Sunday, November 4, 2007

tuna noodle casserole and twice baked (christmas) potatoes

I've never had tuna noodle casserole. It's not something my mom made, so I never had it. As I was thinking about what to make for dinner yesterday while at work, I decided on tuna. I was going to make bread and tunafish salad and have sandwiches, but decided against it. When I searched around on the internet for ideas about what to do with a can of tuna, tuna noodle casserole kept popping up. I read a few recipes, then decided to wing it. It was really good. It was just what I wanted - cheesey, warm, filling, tuna-ey. I made enough for Alex and I to each have a bowl, with a little leftover. When Aled went downstairs for seconds, he said "That's it!?" terribly disappointed. Oh well, it was easy enough I can make it again anytime, and it's one of those things that I always have the ingredients on hand for.
To go along with the tuna noodle casserole (not enough starch! ha), I made what I call "Christmas potatoes". Really, they're twice baked potatoes, but one time when I told a friend what I was making for dinner, he hadn't heard of them. So I described them to him, and he said "Sounds like Christmas!" and so the name stuck. These are something I've been making since a kid, they're so easy and delicious.

Tuna Noodle Casserole
This makes enough to serve 2, with one second helping. I didn't want leftovers in the fridge. You can double it for more people.

1/2 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 T butter
1 1/2 T sweet rice flour
1 c milk
salt and pepper to taste
about 1 c cheese (your choice, I used cheddar)
1/2 c breadcrumbs
1 can tuna
1 1/2 c rice pasta
Preheat oven to 350, and butter a casserole dish. Cook pasta, drain, and put in casserole. Add tuna. Saute onion, garlic and celery in 1 T butter until softened. Add to casserole. Make cheese sauce: Melt 2 T butter, whisk in rice flour, cook, whisking, 2 minutes. Whisk in milk, salt and pepper, cook until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in cheese until melted. Pour into casserole, mix everything together. Melt last T of butter, toast breadcrumbs in butter. Sprinkle over tuna cheese noddles, bake about 30 minutes, until browned and bubbling.

Christmas Potatoes
2 potatoes, scrubbed and pricked all over with a fork
2 T butter
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 c milk
1 c cheese (your choice, I usually use cheddar and parm, I used a really good aged Gouda this time and it was awesome), grated
a little hot sauce

Microwave the potatoes, on a paper towel, for about 10 minutes, turning halfway through, until fork-tender. Preheat the oven to 350. Cut potatoes in half the long way, and scoop out the insides carefully into a bowl, trying not to break up the skin. Place the 4 skin boats onto a cookie sheet. Mash the potatoes with the rest of the ingredients, then scoop the mix into the skins. Sprinkle with a little more cheese if desired, then bake about 20 minutes until beginning to brown.


  1. Hmmmmmm! I cook those potatoes to a similar recipe! Mine are boringly called stuffed baked potatoes, I much prefer christmas potatoes. Maybe a name change is called for here!

  2. Anonymous7:36 PM

    i love christmas potatoes! i just threw things in mine til it looked about right and they turned out perfect!

  3. Anonymous12:26 PM

    Hi Jill,
    That looks great! My mom used to top tuna casserole with crumbled Ruffles potato chips. The salty and crispy chips were a nice contrast to the creamy casserole.

  4. Yum - I made this for dinner tonight and it was yummy. The perfect dinner for a cold, wintery day here in Denver.

  5. I am making this for dinner tonight. It's in the oven as I type!!!