Grown-Up Tuna Casserole

Sometimes, you just crave comfort food, even when it’s the dead of summer outside. Fortunately, our air conditioner makes it bearable to turn on the oven and indulge when that happens. Even if that isn’t the case for you, bookmark this deliciousness to try in cooler months, because this hits the spot when all you want is carb-y, cheesy, tuna-y goodness!

Note: the next time I make this, I will definitely add some green veggies. I think fresh peas or artichoke hearts would make an excellent addition!


Grown-Up Tuna Casserole
(Original recipe: Bon Appetit)

¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
2½ cups thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only; from about 2 large)
¼ teaspoon celery seeds
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
½ cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
8 ounces wide egg noodles
½ cup coarsely grated Gruyère cheese (about 2½ ounces)
2 tablespoons chopped dill
10-oz albacore tuna (preferably packed in olive oil), drained, broken into ½-inch chunks
2 cups coarsely crushed salted potato chips (about 2 ounces)
S+P to taste

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter an 8×8″ glass baking dish.

Boil egg noodles in large pot of water until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt unsalted butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and celery seeds to saucepan. Cook until leeks are tender but not brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Add flour; stir 1 minute. Gradually add milk and half and half; simmer until mixture thickens slightly, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, combine cooked noodles, leek sauce, Gruyère cheese, dill, and tuna. Fold gently to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to prepared baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil. Sprinkle crushed potato chips over and continue to bake, uncovered, until top is golden brown and the cheese sauce is bubbly, 10-15 minutes longer. Serve hot.


Asian Baked Salmon


We live in an area rich in fresh seafood, especially salmon. We love this marinade so much, we eat it almost weekly. The original recipe is intended for the outdoor grill, but my version is modified for baking in the oven, making it much easier to eat year-round. I also use the ingredients more like a sauce as opposed to a marinade, baking the fish right in the deliciousness!

Asian Baked Salmon
(Original recipe: Ina Garten)

2-3 lbs fresh salmon fillets
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons good soy sauce
6 tablespoons good olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced

Whisk together mustard, soy sauce, olive oil, and garlic until well blended. Pour over salmon fillets and bake according to your favorite baked salmon recipe.

I bake in sealed foil packets for 20 minutes at 400 degrees, then uncovered for another 5-10 minutes, depending on doneness. You know it’s done once it is no longer translucent and flakes in the center when cut with a fork.