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Recipe File: Tuna Noodle Casserole
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is whole milk needed for consistency or can this be made with skim milk or evaporated milk? (great recipes BTW, especially the brined, grilled chicken breasts)
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I liked your version of the Tuna Noodle Casserole. Your step by step photos are such a pleasure! Wonderful work. I look forward to coming back and seeing what else you've "cooked up" Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good recipe! I used canned salmon with dill instead of the tuna and rosemary. It made more than would fit into an 8in baking dish. I must eyeball measurements on the big side.
Thank you and I love your site!
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Michael Chu

Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1654
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
Is whole milk needed for consistency or can this be made with skim milk or evaporated milk? (great recipes BTW, especially the brined, grilled chicken breasts)

I find that the whole milk thickens the sauce a little better and adds more flavor to the dish than skim milk. You can use skim milk, but may have to adjust the flour quantities just a little.
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Buttered bread crumbs on top sounds like a nice variation from the slightly browned melted cheese, though!
You could actually just sprinkle some shredded cheese on top of the casserole before sprinkling on the buttered bread crumbs (or crushed ritz crackers, panko, crushed potato chips, etc.) and get the same effect. Cheesy goodness.
I like your recipe for tuna caserole starting with a roux is a great idea. My question pertains to the roux though. I alwasy start my soups with a roux, but I'll saute the veggies in butter before adding flour, and later milk or chicken base. I was wondering why you add the flour before the veggies?
A standard roux consists of equal parts flour and melted butter. The idea is to develop the right color (dirty blondish) before adding the base. The flour literally is what thickens the sauce, so I'd reccomend you make all of your rouxes by starting with flour/butter.

Good recipe, I think I'll mix it up by adding 6 oz. of shredded cheese into the sauce and sprinkle 2 oz. of shredded cheese on top and I'll probably use panko instead of bread crumbs. They brown better in the oven and will give it that nice crunchy texture.
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also I noticed there's chunks of flour in your initial roux. You can keep that from happening by slowly whisking in the flour instead of dumping it all at once (not suggesting you did that). A whisk and saucepan (with rounded corners instead of straight ones) really help in this process.

Also I'd reccomend cooking in a round casserole dish. I use 1.5 quart round corningware casserole dishes to cook casseroles and such, that way you don't get those dry corners sometimes.
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Gluten-free guru

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 3:08 pm    Post subject: gluten-free roux Reply with quote

What's an alternative for a gluten-free roux? Would white rice flour work? or use corn starch?
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:32 am    Post subject: Tuna Noodle Casserole Reply with quote

As I was making this last night my husband informed me that that isn't the way HE (his mom) makes it. I kept on with my task and when it all came out of the oven he actually liked it!! AMAZING!
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 1:45 am    Post subject: Pea in tuna casserole Reply with quote

I always liked frozen peas in tuna casserole thats how I had it growing up. Green beans also would be good. I never had it with mushrooms or celery but that also sounds good. never had it with rosemary or thyme either.

A Roux is deffinately the way to go. I'm making some right now with whole grain pasta, dont know how it will turn out...

the cheese this is probably good but that cheating in my opinion. I love cheese, but I like to get away from it sometimes
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Jim F

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 12:43 pm    Post subject: Good recipe! Analysis and possible improvements Reply with quote

I liked the recipe also, although both I and my wife thought the rosemary was overdone a bit. Next time I plan to cut the rosemary to 1/2 tsp.

For the macronutrient mix I get the following:
3525 kcal, 143g fat (82g sat fat, 11g poly, 41g mono), 308g carb, 246g protein

Ideas for improving the recipe:

As mentioned above, the first thing is that I'd cut the rosemary in half, but that's just personal taste. The butter is of course a delicious ingredient, but I eat it sparingly now. Next time I try this recipe I'll try to preserve the excellent flavor, but will experiment with ways of reducing the butter. "Butter Buds" could replace about 1/2 or 2/3 of the butter without modifying the flavor or texture, both in the roux and in the breadcrumb topping, I believe. If anyone tests this out, please let me know. There are excellent nonfat milk substitutes that have more protein than whole milk and taste like 2%. I used whole milk as called for in the recipe, but will use a nonfat next time. I used a whole grain, protein enriched egg noodle for the lower GI and slight additional protein.

I liked the breadcrumbs on top. I notice that it adds 84g carbs and 17g of protein, and wonder if there's something that I could add to even out the carb/protein ratio. Maybe altering the 1c breadcrumbs to 3/4c breadcrumbs + 1/4c gluten would work without altering the taste or texture too much (I haven't tried this, so I'm just speculating here). Smile
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:20 pm    Post subject: Thanks for the great recipes! Reply with quote

I really love your site. Smile The way that you show what each step is supposed to look like is a brilliant idea because it makes the whole cooking process simple and easy to understand. It also lessens the mistakes I make since I can easily see where I got off wrong. Everything's so organized. Wink and the meals look so great. I can't wait to start trying out the recipes here.

Thanks for making cooking simple that even beginner cooks like me won't fumble it up.
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Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 1
Location: Leverkusen, Germany

PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


It is even better when you leave out the nasty tuna, and add shredded, cooked chicken instead. Teasing
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admiral sparkles

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 6:26 pm    Post subject: any recipes for chicken and rice casserole? Reply with quote

This is a great recipe! Really like starting off with a classic roux and adding the spices.

Does anyone out there have a good recipe for chicken and rice casserole?
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 8:49 am    Post subject: Thanks - and Non-Dairy Alternative Reply with quote

When I saw that the title was "Cooking for Engineers", I knew the recipe would turn out. I went looking for this recipe because my son is allergic to dairy, and so we can't use any canned cream soups as a base or get any creamyness from cheese. This recipe turns out just as great if you use kosher vegetable oil margarine and unflavored soy milk (ie, don't use vanilla soy milk!). I used "whole" soy milk (not low-fat). We substituted shell pasta instead of egg noodles because my son is also allergic to egg.

The person who was looking for how to substitute a non-gluten flour in the roux might be able to use 2 tablespoons cornstarch instead of the flour, but in that case the person should mix the cornstarch first in a separate bowl with a little cold milk, thin it out with more cold milk, turn the heat off under the pot, whisk the cornstarch mix in, add in all the rest of the milk and whisk it all in before turning the heat back on. And of course to finish making a gluten-free version, use any non-wheat pasta and instead of breadcrumbs use crushed rice crackers, leftover mashed potato thinned out with extra butter, or perhaps the crushed potato chips another poster recommended (but then don't add salt to the recipe).

I also always add flour to a roux gradually, mixing each time, to prevent lumps.

I think of rosemary as a roasted potato spice, not a "tuna casserole" spice. I added 1/4 teaspoon each marjoram, thyme, minced garlic and celery seed. I used 1/2 cup chopped regular 'yellow' onion rather than green onion; it saves $ and avoids the common food poisoning/bacteria contamination going on with green onions. I added 1/4 extra celery, and I also added 1 cup of frozen peas because we historically add peas to our tuna casserole. Next time I'll add 2 cups of peas. I thought that the extra celery and peas would add extra liquid, but I found that I needed to add a little (1/4) extra soy milk to thin out the sauce enough.

Also, we didn't even bake ours. I just made it, served it immediately due to popular demand, and it was great.

I will be looking for more recipes for engineers!
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Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 63
Location: on the boat, Annapolis, MD

PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I made this a few days ago, adding peas to the vegetable saute but keeping everything else to the recipe.

30 minutes wasn't nearly enough to cook the casserole through. It took about 50 minutes at 350 deg F. for me.
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