Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuna Mac and Cheese

8 oz. sea shell pasta
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup water
2 cups shredded cheese
2 cans (4.5 oz.) Tuna
French fried onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook shells according to package directions.  Drain and pour into a large mixing bowl.  Add 1 1/2 cups of the cheese and both cans of tuna.   Stir to mix.  In a sauce pan melt butter/margarine.  Add onions and cook until tender but not brown.  Stir in flour and pepper.  Add milk and water all at once.  Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly.  Pour over shell mixture.  Stir.  Pour into a 2 quart casserole dish.  Top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and cheese has melted.  Top with French fried onions.  Bake another 3-4 minutes.  Serves 6.

Comment:  I've made Chicken Mac and Cheese so why not Tuna.  I used my basic recipe for mac and cheese simply adding the tuna and sprinkling the top with the French fried onions.  This turned out delicious.  I would suggest using tuna firmly packed in water and not oil to give you the delicious tuna taste.  For changes you could add a 1/4 cup of chopped bell pepper to the onions, change the cheese to a sharper blend or maybe add a little Old Bay for an extra kick.  I used the evaporated milk for its richness but that can be changed to milk of your choice. 

Food Tester Carol:  I always feel that the briny taste of any seafood wakes me up , makes me more alert!  This dish puts sea shells on the map in triple force.  Here's why:  The briny taste of the tuna has a particular sharpness that just asks to be noticed.  What can match that but none other than broccoli which is there not because it's a vegetable but another sharp flavor.  Partner those two with the sharpness of Colby-Cheddar and you have a dish that is so perfectly balanced but tasting like triple energy!  Take care what you serve with it.  Choose something equally lively.

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