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The Best Tuna Casserole Ever. I am so not kidding.

23 Sep

I adapted this recipe from one that I found on Food.com. We usually just do the stove top tuna and noodles, but lately I’ve found myself completely disinterested in eating it once I’ve made it. Enter this gem of a casserole, which I whole-heartedly assure you will be the best thing you put in your mouth today. Heh.

– 12 ounces wide egg noodles, cooked al-dente, drained and rinsed
– 1 can cream of golden mushroom soup (any cream of mushroom soup will do, but I find that the golden stuff adds nice color and flavor) – use the low fat stuff if you’re counting calories
– 3/4 cup evaporated milk
– 1/4 cup mayonnaise (low fat is ok)
– 1/4 cup sour cream (low fat is ok)
– 1/4 cup water
– 2 five-ounce cans of tuna, drained
– 1/2 packet of dry Lipton onion soup mix
– 1 1/2 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, separated
– 1 tbsp Worcestershire
– 1 tsp Tabasco
– 1/2 tsp celery salt
– 1 tsp black pepper
– Optional – 1 cup of frozen baby peas or vegetable medley, thawed and drained

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl mix all ingredients, reserving 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese, and folding the cooked pasta in last after everything else has been mixed well. Pour everything into a greased casserole dish, and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven for thirty minutes. Serve hot – serves up to six.

Rice Pilaf – Quick and Tasty

6 Nov

This is a great, quick little recipe to use when you’re making a main dish that needs rice to go with it, but plain old white rice just doesn’t sound all that great. There’s two ways to make it – with instant rice, or with regular slow-cooked rice. Either way it’s awesome stuff!

Instant Rice Recipe:

2 cups instant white rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 tbsp dried parsley

In a medium pot, bring olive oil to a shimmer over medium heat. Add garlic and almonds and sautee until browned, about five minutes. Add chicken broth and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Bring broth to a boil. Add instant rice and remove from heat. Stir rice, toss the parsley on top, and cover tightly. Allow to sit for five to ten minutes to absorb the water. Stir before serving. Makes four servings.

Regular Rice Recipe:

1.5 cups white rice
3 cups chicken broth
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 tbsp dried parsley

In a medium pot, bring olive oil to a shimmer over medium heat. Add garlic and almonds and sautee until browned, about five minutes. Add chicken broth and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Bring broth to a boil. Add rice and parsley and reduce heat to low. Cover tightly and simmer rice for 30 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Stir before serving. Makes four servings.

Stove-top Tuna and Noodles

9 Feb

Calvin prefers this method over the traditional type of tuna casserole. It sure is a lot faster to prepare. I usually make sure I have the ingredients on hand for whenever I’m stumped for a meal or don’t feel like preparing anything more elaborate. Also, Calvin hates peas so I leave them out of the pot and just add them to my serving. It’s easy to microwave a handful of peas in a bowl and dump the tuna noodles on top.

1 16 oz. package wide egg noodles
2 cans tuna, drained
1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 tbsp. Worcestershire
1 tbsp. ranch dressing
salt and pepper
12 oz. frozen peas (optional), cooked according to package directions and drained

Prepare egg noodles in a large pot according to package directions. Drain. While noodles are draining, return pot to stove and add soups, Worcestershire, ranch, salt and pepper. Stir to combine thoroughly. Drain tuna completely and add to mixture, stirring to combine and break up the tuna. Add noodles and peas (optional), stir to combine, and heat through before serving.

This recipe also works well when substituting the canned tuna for canned or cooked chicken.

Corned Beef and Cabbage with Potatoes

25 Jan

AKA “Boiled Dinner”

Cooking time 3 – 3.5 hours, plan accordingly!

1 corned beef brisket, 3.5 – 4 lbs.
spice packet (contained with beef, or use 2 tsp. peppercorns and 2 bay leaves)
8-10 gold potatoes
1 large onion
1 head of cabbage
1 12-oz bottle of dark beer (Guinness, 1554, or similar)
1 large bunch of fresh parsley
1 stick of butter
1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced

In a large dutch oven or stock pot, place the beef brisket fat-side down. Add spice packet (if no packet is contained with the brisket, use 2 tsp peppercorns and 2 bay leaves). Pour in bottle of beer, then add water to generously cover the brisket. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cover.

