Dinner tonight will be something easy to make and it will use items I have on hand. Other fish can be used instead of tuna, even shrimp but this is my favorite version. It can be baked as a casserole topped with the biscuits.
Tuna was first canned in 1903 and since that time we’ve depended on for use to make quick meals. Food historians say that creamed vegetable dishes have been made since the 1500s when creamed onions were popular in Europe. Casserole and meat pie style dishes have been known since ancient times.
Serve the creamed tuna over split biscuits along with a salad of sliced fresh vegetables and simple dessert.
- 1 12 oz. can of tuna, drained
- ¼ cup of finely diced onion
- 1 large or 2 smaller ribs of celery, diced
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 4 to 5 tablespoons of flour
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 cup of water
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper
- Dry mustard
- Worcestershire sauce
- ½ cup of frozen peas (optional)
- 1 batch of homemade biscuits
Bake the biscuits (recipe follows) and set aside while you make the creamed tuna.
Drain the can of tuna and break it apart. Set the tuna aside. Dice the onion, clean and dice the celery.
Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the vegetables to the hot melted butter and sauté the vegetables until the celery is tender and the onion is transparent. Add the salt and pepper. Add the flour, stir and cook for about 4 minutes to cook the raw taste from the flour.
Remove the pan from the heat and slowly stir in the milk, water and the other seasonings until the mixture is smooth. No measurements for those extra seasonings because it’s a family secret. Add the frozen peas if you want.
Return the pan to stove and continue cooking over medium heat stirring often until it thickens. Stir in the drained tuna and continue to cook until the mixture is well heated.
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Have a sheet pan ready.
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 3 to 4 tablespoons of solid shortening
- 2/3 cups of cold milk
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl with a fork. Cut in the shortening using a pastry blender or two tables knifes. Stir in the milk using the fork and stir until the dough cleans the sides of the bow. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and toss lightly a few times. Pat or roll out ½ inch thick and cut out the biscuits using a round cutter. Place the biscuits close together on a sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes until lightly browned.
Cooking oil can be used instead of solid shortening in the biscuits. Stir it in with the milk and add all at once.
About ½ cup of cheese can be added to the biscuit dough.
The biscuit dough can be baked on top of the creamed mixture in a 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Heat the oven to 425 degree F. Heat the tuna mixture until it is bubbly and pour the mixture into the pan. Cut the biscuit dough into rounds or roll out to fit the top of the baking pan. Place the biscuits or the rolled out dough on top of the hot mixture in the pan. The creamed tuna mixture must be hot or the bottoms of the biscuits won’t be done. Bake in the oven until the tops of the biscuits are lightly browned and the biscuits are baked. Remove the pan from the oven and let it sit about 5 minutes before serving.
The amounts of the extra seasonings isn’t given but I can tell you I use less than a tablespoon of each and the taste is very much like the background taste in cream of mushroom soup.
Any vegetable can be added instead of peas such as broccoli, cauliflower, mixed, specialty packages such as Italian and California blend. If frozen they should be thawed before adding.
The creamed tuna can be served over toast, noodles or other pasta or over rice.