Tuesday, May 4, 2010
I don’t know who this Molly Stevens character is, but she created a seriously good tuna noodle casserole for Bon Appétit. I think I’ll go try more of her recipes, if I ever take a break from making this casserole.
This recipe is everything tuna noodle casserole should be. Creamy with Gruyère, herby with dill and celery seeds, oniony from leeks and crunchy salty with potato chips. Ok, so maybe herby and oniony aren’t real words, but you get the picture. Oh, and lots of soft carby noodles of course! Carby is a word right? Heck, you could leave out the tuna and it’d still be fabulous. Seriously.
Tuna Noodle Casserole with Leeks and Fresh Dill
• 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
• 2 1/2 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only; from about 2 large)
• 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
• Coarse kosher salt
• 1/4 cup all purpose flour
• 2 cups whole milk
• 1/2 cup half and half
• 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
• 8 ounces wide egg noodles
• 1/2 cup coarsely grated Gruyère cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (I used 2 teaspoons dried)
• 2 5- to 6-ounce cans albacore tuna (preferably packed in olive oil), drained, broken into 1/2-inch chunks
• 2 cups coarsely crushed salted potato chips (about 2 ounces)
• Butter 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Melt unsalted butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and celery seeds to saucepan; sprinkle lightly with coarse kosher salt. Cover saucepan and 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. Season leek sauce to taste with coarse kosher salt and pepper. Remove sauce from heat.
• Meanwhile, cook egg noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, stirring occasionally. Drain noodles, reserving 3/4 cup (or a little more) noodle cooking liquid. Transfer noodles to large bowl. Pour leek sauce over noodles. Add grated Gruyère cheese and dill and stir to blend; add reserved noodle cooking liquid by tablespoons until mixture is moist and creamy (about 8 tablespoons). Fold in tuna. Transfer to prepared baking dish. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover with foil and keep refrigerated.
• Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake noodle casserole, covered with foil, until heated through, about 20 minutes if freshly made or 30 minutes if chilled. Remove foil. Sprinkle crushed potato chips over and continue to bake, uncovered, until top is golden brown and filling bubbles, about 10 minutes longer. Serve hot.
Recipe by Molly Stevens @ Bon Appetit, March 2010. Picture by Laura Flowers.