Friday, February 14, 2014
Nana's Tuna Casserole
I think everyone who lives east of the Rockies is just over this wintry weather. I know in Philadelphia that we broke a 130 year old record for the most 6 inch plus snowfalls in one winter! We normally get an average of 18 inches of snow by this time but have received 50 inches plus. It's enough to give even Grizzly Adams cabin fever.
After hours of back breaking shoveling on these snowbound days, all one wants to do is just vegetate on the couch with a favorite drink watching movies or sports on cable. Thank G-d for the Winter Olympics and Turner Classic Movies. For John, that means a glass of Single Malt Scotch, for me a glass of port. Day-drinking on a snowy day can be so much fun! It also makes shoveling a bit easier although my walkways may not be a straight.
Another requisite for the snow day is the making of comfort food. When I find that the temperature starts dipping below 30'F, I immediately get out that recipe box to see what "warm me up, stick to my ribs" food I can cook up. Give me my Mom's mac n cheese, my W/T franks and beans, or my good friend Jen's sausage and white bean cassoulet! But my all-time favorite comfort food is my Nana's tuna casserole (but Mom always made it for us).
What is it about comfort food that is so warm, so inviting? Is it the obviously thick hearty nature of the recipes? Or is it rich family memories associated with the food itself? Warm evenings around the dinner table after playing in the snow. A hot bowl of home-made chicken soup while recovering from a cold. Thick hot oatmeal with brown sugar on a frigid morning. Hmm, maybe it is a bit of both.
Nana's tuna casserole recipe is fairly basic, but yummy nonetheless. One finds that there are many variations out there online. A lot of them add peas and carrots (shutter at the thought). I hate peas, except for my neighbor Charlotte's pea soup. Her pea soups lives up to the comfort food title. Just soo good!
Nana's tuna casserole has just cream of mushroom soup, tuna, noodles, cheese, milk, margarine, and corn flakes on top. That's it! I usually add double the amount of tuna to the recipe because I like more in it. Hope you enjoy!
TUNA CASSEROLE by Sarah "Nana" Newman
1 can tuna fish (I like to use 2 cans.)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
¾ cup milk
½ package of noodles (12 oz) (I use the extra wide variety.)
1/3 stick margarine (You can use butter.)
Chunk Velveeta cheese, one 8 oz block cut into small squares to facilitate melting (I have used shredded cheddar, too.)
Corn flakes for topping
1. Boil noodles and drain well.
2. Combine tuna fish and mushroom soup.
3. Mix noodles with tuna fish, and soup in casserole dish
4. Top with cornflakes.
5. Heat milk, margarine, and cheese on low heat, then pour over the cereal.
6. Bake ¾ hr in oven uncovered at 350'F or until cheese is brown. (I also like my -cornflakes/cheese topping a little more well-done so I keep it in sometimes for 10-15 minutes longer. Your call!)