Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Classic Tuna Fish Casserole

Some people like tuna fish, and some people don't -- and I fall into the latter category. It is just too, well, fishy for me, and my mom who falls into the former category sort of ruined it for me with her love of mayonnaise.

She would slather on the Best Foods, with a some pickle relish and call it lunch. I called it revolting, but my mom never bothered to be bothered by my reservations. To this day, she wouldn't think twice of offering me a heaping helping of Charlie the Tuna and Best Foods.

She also would proudly attest to the fact that the first meal she ever cooked for my father was tuna casserole.

Well they were married over 55 years, so I guess there was something he liked about my mom, but somehow I doubt it was her cooking.

Anyways, there were some cans of solid chunk white Starkist Tuna Fish in the breakroom cabinet at work, and they had been there for possibly years. We are moving our office, so it was time to clean out the cupboard. I couldn't find an expiration date on the cans, so to utilize them safely, I decided I'd have to cook the hell out of them. 180 degrees will damn near kill anything, right?

So the solution was Tuna Casserole -- and I got the rest of the ingredients from the 99 Cent Only Store, including a lasagna pan (a pack of two for a buck!) to cook it in.

Here's the list --

2 cans Tuna Fish
1 package Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 package pasta
1/2 can sweet peas
Bread Crumbs

First cook the pasta, until it is "al dente" about 6 minutes in boiling water. Drain, and pour into bottom of pan. Next mix the soup with the peas and the tuna fish. Add water (about a 1/4 can) until a desired consistency is reached. Spoon that over the pasta, and top with bread crumbs and cheddar cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about a half hour or until the top is browned.

Feel free to add any other seasonings, or stuff you might like -- onions, or herb mayo (I added too much water, so I thickened it up with the Garlic Herb Mayo I had left over) -- you get the idea. You can't really screw this up.

As I had the fear of botulism in me, I cooked my casserole to within an inch of its life, hence the browned cheese shreds -- but it did cut wonderfully the next day after a night in the fridge. My co-workers actually ate it and thought it was pretty good, even if I had terrible flashbacks and just couldn't stand the tuna fish-y-ness of it all, I tried to be as cool as could be . . .  but I will admit, I enjoyed throwing away the leftovers. Take that, mom!

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