22 July 2009

This one's for Neela : )

So my friend Neela and I went to school together from 5th through 12th grade. Today, she informed me that my mom makes the best tuna casserole ever, and that she's been trying to recreate it for the last 10 years to no avail. Did I have the recipe?

I am slightly embarrassed to say that I don't even remember eating this casserole - shocking to say the least, especially since it involves tater tots, which normally struck a resonating chord in my young life. But having gotten the recipe from Mom, I have to say, it does sound delicious. I'm going to have to make up for the startling gap in my childhood memory by making it in the near future.

Thanks, Neela, for reuniting me with this long-lost culinary delight!

Mom notes, "These can sizes are probably not exactly what's sold today--I first made this recipe in 1974!"

Update: I just made this for the first time and made several changes to it, basically just updating it from 1974 to 2010 food culture, and increasing the overall quantity a bit. It is soooo tasty. Go Mom!

 Skipper's Casserole

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup chopped onions
3 Tablespoons flour
1.5 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon dill
1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 can (13 oz. ) evaporated milk
1 can (4 oz.) mushrooms
2-3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cans (6.5 oz. each) chunk light tuna, drained and flaked
1 package (10 oz.) frozen peas, partially defrosted and broken apart
1 package (16 oz.) tater tots

~ Updated ingredients ~
1/4 cup butter
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 Tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon dill (I substitute marjoram when out of dill)
1 teaspoon pepper

1 can (13 oz. ) evaporated milk
1 8-oz carton button mushrooms, sliced
I Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons water
2 12-oz cans chunk light tuna, drained and flaked
~1/2 of a 16-oz package frozen peas, partially defrosted and broken apart
up to 2 packages (32 oz. total) tater tots (I used about 1 and 2/3rds pkgs, enough to cover with a single layer)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 2-quart oblong casserole.
2. In a 2-quart saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter and cook onion until tender but not brown.
3. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and dill until blended. Gradually stir in evaporated milk, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, white wine vinegar and water. Cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened.
4. Add the tuna, peas, and mushrooms. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Spoon mixture into casserole dish.
5. Arrange frozen tater tots in a single layer on top. Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly in the center.

Makes 6-8 servings. (Consistently a big hit at potlucks, too.)

1 comment:

Cheese Boy said...

Yes, that is a great casserole; who doesn't like tater tots?!

Only heart patients don't, because they can't eat them any longer and any reminder is frustrating. People react similarly to tater tots as Oreos...with barely controllable abandon, almost as if reverting back to childhood.

Plus, the recipe instructs you to make it "hot and bubbly." Imagine the joy of tater tots combined with a edible version of a jacuzzi. Are you kidding me?!

If your future sister-in-law weren't a nutrionist and cardio ICU nurse, I'd eat tator tots much more often. But at least I can get away with pommes frites covered in au jus drippings.