January 31, 2012

Tuna Noodle Casserole Redux

Growing up, my mom used to make the best tuna noodle casserole and when I was single I recreated it with mild success. Unfortunately, after meeting my lovely, sweet husband, the cuisine that comes out of our kitchen is affectionately referred to as "post-seafood." MM basically hates any and all seafood. But in our year of trying new foods, I convinced him to give tuna noodle casserole another chance. Being the trooper that he is, he choked down forkful after forkful, and in between bites he repeated, "it's chicken, it's chicken." It was mildly entertaining, to say the least.

For all of us without a natural aversion to seafood, this is a great reworking of a traditional tuna noodle casserole. I found the recipe to be a little fussy and it certainly isn't quick, but the results were delicious. In fact, I thought it was even better reheated for lunch the following day. Dear readers, you will not be surprised to hear that MM declined to take leftovers for lunch.

This recipe is from the Washington Post and was created by one of their guest columnists, David Hagedorn. I followed it as written except I don't have a 2 quart square casserole dish, so I used a 2 1/2 quart rectangular baking dish. It worked just fine, and to be perfectly honest, I think it would have overflowed in a 2 quart dish. The bunch of dill I bought was massive, and I wasn't about to only chop 1/4 cup, so I used about 1 cup of chopped dill. I loved the flavor it added to the casserole. I only used 8 lasagne noodles, instead of the requested 10, because that's all that was remaining in a box in the pantry and I wasn't about to buy a new box for 2 noodles. And finally, I think the paprika sprinkled on top of the panko is completely useless. I did turn on my broiler for the last 4 minutes to brown the panko and the paprika just burned (see black blotch in the middle of the right side of the photo).

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