Ever had one of those days when you wished you hadn’t picked up the phone? I just did. I received some bad news, news I’d been expecting for about 6 months, but hoped wouldn’t come. There is a reason I call myself an optimistic pessimist. I hope for the best, but I always expect the worst, and over the past five years…well, it’s hard not to be pessimistic. Sometimes I wish I could just turn the clock back and start over.
So when you’ve had an ultra shitty day and end up deciding you don’t want to leave home because of it…but you’re trying to figure out what to do for dinner because really, the same cannelloni starts to pale after three days of eating it… turn to Granny’s recipes. Her tuna casserole that is.
Actually, what I make barely resembles her old recipe, but the bones are the same, I’ve just modified it over the years with whatever is available in the fridge, freezer and cupboard.
Regardless, it comfort food to the nines and on a shitty rainy day, after some shitty self-confidence crushing news, well, tuna/salmon casserole sounds good to me.
About 6 cups cooked rice
2 cans of tuna
2 cans of salmon
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
Equivalent of the above cream of mushroom soup can filled with milk
1 onion, chopped (or a bunch of green onions chopped)
About 4 good sized carrots, chopped
About 4 celery stalks, chopped
Whatever other veg you feel like putting in (peas work really well, my favourite actually, just didn’t have any today, green beans work well too. Corn or broccoli, not so much, they do something funny to the flavour balance.)
Fresh ground pepper
Maybe a dollop of dijon mustard
Perhaps some hot paprika
Mash up the canned fish in a bowl and add the veggies. Mix them up fairly well, then mix in the cooked rice.
In another bowl, mix the mushroom soup, milk, mustard, pepper, and paprika together.
Pour the soup mixture over the fish mixture and mix it with a spoon until relatively well combined. Smooth out the top and grate some parmesan over the top if you feel so inclined and have some in the fridge. I actually used a knob of asiago that I had tonight.
Shove it in a 375F oven for about an hour covered, and then remove the cover for 30 minutes until brown and crusty on top. It’s forgiving so you can cover or not, cook longer or shorter. Nothing really does any damage to it.
It’s not heavily spiced, but you can do that if you want, go nuts, add dill, parsley, thyme, any of those works well. It’s not all that exciting, but paired with a salad or as a side dish it is nice and comforting in a 1940’s kind of way. And it is fabulous warmed up for lunches.
So, when life seems shitty, wrap yourself into some of Granny’s comfort food and try to find a bright spot on the horizon.