My Inbox is crowded with advice for staying healthy during the current crisis. Eating is-of course- a major concern. Some of the suggested recipes are interesting, while others are so esoteric and so dependent on perishables that even pre-Coronavirus, I wouldn’t know where to find the ingredients or have the space to store them.
This crisis will eventually end; it’s only the “how” and the “when” that are in doubt. Keeping that in mind, I decided to look at some of the recipes I made way back before the microwave, before refrigerators had large freezers and lots of shelf space, and long before my kids were old enough to drive. It was the age of the casserole, a time when canned food played an important role in most people’s diet.
My tuna casserole was always a winner. Think of the recipe as a blueprint. I usually used tuna, but it could also be made with chicken or turkey or shrimp or crab instead of tuna. The add-ins are also flexible. And I guess you could use cooked noodles in lieu of the fried onion rings, but the onion rings are easier, which explains why I started using them in the first place.
Pre-heat the oven to 350-degrees
2 cans of solid Albacore tuna (Make sure the tuna is packed in water. Can sizes have changed. You can always add more tuna or even opt for less.))
one can of condensed cream of mushroom soup (you can also make your own base)
one can of French fried onion rings (I never said this was health food. What I will say is that there were never leftovers with an emphasis on the ‘never.’)
cheese (Also flexible-Given the age the kids were when this was a recurring entree, I probably used American cheese slices or cheddar.)
frozen peas (I really like peas.)
2 tablespoons of wine (optional)
milk (use the soup can to measure the milk, and forget about checking the sodium, fat or calorie count.)
Reserve some of the onion rings. Mix everything else together in a suitably sized, oven- proof casserole.
Put the casserole in the pre-heated oven. Bake until bubbly. (I seem to remember cooking this for 30-45 minutes. Garnish the casserole with the reserved onion rings when the casserole is ready to serve. You can put it back in the oven for a minute to heat the onion rings.
Serves 3-4 , depending on the age and capacity of the diners.