Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Tuna Noodle Casserole

This is an old version of a tuna noodle casserole, that doesn't use any condensed soup to make the sauce for the casserole.


2- Five ounce cans of tuna in water, drained
8 - Ounces of uncooked egg noodles
1 - Small onion, finely chopped
1- Teaspoon of minced garlic (from a jar), or 1-2 cloves finely minced fresh garlic
1 - Stalk celery, finely chopped
1/2 - Bell pepper, finely chopped
8 - button mushrooms sliced*
1 - Cup frozen green peas
1/4 - Cup real butter
2 - Cups milk
2 - Tablespoons corn starch
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 - Cup bread crumbs
1 - Cup shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a deep skillet or pan, melt 1/4 cup butter over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, celery, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Stir as the mixture cooks, until the vegetables start to get tender.
  3. Next, add 8 ounces of egg noodles (or pasta shells, or bow tie pasta) to boiling salted water. Cook according to pasta package directions, until al dente.
  4. Add the cup of frozen peas to the vegetable mixture, and stir to combine.
  5. Add the 2 cans of drained tuna, and the pasta, and stir to combine with the other ingredients.
  6. Stir 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into 2 cups of milk, until the cornstarch is mixed well with the milk, and pour into the skillet with the rest of the ingredients. Stir just until the sauce begins to thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Pour tuna and veggie mixture into a 9x13 buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with the bread crumbs, and cover everything with the shredded cheddar cheese.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes until casserole sauce is thickened, and the cheese melts. Allow casserole to cool for about 5-8 minutes before serving. Serve with a green salad and your favorite bread.

* If you don't like mushrooms, you can substitute thinly sliced potatoes, like Yukon Gold, for the mushrooms.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

A friend recently asked for a recipe for chicken and dumplings. I make chicken and dumplings in my 6 quart slow cooker and they taste as good as the chicken and dumplings my mom used to make. They taste better when they are cooked in the slow cooker, plus you can go about whatever else you need to do without the worries of burning or sticking.

I use boneless skinless chicken breasts, or even better when I can find it, Tyson Best of the Boneless, which is 2 boneless skinless breasts and 4 boneless skinless thighs. Then you get dark meat as well as white meat, and you don’t have to pull chicken meat off the bone like mom and grandmother did for their chicken and dumplings.

Also, for my dumplings, I use Pillsbury Southern Style frozen biscuits that have been thawed, rolled out with my biscuit roller, and then using a pizza cutter cut into 1 inch by 3 inch dumplings.

I hope you and your family like this Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings:

4- boneless skinless chicken breasts or 1 package Tyson Best of the Boneless
½ – ¾ teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 – 14 ounce cans chicken broth
2 – 10.5 ounce cans Cream of Chicken soup
1-2 – soup cans of water
4 – 5 Pillsbury Frozen southern style biscuits, thawed and cut into dumplings

Place a Reynolds Slow Cooker liner in the slow cooker according to package directions.

Lay the boneless skinless chicken on the bottom of your slow cooker, then season with the poultry seasoning.

Add cans of chicken broth, cream of chicken soup, and water to large mixing bowl. Stir to combine, then pour over chicken in the slow cooker.

Put the lid on the slow cooker, and cook on low setting for 7 hours, or on high setting for 5 hours.

When Chicken mixture has about an hour and a half left, remove lid, and using tongs or 2 forks, shred chicken to bite sized pieces and return to slow cooker. Add the dumplings and stir GENTLY to distribute the dumplings throughout. Replace lid, and allow to cook for the remaining hour and a half.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Steve's Homemade Pasta Meat Sauce

1 and 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large yellow onion finely chopped
1 medium green bell pepper finely chopped
1 medium red bell pepper finely chopped
2 stalks celery finely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic (depending on how well you like garlic) finely chopped
2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning (McCormick's Just A Pinch is what I use)
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 28 ounce can whole peeled plum tomatoes (a bit more expensive, but better flavor from San Marzano peeled tomatoes)
1 15 ounce can regular tomato Sauce
1/2 cup DRY red wine (Burgundy, Chianti, Cabernet Sauvignon)
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
Shredded Parmesan Cheese

1. Heat a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat, adding 1 tablespoon olive oil. When oil is hot, add ground beef and brown in batches. This is the first key. Browning in batches ensures the beef will brown, and not steam. Drain ground beef and set aside.

2. In same pan or dutch oven, over medium heat, add remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add chopped onions, bell peppers, and celery. Cook and stir for 3-4 minutes. Now add chopped garlic,  and 2 tablespoons (you can use more if you like) Italian seasoning. Cook and stir for another 2-3 minutes.

3. Add  tomato paste, and stir to combine with the vegetables. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes. Return browned ground beef to pan, and stir to combine.

4.Now add can of whole peeled tomatoes. Using an old fashioned potato masher (you could use a spoon, but a potato masher prevents the tomatoes from becoming projectiles) crush the tomatoes in the pan. Do not be gentle. This is the second key. Crushing tomatoes in the pan means you will get all that good juice they contain, and the taste is much better than using canned crushed tomatoes. Stir well to combine.

5. Add the 15 ounce can of tomato sauce, and the 1/2 cup of dry red wine (don't go cheap here, use a good wine you would actually drink). Stir to combine.

6. Add the crushed red pepper flakes (if using), and then raise heat to medium high. Bring the ingredients to a boil, then cover the pan or dutch oven, and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer 1 1/2 - 2 hours, stirring occasionally, from the bottom of the pan so nothing scorches.

7. Remove the cover during the last 20 - 30 minutes of simmering, until the sauce reaches a nice thick consistency that you like.

8. Serve over your favorite pasta, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.