Simmer brisket for two hours. Stir occasionally to turn beef for even cooking.

Meanwhile, wash and quarter potatoes, place in a large bowl and cover in cold water. Set aside. Remove outer leaves of cabbage head and quarter, retaining the stem/core to hold the leaves together. Set aside. Peel onion and cut into eighths. Set aside. Chop parsley leaves (not stems). Set aside.

After the brisket has simmered for two hours, add potatoes and enough water to cover. Return to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

At this point, add cabbage and onions. Add water to cover if necessary, return to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook 20 minutes.

Ensure potatoes and cabbage are tender – if not, add cooking time in five minute increments. Remove brisket and cut in slices against the grain. Remove cabbage and place in a covered dish to keep warm – dot with butter if desired. Place potatoes in a large bowl, add parsley, butter, and garlic, and toss to combine and melt the butter.

Serve corned beef with spicy mustard. Leftovers make great corned beef hash for breakfast the next morning!

Garlic Cheese Noodles

25 Jan

1 (12? 14? 16?) oz pkg. extra wide egg noodles
2 tbsp butter
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1 cup finely shredded cheese (I use a cheddar/jack combo)
1 tbsp. worcestershire
salt and pepper (I use lots of both)

Boil noodles according to package directions. Drain.

While noodles are draining, melt butter in the pot on low heat, along with crushed garlic. Whisk in flour until well blended. Gradually add milk, whisking until well blended. Gradually heat the mixture to a simmer, whisking often. Simmer until sauce begins to thicken. Gradually add cheese, stirring until melted. Add worcestershire, salt, and pepper, and continue to stir until the sauce is thickened and well blended.

Pour sauce over noodles and stir to combine. Eat eat eat!

Comfort Noodle Goop

25 Jan

4 1/2 cups uncooked wide egg noodles
1 1/2 lbs. hamburger
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. Worcestershire
8 oz cream cheese, cubed
1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 can corn, drained
1 cup milk
1 tsp beef bouillon granules
salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook noodles according to instructions. Meanwhile, brown hamburger, onion, and garlic. Drain. Add worcestershire, cream cheese, undiluted cream of mushroom soup, corn, milk, and bouillon granules. Stir until heated through and cream cheese is thoroughly melted. Salt and pepper to taste. Add hamburger mixture to cooked, drained noodles. Mix thoroughly. Consume.

Cheap, easy, filling. Probably zero nutritional value, but when you’re cold and hungry, there’s nothing like gooey noodley dishes to cure what ail’s ya. Next time I’m going to get frisky with it and add a can of diced green chilis.

To make this a “One-Pot Wonder”, simply cook the noodles first and drain, then use the same pot to finish the rest of the meal.

American Chop Suey (Goulash)

25 Jan

A lot of families have their own Goulash recipe. Mine is of the tradition of Cole Farms Restaurant in Maine – a dish going by the name of “American Chop Suey” in those climes.

1 16 oz box macaroni noodles
1.5 lbs lean hamburger meat
2 tbsp Worcestershire
1 can diced tomatoes
1 jar tomato sauce of choice
2 tbsp italian spices (oregano, basil, rosemary, etc.)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil noodles according to instructions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute bell pepper, onion, and garlic in the olive oil. Once vegetables are crisp-tender, transfer to a bowl and set aside. Using the same skillet, brown the hamburger meat, seasoned with salt, pepper, and Worcestershire. Drain and return to skillet, add sauteed vegetables. Add diced tomatoes (do not drain), tomato sauce, and italian spices – stir to combine. Set heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

When the noodles are cooked, pour tomato sauce/meat/vegetable combination over noodles and stir well to combine. Serve with fresh grated cheese, crusty bread, and a salad.

To make this a “One-Pot Wonder”, simply cook the noodles first and drain.  Use the pot to follow the remainder of the recipe, then add the noodles back into the pot and stir to combine.