Cooking Tips & Hints
                  Week 90 Featured Recipe
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TUNA-NOODLE CASSEROLE
(click for printable version of this recipe)
 
TOOLS:
• Cutting Board
• Knife
• Whisk
• Food processor or blender
• Dutch Oven
• 9 X 13 Baking Dish
• Various size bowls
INGREDIENTS:

• 1 cup (4 oz) Monterey Jack cheese,
  shredded
• 1 cup (4 oz) sharp cheddar cheese,
  shredded
• 2 cups potato chips, crushed
• 2 slices bread, torn into 1" pieces
• 6 tbsp butter
• salt & pepper
• 3 (5oz cans) solid white albacore tuna
  packed in water
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tsp lemon juice
• 12 oz egg noodles
• 8 oz white mushrooms, trimmed and
  sliced 1/4" thick
• 1 onion, chopped fine
• 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded
  and chopped fine
• 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
• 3 ½ cups half and half
• 1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
• 1 ½ cups frozen peas

(CLICK ANY PICTURE TO ENLARGE)
PREPARATION: 

Combine Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese in bowl. Pulse chips, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture, 2 tbsp butter, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in food processor until coarsely ground, set aside. Place tuna in fine mesh strainer and press dry with paper towels. Transfer to large bowl and flake into coarse pieces with fork. Microwave oil, lemon juice, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper in small bowl until bubbling around edges, about 30 seconds. Stir oil mixture into tuna and let sit for 10 minutes. Bring 4 qts water to boil in Dutch oven. Add pasta and 1 tbsp salt & cook until just al dente. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water until cool, about 2 minutes. Drain again and set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 deg F. Melt 1 tbsp butter in now-empty Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and 1/4 tsp salt and cook until liquid evaporates and mushrooms are browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to bowl with tuna mixture. Add 1 tbsp butter, onion, and bell pepper to now empty pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl with tuna-mushroom mixture; set aside. In now empty pot, melt remaining 2 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in half and half and broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until slightly thickened, 5 to 7 minutes.

Off heat, whisk in remaining cheese mixture until smooth. Stir in pasta, tuna mixture, peas, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper. Scrape mixture into baking dish, bake appx 12 minutes then remove from oven and add crumb mixture to the top. Return to oven and bake appx 12 more minutes or until Golden brown. Let cool for appx 10 minutes. Serve.

HINTS: I highly recommend that you have all your ingredients chopped and measured out before you begin preparing dish since it goes quickly once you start the process. When pulsing the crumb mixture, I wouldn’t add the butter to the processor until you are almost finished since the butter has a tendency to stick to the blades and “gum” everything up.
(CLICK ANY PICTURE TO ENLARGE)