HONESTLY GOOD TUNA CASSEROLE
Mention tuna casserole to a group of friends, and you may get a bunch of rolled eyes or upturned noses. The problem is that this staple comfort food has been sadly neglected, and mostly due to how it's prepared: it's constantly pushed as a "quick and easy" meal. But if you treat it like something worthwhile, it becomes something worthwhile.
The first secret is to use good canned tuna—the very best you can find. My preference is Wild Planet, but there are others in the same class. Another secret is to use fresh ingredients, such as onions and mushrooms, which I sauté in butter. Plus, I really load up on the good stuff: more tuna, more mushrooms, and so on. Go bold, or go home!
Cook the egg noodles, drain, butter, and set them aside. Chop the onions and sauté them in butter. Do the same with the mushrooms. Cut the tuna into pieces, then combine the tuna, mushrooms and onions in a mixing bowl. Then add the mushroom soup. Check the flavor while you're mixing, and adjust the seasoning as you may prefer; you may like to add a little minced garlic, or a dash of Worcestershire sauce.
Butter a 3-quart glass casserole, then place the noodles into it. Do not mix the noodles with the other ingredients, as is often indicated in traditional recipes; this prevents stray noodles from becoming unpleasantly browned and crispy during baking. Top the noodles with the tuna mixture, spread it evenly, then top that with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbly. Allow to cool for a bit before serving. Follow up with watermelon or fresh fruit for dessert, and enjoy the smiles.
Option to consider: top with shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese (add the cheese before the bread crumbs). Cheese makes everything better!
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