Bon Appetite magazine’s March 2010 issue took a stab at reinventing old school classic dishes, one of which being the tuna noodle casserole. Now I’m sure their original recipe is just fabulous, but being me, I’ve take some liberties in adjusting their recipe to my tastes. Here I’ve added things like sliced mushrooms, peas and some fun spices. The end result – utter love on a plate. The crushed potato chip topping (Bon Appetite’s idea, not mine, but brilliant!) gave the dish a fantastic, salty crunch while the leek and mushroom cream sauce wraps your food sole in a creamy, homey hug with bursts of freshness from the peas. This recipe has a long list of ingredient but most of them are things you are likely to have around and others not too hard to find.
Tuna Noodle Casserole
(Adapted from the BittenWord and Bon Appetite)
1/4 c (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 1/2 c thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only; from about 2 large leeks; wash well)
10 large brown mushrooms, sliced (or more to your liking)
1/4 tsp celery seeds
Coarse kosher salt
1/4 c all purpose flour
2 1/4 c whole or 2% milk
1/2 c half and half
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, from one large juicy lemon (if you like more lemon, add it)
1 tsp old bay seasoning
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 c sour cream
8-12 oz wide egg noodles (I used whole wheat, but you use what you like. If you like your casserole more noodle-y, use the 12 oz, if not, go for 8oz.)
1 c coarsely grated Gruyère cheese (about 5 ounces)
1 c frozen peas (or more to your liking)
1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
2 7-oz cans albacore tuna (preferably packed in olive oil such as Cento or Ortiz), drained, broken into 1/2-inch chunks
2 cups coarsely crushed salted potato chips (about 2 ounces)
Butter 9x13inch baking dish. Melt 1/4 c unsalted butter in a large heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and celery seeds to saucepan; sprinkle lightly with coarse kosher salt.
Fold in tuna. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake noodle casserole, covered with foil, until heated through, about 20 minutes if freshly made or 30 minutes if chilled. Remove foil. Sprinkle crushed potato chips over and continue to bake, uncovered, until top is golden brown and filling bubbles, about 10 minutes longer. Serve hot.