I love tuna casserole. Unabashedly. My mom’s is stellar, but because she uses cream soups (that I can’t get here) and a special, frozen big thick noodle (which I’ve never seen ANYWHERE outside of Kansas City), I can’t really reproduce it. Every so often, I would trawl the internet for tuna casserole recipes with all ingredients that I could get here. Because it’s a holiday weekend and we’ve got the time, we embarked on a tuna adventure, only to be met with abject SUCCESS! It was stupid good. The original recipe is here, but I made some adjustments.
1 T olive oil
1 T unsalted butter
2 small cloves garlic, minced
3 celery stalks, small dice
1 medium onion, small dice
1 small hot green chili, minced
2 t Old Bay Seasoning (I’ve never had this, so I made my own with this)
3 T flour
1 t salt
1/2 t ground black pepper
3 c/750 ml milk
3 T sour cream
1 T wholegrain mustard
1 lb/500 g egg noodles (I used schwäbische Landnudeln because they looked pretty rough – they did not disappoint)
2 cans high-quality imported tuna packed in oil, drained and flaked
1 c/225 g coarsely grated cheddar cheese
2-3 T finely grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1 t dried parsley
4 T french-fried onions (Röstzwiebeln)
Heat oven to 350°F/175°C.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm oil and butter. When butter foams, add garlic, celery, diced onion and chili. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender. Next add seasoning, flour, salt and pepper. Stir until vegetables are coated and raw smell of flour is gone, then start pouring in milk, stirring all the while, making sure there are no lumps. After it simmers and thickens, remove it from the heat, stir in sour cream and mustard, and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Cook the noodles in well-salted water to just over half of the package-directed cooking time. You want them pretty firm in the middle, as they will continue to cook in the oven. Drain and mix with the sauce, tuna and cheese until everything is well distributed. Pour into casserole and spread evenly. In a small bowl, toss together parsley and fried onions. Sprinkle mixture over top of casserole. Bake for 25-30 minutes.