Our final Hearty Winter Comfort Food recipe to share with you is a favorite: Grown-Up Tuna Casserole. This isn’t the bland, mushy tuna casserole you might have had in your childhood. This recipe uses albacore in oil, leeks, Gruyere cheese, celery seed, fresh dill, and tart lemon juice to create a depth of flavor missing from most tuna casseroles. Finally, it’s topped with kettle-cooked potato chips, giving it that addictive, salty crunch we all crave. Once you’ve tasted it, you’ll never go back! Be prepared to crave this delicious dish throughout the year, not just when it’s cold outside!
TIP: To add some freshness and interest, fold in some green veggies! We especially recommend fresh peas or artichoke hearts.
Grown-Up Tuna Casserole
(Original recipe: Bon Appetit)
1/4 C butter
2-1/2 C leeks, thinly sliced (white and pale green parts only)
1/4 tsp celery seeds
1/4 C all-purpose flour
2 C milk
1/2 C half-and-half
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
8 oz wide egg noodles
1/2 C Gruyère cheese, grated (about 2½ ounces)
2 TBSP chopped dill
10-oz albacore tuna (preferably packed in olive oil), drained and broken into chunks
2 C salted kettle potato chips, coarsely crushed
Salt and pepper 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 butter in 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.