle Casserole.There are probably a gazillion versions of this casserole, but here's the version I've grown accustomed to. First, Mix together a can of Cream of Celery soup and a can of tuna. I used to use Cream of Mushroom, but over the years, I've discovered I like Cream of Celery better. Of course, you're welcome to use whatever kind of soup the floats your boat.Second, throw in a tablespoon of soy sauce for flavour. If you happen to have some chopped onion, celery, or sweet pepper handy, you can throw that in too. I didn't, and I didn't feel like taking the time to chop some, so my casserole got a spoon of soy sauce only. Third, mix in a bunch of cheese. I USED to be a purist and ONLY used good cheddar. These days, I'm more of a "whatever" kind of cook ... it's just me eating it most days, and I don't complain to the cook too much! Today the "whatever" assortment of cheese consisted of some grated Asiago and a generous cup of Cheez Whiz. Again, you are welcome to use the kind of cheese you either have in YOUR fridge or YOU prefer.Then mix in some kind of partially cooked noodles. Pretty much any kind of pasta will work just fine, from Ichiban to spaghetti and anything between ... although I'm not so sure about lasagna noodles. When I opened my pantry door today, a box of rigatoni fell out, so that's what I used. NOTE: it's important to only partially cook your noodles before adding to this casserole. If you cook your noodles completely, your casserole will turn into mushy slodge, which is not pleasant.Finally, create a topping for the casserole. When I'm feeling particularly domestic, or I'm seriously craving home and comfort food, I make a batch of baking powder biscuits ... or cheese biscuits, YUMMY! ... and lay them on top of the noodle mixture. Neither feeling was happening for me today, so I crushed up a few crackers and drizzled a bit of melted butter over them.
Bake at 325 degrees F until the soup mixture is bubbling hot, and the topping is sufficiently browned ... or the biscuits are cooked.This is not an elegant dish, but it tastes darned fine and fills the empty tum. It's easy to adapt to what you have on hand, and simple to multiply to feed more than one or two people. I have enough left to reheat tomorrow, which is a good thing because I want to continue working on my quilt blocks.
I got my Colourful Coffee Cups all cut out today -- 24 squares in all -- and added browns to three sides of the centre squares. Turns out I don't have the same amount of creamy-swirly fabric as I do of the dark brown fabric, so now I need to rethink the picture in my head!
One final note ... last night I went to the annual CBC Radio / local Library public reading of Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol. (I do this to celebrate my Scrooge-ness!) As this event is a Library fundraiser, there is a Silent Auction conducted during the intermission. I fell in love with this delightful little wooden kitchen stool. It has a plate with cookies hand-painted on it. It didn't have any bids, and I felt sorry for it ... but I'm not complaining. I got it for $20.