Tuna Souffle Casserole

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I am always looking for new and interesting ways to jazz up a can of tuna. I happen to love canned tuna and I love even more that you can change it up several different ways to make a really inexpensive and tasty meal. I came across a similar recipe to this one awhile back but after trying it, felt it lacked flavor and depth. I started thinking of ways to change it a bit to add and enhance the flavor and this is what I came up with. Since then, every time I serve this, it is gobbled up and I rarely have leftovers - so I usually double the recipe and freeze one of the casseroles. Don't let the "souffle" in the name discourage you, it is not souffle, so you don't have to worry about it sinking! Sometimes, I make this same casserole but replace the tuna with leftover roasted chicken or ham.

Tuna Souffle Casserole

  • 2 cups cooked long grain rice (I use brown rice)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour (I use Wondra because it makes a smoother sauce but all purpose would work just fine)
  • 1-2 cups milk (you may not need all the milk)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • zest of one lemon
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 (12 oz) cans of tuna
  • 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup pureed cauliflower (optional)
  • 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup peas
  • salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Separate egg yolks from egg whites. Using a kitchen aid with a whisk attachment, or an electric mixer beat egg whites about 10 minutes or until they form stiff peaks that hold their shape (you want the egg whites as stiff as possible) and set aside. If you are using a Kitchen Aid, you can set it to beat the eggs while you prepare the rest of the dish. In a large saucepan add the butter and melt. To the melted butter add the onions and the garlic and cook until onions are translucent. Add the flour and whisk until the mixture becomes the consistency of paste and starts to brown a bit. Slowly whisk in the milk until the mixture forms into a thick sauce that would coat the back of a spoon. Make sure to whisk constantly to avoid lumps. Add the salt and pepper and nutmeg. Congratulations, you have just made a classic béchamel sauce! To this béchamel sauce add the dijon mustard, the lemon zest, the lemon juice and the pureed cauliflower. To the egg yolks, add about a tablespoon of the sauce and stir it, then add the eggs mixture to the sauce. This is called tempering the eggs, it keeps them from scrambling and causing lumps. Once the eggs are added, remove the sauce from the heat and add 1/2 cup of the parmesan, the tuna, the rice, and the peas. Taste and adjust seasoning. Gently fold in the egg whites, do not stir, you don't want the egg whites to soften. Once the egg whites are completely incorporated and evenly blended, pour the mixture into a casserole dish and top with remaining parmesan cheese. Bake until the casserole has puffed up slightly, the center has set, and the top is golden brown - about 45 minutes.

This casserole is definitely a Daniel favorite! Tonight he ate three heaping helpings of it!

Well anyway, that's all for now! Until next time, Happy Cooking! (Tomorrow's topic will be "Roasted Chicken and all the things you can do with it!"


Terese said...

Well this simply couldn't be cuter of my Boonie eating disgusting tuna.(HEE HEE)Love that plate!!

frenchieliza said...

It's not disgusting, it is yummy! You just don't like tuna. That's ok, I don't like bananas, so we're even.

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