This past week was a very metaphysically quandarous kind of week (that's philosoph-speak, for those of you who ain't hip with your Kierkegaard and Hume). Metaphysically quandiferous. Why, you ask? Well, because not only did I whip up mock tuna salad, I *also* tried whipping up a mock tuna casserole (that's how much I was fricking jonesing about the mock tuna salad, my friends). But again: quandariferosity: This time, I had invented my own recipe for something I've never tasted before. This was some serious philosophical shit.
*AND* I wasn't all that blown away by it, which left me wondering: Was I not blown away by it because MY specific recipe wasn't good? Or was I not blown away by it because if I'd ever had a REAL tuna casserole on a prior occasion, I wouldn't've liked *THAT* either (so essentially, I'd just made a mock-recipe for something that I wouldn't have ever really liked in the first place)? And if a tree falls in the forest, does it not just press its Life Alert button so that the medics come a-racing?
Deep. Deep and deeper and deepest.
So yeah. I made this tuna casserole, and when I had some for dinner, I found myself a bit unimpressed. It was not *bad*, it was just unimpressive and kind of bland. (Then again, a lot of old-school, meat-and-taters, family-cooking in the form of casseroles SEEMS to have that as its goal, so perhaps it *WAS* a stunning tuna casserole rendition after all.)
But I ate the leftovers all last week, and I ended up finding myself a bit addicted to it as a leftover, so perhaps it wasn't as bad as I'd first thought. It's a bit dry, so I added a tad bit of water each time I nuked it. And I sorta wish I would've put in more mushrooms (and cooked all the mushrooms ahead of time--I've altered the recipe to reflect that). But overall, it's decent. Not amazing, but good in a bland-casseroley-goodness kind of way.
And now that I've given you that award-winning recommendation, you are, of course, all barreling out to the grocery store to nab the ingredients. *Snark*
- 12 oz. yolk-free pasta ribbons (or a fettucine noodle or something will work fine too)
- 12 oz. shrooms, sliced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 T. margarine
- 1 c. soymilk
- 1 T. flour
- 1 t. garlic powder
- A double-batch of Mock Tuna Salad
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 handful of kettle-cut potato chips (optional)
Cook up the pasta al dente according to the directions on the box. Drain and set aside.
Whip up your double-batch of Mock Tuna Salad.
In a small sauce-pan, add the margarine on a low flame and fry up your onions and mushrooms until the shrooms are tender. Mix in 1 T. flour and then gradually add the soymilk while whisking away so it doesn't burn. Once it's all in there, add the garlic powder. Cook for about 5-10 minutes or so, until the base has thickened up a bit.
Preheat oven to 400. Spray a large casserole dish (mine is a roundy one, and I'm not sure the precise size, but it should comfortably hold all your pasta). In a large mixing bowl, mix together your noodles and mock tuna salad. Slowly stir in your mushroomy mixture. Salt and pepper (and add in any other spices you think you might like--I think this definitely could've used a bit more spicing up).
Pour into casserole dish. Crush up a handful of kettle chips and sprinkle on top. (Many of the ACTUAL tuna casserole recipes recommended this, but I found that it didn't add much either which way, especially when the chips just got mushy as leftovers, so you could just as easily leave this out.)
Cook for 30-45 minutes (until casserole is heated all the way through).
Eat. Marvel at its delighful blandness.
(Makes anywhere from 6-10 servings)