Cooking with Claire: Staying warm in the winter

Tuna Casserole (B.D.'s World/Flickr, Creative Commons) 

“Cooking with Claire” is an introduction to dining beyond the dining hall using easy, fast and cheap recipes.

I just finished watching “A Series of Unfortunate Events” on Netflix (which you should definitely check out when you have the time). In the middle of the season, the Baudelaire orphans are served cold cucumber soup in the middle of a freezing rainstorm because their aunt is too frightened to turn on her stove in case it explodes. The whole scene made me shiver just thinking about it.

As the worst winter months approach, everything I cook must be warm and comforting, otherwise I won’t leave for classes. The weather lately has been dreadful and I’m trying not to let senioritis kick in. So, this week I might make one of my favorite easy, cheap and warm recipes, tuna noodle casserole.

 

Ingredients

Two (10.75 ounce) cans Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

One cup milk

Two cups frozen peas

Two (10 ounce) cans tuna, drained

Four cups hot cooked medium egg noodles

Two tablespoons dry bread crumbs

One tablespoon butter, melted

 

Directions

1. Cook noodles according to package directions.

2. Stir soup, milk, peas, tuna and noodles in pot. Transfer to 3-quart casserole.

3. Bake at 400˚F for 30 minutes or until hot.

4. Mix bread crumbs with butter in bowl and sprinkle over tuna mixture. Bake for five minutes more.

This recipe is so foolproof, I think I was making it when I was 14 years old. We used to eat egg noodles all the time growing up, so it’s something very sentimental to me.

The recipe is also extremely easy to adapt to what you have in your kitchen. If you only have cream of celery soup, toss that in. The last time I made it I didn’t have bread crumbs but I had crackers, so I crumbled those on the top. If tuna makes you squeal, use chunks of chicken or tofu instead. Most of the time I add extra vegetables like chopped up broccoli, carrots or spinach.

I think this recipe is a bit bland, so I would definitely add salt and pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme and maybe parsley.

Another great thing about this recipe is you can freeze portions for later. After refrigerating the cooked casserole for several hours, cut squares or rectangles of casserole and wrap them in several layers of aluminum foil. Freeze them and eat them within a few months. This is perfect for easy meals as your workload picks up and your free time dwindles.


Claire Galvin is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at claire.galvin@uconn.edu.