I’m not scared of cooking or baking, I just can’t be arsed most of the time. My logic is that if you can go to the shop (and we have a big one five minutes drive away) and buy something tasty what’s the point of buying all the individual ingredients and cooking it yourself? Of course it’s the joy and satisfaction from the creative process, but like I say I can’t be arsed most of the time – I get more joy and satisfaction from coming top out of a team of twenty on Star Wars Battlefront II.
However, sometimes the mood grips me and it’s nice to cook something that you can’t get in a shop. So yesterday, egged on by Siggy who likes this particular dish a lot, I cooked a really simple tuna and cheese dish that I learnt as a student. Back then I used to call it tuna casserole, but that’s a rather lofty title for what is essentially party food.
So let’s get cracking. For this you will need the following ingredients:
- 200g of crisps
- 220g mild cheddar
- 460g jar of macaroni cheese sauce
- 198g (net) Green Giant salt free sweetcorn (drained)
- 2 x 160g (net) tuna chunks in sunflower oil (drained)
See told you it was simple. Lob them all in a casserole dish and cook for a bit. Et voila! Tasty tuna and cheese. Serves 2 ravenous people, 3 not so hungry people and 4 if you serve with let’s say coleslaw and pickle.
Okay, so there is a bit of a process to it and I guess it compares a little to making a lasagne. First of all put the sauce and the sweetcorn in a pan and simmer while you open and drain the tuna. Simmering the sauce lets you get away with a shorter bake time.
Line the bottom of the casserole dish with some of the crisps (whole, don’t crush – this helps the mix not to stick). Grate the cheese. Put a layer of cheese over the crisps. break the tuna up and layer over the cheese. Add a bit more cheese. Crush up some of the crisps into about inch wide bits and layer on.
Then take the sauce and pour it over evenly, add more crushed crisps (perhaps in bigger bits so it looks nice) and the rest of the cheese. You should have a few crisps leftover – save these for when you dish up.
Cook in a preheated oven at around 170 Celsius for up to 30 minutes. I’m being vague here because I really couldn’t remember the time, but it turned out okay. Just keep any eye out for it – you need it to get bubbling and for the cheese on top to brown but not so much that any of the crisps poking out catch and burn black.
In the past I have just used ready salted crisps, but this time I used two 25g packs of Walkers ready salted from a multipack and most of a 150g bag of Kettle chilli and sour cream crisps. The chilli gave it a bit of a spicy kick which worked well. Before serving put any remaining crisps into the serving dishes as a little ‘nest’ for the tasty tuna and cheese mixture.
Also back in the day I used to use powdered cheese sauce whisked up with milk but I couldn’t find any in the Tesco yesterday so ‘made do’ with their own brand sauce for macaroni cheese – it has cheddar and gruyere in it and was tasty. If you like more tuna add another tin and you could always try the same recipe with tinned salmon or chunks of chicken and or ham instead if you like. Buon appetito!