Friday, August 19, 2011

Hot Crossed Tuna Casserole

Recently on the parenting message board I belong to there was a discussion about tuna casseroles. It made me think of this one my mom used to make when I was little. It was our neighbor Julie's recipe. It's not your typical tuna, cream of mushroom, noodle casserole either. I was glad my mom knew where to find the recipe because once I started thinking about it, I couldn't stop. I also couldn't stop thinking about cheddar and sour cream potato chips because one of my friends said her mom topped tuna casserole with those. I'm thinking about cheddar and sour cream chips again. Sigh. At least they come in a baked variety so I don't have to feel as guilty when I eat them.

Anyway, once my mom gave me the recipe I had to make it within days. Thankfully all I really needed for it were the crescent rolls. I'll admit I was a bit nervous about it since the last time I remembered having it I think my age was in single digits. I liked spam a lot, too, when my age was in single digits, but I doubt I could stomach it now.

Hot Crossed Tuna Casserole

3 cans tuna, drained
1 16 oz. package frozen peas, thawed
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 c. celery, sliced
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1/4 c. chopped onion
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tube crescent roll dough

Cucumber Sauce:
1/2 c. chopped cucumbers
1 T. chives, chopped
1 T. chopped parsley
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. dill weed
1/2 c. mayo
1/2 c. sour cream

Combine tuna, peas, cheese, celery, bread crumbs, onion, seasonings, and mayonnaise; mix well. Spoon into 106 baking dish. Separate crescent roll dough into 2 rectangles. Press perforations to seal. Cut dough into 4 long and 8 short strips. Place strips over casserole in lattice design. Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes or until crust is brown. Serve with cucumber sauce.

To make sauce, combine all ingredients and mix well. Chill. Pour over top of each serving.


I modified the original recipe slightly; what's posted above is how I made it. I just added more tuna and peas. I like peas. I thought the sauce recipe was kind of funny--sounds like tzaziki (I have no idea how to spell that, by the way) to me, but perhaps in suburban Seattle in the late 70s and early 80s it was easier to just call it cucumber sauce. Who cares, it's tasty.

I'm happy to report that this dish was in fact as tasty as I remembered it. My bff Clementine (she's decided we're too codependent on each either so we've come up with new monikers for each other to make it appear that we have other friends. We really do have other friends, but I thought it would be fun to call her Clementine.) was over one day last week to make plum jam (aptly named Jamfest) and sampled some of the leftovers because she was skeptical when I told her about it. She approved and told me to post it so she could make it. I love me a good casserole, and this totally fits the bill. My kids loved it, too. Boy #2 actually had leftovers of it twice for lunch and cleaned his plate each time he ate it Winner winner, tuna dinner!

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