Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tuna Tetrazzini

Here's a little story about how ahi tuna ended up being a part of tuna tetrazzini, Mags style. Now we all know that ahi tuna is a delicious piece of fish that is meant to be treated with respect and reverence for its unique flavor and it's certainly not typically a piece of fish that is tossed in with pasta and heavy cream. Even Emeril, from whose tuna tetrazzini recipe I modified my own, uses canned tuna.

You see, I have this friend (who shall remain Nanless) who loves fish.... ALL fish. So when she was here last weekend, I thawed three different packages of fish: the ahi tuna, swordfish steaks, and some Mahi Mahi, planning on making the weekend a "fish extravaganza" for her.

Here's how the weekend went down. And I should know better because it's always how the weekend goes down when she visits. We go to McDonald's for breakfast. We drink our lunch and dinner. And then we go to bed.

So after she left on Sunday, hubby and I were left with three packages of thawed fish. We enjoyed the Mahi Mahi on the grill on Sunday night and the swordfish on the grill as well on Monday night. But by now, that tuna had been thawing in the fridge for three days. I knew I had to do something with it or I'd be tossing it. So when I grilled the swordfish, I grilled the tuna too and then I flaked it and refrigerated it to be used in this recipe. I wrote the recipe as I made it (with the ahi tuna) but you most certainly may use canned tuna instead. I know I will the next time I make this. It was absolutely delicious, but the ahi tuna didn't stand out any more than canned tuna would have.

Tuna Tetrazzini (adapted from Emeril)

3 TBSP butter
3 TBSP olive oil
1 onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded, diced
kosher salt and pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
12 ounces white button mushrooms,sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup half & half
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 lb ahi tuna, grilled and flaked (or three, six ounce cans of solid white tuna, drained and flaked)
12 oz spaghetti, cooked per package instructions, drained
1 sleeve Townhouse or Ritz crackers, crushed

In large pot heat butter and olive oil. Add the onion and red pepper and season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Saute until onions are translucent, 6-7 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute until they lose their moisture, 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme and oregano and saute for another minute or two. Sprinkle the flour over all and stir well to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often, so flour loses its raw taste, then add the wine and the chicken stock. Stir well, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and add the cream and the half & half. Return to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, or until sauce has thickened. Stir in the parsley, parmesan cheese, and tuna. Check sauce and add additional salt and pepper if needed.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9X13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Combine cooked pasta with sauce and place into prepared dish. Cover with cracker crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Serve immediately.


G-baby and his mom and dad were here again this weekend and things got wild when the Buckeyes won BIG. Gavin was king of the house, per usual, and had the crown to prove it.


Nanan said...

I am so proud of you eating fish of the non-canned variety! I would eat this "tuna tetrazzini" for sure! I can't even handle the thought of the other stuff in the can - ick... Gavin just gets cuter every day!

June (Jbug) said...

Man, if you make your tuna tetrazzini with ahi all the time, I want to live at your house! This looks fabulous and I'll be trying it soon. That Gavin is a sweeti!

Pam said...

Well, I love tuna tetrazzini, and if made with ahi, I bet I would love it even more!

The Southern Cookbook said...

Great way to use tuna, looks very good. Very cute grandbaby you have there. He's a little sport :)

Julie said...

Wow, you are an amazing woman, you can drink lunch and dinner!!

Gavin is sooooooooooo cute!

Abby said...

Gavin is such a cutie! And you the tetrazzini sounds awesome!

Moogie said...

Yum Mags. What a great recipe!!!!

Gavin is a charmer. Does he get that from his grandpa?

Arnold said...

This really looks good and it appears to be quite easy to make. I like the crushed crackers over the top, nice touch.

Leslie said...

I've never had tuna tetrazzini, but I'll eat anything with ahi in it. It looks delicious!

Shelby said...

I'm not a huge tuna fan - but Grumpy loves Tuna Casserole. Poor fella, he gets the tuna helper version for the most part. He would probably think he died and went to heaven with your dish!

stephchows said...

wicked cute pic!!

hahahaha look at how fancy you are with your tetrazzini! lol love it :) Good use of the fish though so it wouldn't go bad!

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

That actually looks pretty good. I'm not much of a tuna person, but I'd be willing to give it a try. And, my hubby would be delighted since he's always asking for tuna noodle casseroles and things of the sort... and I always make excuses!

Barbara Bakes said...

I haven't had a good tuna casserole for a long time. How can you go wrong with fresh fish, cream and Parmesan.

John said...

you know, Mags...I'm not big on seafood....but if I was to sample this dish, perhaps I'd sing a different tuna ; ) What a cute kid, granny : )

Barbara said...

Love the ahi tuna in your tetrazzini! Quite a switch from turkey...which I used to make for every New Year's Eve party we ever had.
Really a cute grandson, Mags!

Damaris said...

ahi is king! i loved your recipe. i should make it next time i'm in hawaii and have fresh ahi a-plenty

Damaris said...

ahi is king! i loved your recipe. i should make it next time i'm in hawaii and have fresh ahi a-plenty

Taylor said...

Tuna tetrazzini is a total comfort food for me...sounds perfect for the cooler weather! I would probably go the cheaper route and use canned tuna, but I'm sure it was delicious with the ahi tuna as well!

Frieda said...

Thanks for a great fish recipe! I need all the fish recipes I can get...