Monday, June 11, 2012

Tuna Noodle Casserole with an Asian Twist

 Tuna Noodle Casserole with an Asian Twist

Aeons have passed since I last posted any recipes. My apologies. I would claim that having four children, five years old and under, has kept me on-my-toes-busy; but, I don't want my children to one day believe that I blame them for not getting much of anything (beyond cooking, doing laundry, folding clothes, feeding four little mouths, wiping bottoms, changing diapers, transporting people places, going grocery shopping, etc.) done.

I've gotten a chance play around with Tuna  Noodle Casserole and made an American-Asian fusion, which I will call my very own. Before mentioning what makes the Asian fusion portion of the recipe, I will say that I didn't use egg noodles. At the time, I only had elbow macaroni; so, my recipe is using that. The ingredients that added a bit of an Asian flavor to this dish were three: shittake mushrooms, soy sauce, and ground ginger.

Here are the ingredients I used, minus the seasoning & spices (they aren't pictured below).

  • 1 lb. (16 oz.) elbow macaroni
  • 1 package of shittake mushrooms (around 12-15 mushrooms), washed and sliced thinly
  • 5 pearl (?) onions, sliced very thin
  • chives, perhaps 10-12 strands, rinsed & cut very thin
  • 4 cartons of 12 oz. Pacific organic cream of mushroom condensed soup - this was the only cream of mushroom soup I could find that didn't have MSG in it.
  • 4 cans (5 oz each) of Wild Planet wild albacore tuna - I am relatively new to this brand but was extremely pleased with the quality. It's 100% pole and troll caught. The fish tastes, to me, nearly like the tuna purchased behind the glass case in the meat & seafood section of a grocery store. One can costs a pretty penny, but it is THAT exquisite
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • organic chicken broth
  • water
  • frozen green peas - 1/3 to 1/2 a package
  • 5 cloves of garlic - peeled & cut into small chunks
  • freshly grated Parmesan
  • sea salt - not much - since the cream of mushroom soup comes salty
  • soy sauce - also not much
  • ground ginger
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a large pan or skillet (I am seriously lacking in technical jargon and extremely precise measurements; my apologies for that), place in the sliced shittake mushrooms, pearl onions, cut garlic, cut chives, cream of mushroom soup, water, chicken broth, and green peas. Place the pan/skillet on medium heat.
  • Once the pan's contents are nearly boiling, cook the pasta to al dente, and not any longer than that amount (or the pasta will be soggy and mushy after baking). While the pasta is cooking, add some sea salt, a bit of soy sauce, and several pinches of ground ginger. 
  • When the pasta is finished cooking, drain the water and combine the pasta with the pan's contents. Stir thoroughly.
  • Pour everything into a 9x13 baking pan. I used a deep Pampered Chef stoneware pan. Spread evenly. Cover the top with a very thin layer of Panko bread crumbs. Grate some Parmesan (I grated the Parmesan on the spot; I can taste the difference in the freshly grated cheese and it is so much tastier!) and sprinkle it here and there. I didn't put a thin, continuous layer of cheese, because I wanted the flavor of the cheese in the dish without making it cheesy.
  • Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  • When ready to serve, add some freshly grounded colored peppercorn (I used a pepper mill) on top.


My 5 year old has really taken a liking to this dish. Bon Appetit!