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Mom's Tuna Casserole



Every once in a while I feel very nostalgic and I crave something from my childhood.  Mom's Tuna Casserole is just such a dish. If you are a purist and don't like recipes which use cream of whatever soup, look away now. As for myself, I feel they have their time & place, and Mom's Tuna Casserole is just such a time & place!

  

It wasn't fancy eating. My mother wasn't a fancy cook.  Her food was simple and it was delicious.  End of. My mother always topped her casseroles with something crunchy, buttered cracker crumbs, or bread crumbs or potato chips.  In our family we loved potato chips, or crisps as they are called over here in the UK.


When we had potato chips in our house that was a real treat to us.  They were reserved for special occasions, such as when Hockey Night (Saturday nights) was on the telly, or for parties.  My mother would give us each  a small bowl of them and I can tell you we savoured every bite!

 

We all loved potato chips so much that she used to keep them hidden away, behind my father's dresser in their bedroom. When we got older we sussed out exactly where they were, and we used to take turns sneaking in and stealing a couple.  We were always careful to make sure we didn't take too many so that their loss didn't get noticed.


However with three children doing that, and probably my father too, eventually it would be noticed and  my father was the one who always copped the blame. Probably because he was always on a diet, and he was semi-guilty as charged.  We children kept pretty schtum about our participation in the same heist of potato chips. We had more to lose  . . . like our allowance. ☺


I still adore potato chips, so much so that I don't dare have them in the house very often as I find myself picking at them all the time.  I am not totally sure what their allure is . . . but it probably has something to do with the naughtiness of their fat and calorie count combined with that wonderful crunch.


I just adore food that crunches.  Don't you?  The crunch of potato chips on this very nostalgic casserole is its crowning glory. I just use plain lightly salted.  Salt and vinegar would also be nice but then so would cheese and onion.  Pick your own poison on that score!  Just remember they are meant to enhance the casserole, not overcome it.


Mom never used cheese in hers.  It was plain soup and milk.  Through the years I have added cheese because we like it.  Not a lot, just enough to add a little special something.  I use a mix of Parmesan and strong cheddar.  You don't need a lot of either one to add a flavour impact.


You can use any old tuna you like for this, but I like white albacore tuna.  Its not quite as fishy I don't think as the other kind . . .  its like the Filet Mignon of the tuna world, and  (in my opinion) well worth the extra cost in both flavour and texture.



We don't get the flat egg noodles over here, so I have used bow-tie pasta (Farfalle) because I quite like it, and it's flat and it's attractive.  I also like to use frozen baby peas (mom would have used tinned).  I like frozen baby peas and cannot abide tinned peas. At.  All.  In any case I really enjoyed this lovely trip back in time today and I hope you will too. 




*Mom's Tuna Casserole*
Serves 4

Purists look away now. There is cream soup in this.  Never killed me as a child and is a wonderful taste of nostalgia as an adult. 


295g tin of condensed cream of chicken soup (10.5 oz tin) undiluted
80ml whole milk (1/3 cup)
120g grated cheddar cheese (1 cup)
2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
220g jar albacore tuna in spring water, drained and flaked (2 5-oz tins, drained and flaked)
150g frozen peas (1 cup)
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1/4 tsp dried dillweed
the juice of 1/2 lemon
180g of noodles, partially cooked and drained (2 cups)
35g crushed potato chips (1 cup)




Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Butter a shallow casserole dish and set aside. 


Cook the noodles al dente according to package directions. Drain well and rinse.  Drain again. Mix together the soup, milk, both cheeses, the tuna, frozen peas, seasoning salt, dillweed and lemon juice.  Pour into the prepared casserole dish.  Top with the crushed potato chips.  

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, until bubbling and heated through.  Serve hot.




I always like to have a salad on the side with a casserole such as this.  Today for nostalgia's sake I chose to drizzle it with good old fashioned Salad Cream.  Bon Appetit!






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Marie Rayner
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8 comments:

  1. This casserole brings back many good memories. Your mom's version sounds a bit more tasty and crunchy! Yay! Pinning!

    Jane

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Jane! Recipes with a history are the best don't you think? xo

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  2. My mom made chicken a la king w/ cream ofs:) The good ol days:)I used to put chips in my PB and J sandwish..needless to say I was not lean.

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    Replies
    1. It has its place Monique, and so do chips! I had a couple of years when I was going through puberty when I was not lean also. I am sure you were much beloved, and still are! xo

      Delete
  3. Thanks for the memory, my mom always made it this way, so delicious

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  4. I love tuna casserole. Crinkle chips on top is a great idea! Reminds me of being a kid!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is very nostalgic Jeanie! xo

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