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Monday, March 03, 2008

Most Hi-Class Tuna Casserole

Did you grow up in the seventies? Did you love your mom's cooking? Do you want to impress your friends? Have I got a recipe for you. This is not your mother's tuna casserole. This is hi-class, super fancy, sophisticated tuna casserole. I hate things that are so fancy that they don't taste good. I'm all for fancy, but in the end, you have to eat the thing, so it should taste good. I also like cooking appetizers, because my kids will eat anything, as long as it looks like party food. If I wrap it in nori or phyllo dough and arrange it on a tray with parsley, they'll eat it. Even better if they can eat it with a toothpick. If I put crap on a cracker, with a garnish, they'd eat it.

Tuna Casserole Triangles

In a bowl, mix the following:
  • 2 small cans of tuna, drained.
  • 1 heaping cup shredded cheddar cheese.
  • a heaping 1/4 cup mayonnaise.
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk.
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds.
  • 1 cup frozen broccoli florets. Chop up the big pieces, but you don't have to go nuts about it.
  • A spoonful of mustard.
  • A few shakes of salt.
  • A few shakes of pepper.
When you mix it all together, it should look like this:

Now for the fancy part. Earlier in the day, you have gone to the store to get frozen phyllo dough. And, though it was frozen when you bought it, you have put it in the fridge to thaw. Get it out now. If you are a young woman raised in the Orthodox Church (Greek or otherwise), you know good and well how to work with phyllo. If you are not that young woman, never fear. It just takes practice.

Pour some olive oil in a bowl and get out your pastry brush. Lay out one sheet of pastry on the counter and slice it into five pieces, slicing the short way. I suggest using a pizza cutter. In fact, I suggest using a Zyliss pizza cutter, because it is so awesome*. The sliced sheet of dough will look like this:

Brush the strips with olive oil. Hold the end of each strip lightly and brush from your fingers up to the top. Don't be shy with the olive oil**. Put a dollop of the tuna mixture at the end of one strip, about an inch from the top, like this:

Fold a corner over, like this:

And keep folding, like a flag, until you have a little triangle. Don't try to fold it too tight, because the paper will tear or it will explode in the oven, which would be fun, but a b***h to clean. Repeat the process until all of the mixture is gone. Put the triangles on a greased baking sheet. You should have about twenty, but you could easily double (or triple! or quadruple!) this recipe for a party or for leftovers to freeze (more on that later).

Brush the top of each pastry with more olive oil. Put them in a 350° oven for about 25 minutes or until they're golden brown.

As promised, here are the directions for leftovers. These will freeze really well. After wrapping them, but before brushing with the final coat of olive oil, put them in a freezer safe container between sheets of waxed paper. When you're ready to cook them, take them out, put them on a greased baking sheet and brush them with olive oil. Cook them at 350° for 45 minutes or so. Don't thaw before cooking; they'll get soggy. Here's a cooked one:

According to my children, I'm the best cooker ever. So there.

By the way, for those of you who follow these sorts of things, the buttermilk is almost gone!

Namasté, y'all!

* And, I've said it before and I'll say it again, probably more than once, you can buy it at Mary and Martha's, one of my favorite kitchen stores in town. Here's the pizza slicer:

** That's what she said. Ha!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Seriously. I love you. "That's what she said." I say this at work all the time and no one knows what the heck I'm talking about.