I am trying to incorporate more fish into my diet. This is particularly difficult for me considering I can't stand the way fish smells. Usually, the smell is so overpowering that all I taste is the smell. So I've got to find a way to work around that.
Canned tuna is hit or miss with me. Sometimes the canned stuff is so super stinky and other times the smell is very mild. I found this recipe in the book "Family Feasts for $75 a week" by Mary Ostyn. This was one of the books I read in February that got me so angry. After making this recipe I still don't understand how this lady only spends $75 a month on groceries. This casserole was not substantial enough the way it was written.
First off, this recipe calls for 10-12 dry croutons. Um..really? That is not enough to soak up the liquids. I increased the croutons and decreased the liquid and it seemed like a better ratio. I reduced the amount of tuna the recipe called for because I worried about the fishy flavors/smells. Next time I will use the 3 cans that the original recipe calls for. I made a bunch of other changes to the original recipe too. I will post my altered recipe below.
One more thing before I do, this casserole is definitely not a stand alone casserole. I felt it needed at least a side salad. We ate that for dinner the first night and Mrblocko and I did not feel satisfied. By 8:00 both of us were raiding the pantry for snacks. So the next day (since I had planned on this feeding us for two meals) in addition to a side salad, I served our casserole portions over shell noodles. I also added some lightly steamed carrots. That did the trick nicely.
My additions and alterations certainly make this dish fall out of the "$75 a week" category, but it tastes better and that's good enough for me.
My altered Tuna Melt Casserole (adapted from "Family Feasts for $75 a week" by Mary Ostyn.)
2-3 cups of croutons (I make mine from leftover bread. I cube it, store it in the freezer and toast them as needed) (There should be enough bread to fill the entire bottom of a 9x13 pan)
3 5-6oz cans of tuna in water, undrained
one medium onion, minced
1 shallot, minced (I happened to have a shallot that needed to be used, if you don't have any shallots, feel free to use garlic. I happen to like garlic so I would use 4 cloves, minced)
2 ribs of celery, minced
3 T butter, melted
1/2 t pepper
heaping 1/2 t curry powder
2 c milk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 c grated cheese, dealers choice (I used Sharp cheddar and Colby Jack)
Preheat the oven to 400F. Spray a 9x13 dish with cooking spray. Spread bread in dish. In a large bowl combine tuna, onions, shallot, celery, butter, pepper, curry, milk and eggs. Pour tuna mixture over bread. Spread the mixture with a spatula, making sure that all the bread is covered. Top with cheese. Bake until the casserole starts to puff up, and the cheese melts, 25-35 min. To reheat leftovers, preheat oven to 400F and bake for 20 min until heated through and cheese gets melty again.