Saturday, April 11, 2009

"The America's Test Kitchen Family Book" - Skillet Tuna Noodle Casserole

Date I made this recipe: April 10, 2009 (Good Friday)

The America’s Test Kitchen Family Book by the Editors at America’s Test Kitchen
Published by: America’s Test Kitchen
ISBN: 0-936184-87-6
Recipe: Skillet Tuna Noodle Casserole – p. 243

I am not a fish fan, nor am I a practicing Catholic (“incredibly lapsed” is what comes to mind) but hey, it’s Good Friday and so in honor of the occasion (and to knock off another recipe for my blog), I selected a tuna noodle casserole for tonight’s dinner.

I mean, who doesn’t like a tuna noodle casserole? Apparently, many a cookbook author because I tell you what, there was a decided lack of tuna recipes in several of the cookbooks I looked at. Sure, there were a few in some of the community cookbooks I looked at, but I honestly don’t think that tuna, macaroni, cream of mushroom soup and (possibly) potato chips is a bona fide tuna casserole recipe. And so I went all highbrow on you and decided to go with one that had one of my favorite tuna noodle casserole “must-haves” and that is peas. Peas and tuna just go together, don’t they? One of my favorites from my mother’s summer repertoire was tuna salad made with tuna, macaroni, onion, celery, peas… and Miracle Whip. Yes, I know there are Miracle Whip snobs out there but it was the only thing available in my small town and so Miracle Whip it was.

This recipe is not your traditional take on a tuna casserole since you cook the pasta in the skillet but I wouldn’t expect anything less out of America’s Test Kitchen. The show of the same name is on PBS on Saturday mornings (at least in the Minneapolis market) and I enjoy seeing cookbook and magazine author Christopher Kimball and his staff tweak old favorites. This dish was fun to make because it was so different in nature and might tasty, too.

Since summer is almost upon us (once it quits snowing, that is), don’t be surprised if tuna and peas makes it back on the docket in the very near future! I can taste them now…

Skillet Tuna Noodle Casserole – Serves 4-6
Prep time: 10 minutes Total time: 40 minutes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 ounces white button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thin
1 onion, minced
8 ounces egg noodles (3 cups)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup frozen peas
2 (7-ounce) foil pouches solid white tuna, flaked
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Lemon wedges (for serving)
Crushed Ritz or Saltine crackers (for topping, if desired)

Melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook until the mushrooms are browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.

Sprinkle the noodles into the skillet. Pour the broth and cream over the noodles. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the peas, tuna, mushroom mixture, and parsley and allow to heat through, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, passing the lemon wedges separately.

Okay, faithful readers know that I often take issue with one of the instructions. Here’s today’s: If I’m supposed to cover and bring the noodle mixture to a simmer, how will I know it’s at simmer unless I uncover the pot? Think about that.


Alyss said...

Thanks for posting this recipe! I used it tonight because no one has bought me this cookbook yet ;)

Beth said...

Thank you -- I have that cookbook and made that we loved it -- the lemon makes it taste so yummy. I wanted to make it but my cookbook is in storage.

Mil said...

I assume I can substitute chicken for tuna?

Ann said...

Mil, yes, you can substitute chicken for tuna. You could also substitute other fish for tuna such as salmon.

Stiv said...

Glass lid.

Ann said...

Stiv, Great idea but unfortunately, almost none of my pots, pans, or skillets have non-glass lids! No doubt America's Test Kitchen has a ton of them though.