We don’t grill on rainy days during the summer, but sometimes we want a hearty meal without heating up the oven. Sheila’s mom taught this recipe to her when she was learning how to cook. Easy, tasty, foolproof, and ready a few minutes after the macaroni is done. If you want to serve it absolutely cold, it takes a little longer, but we never wait that long.
Sheila laughed and pronounced it dead-body-proof as well, since she practiced the recipe on her mom and dad several times as a teen, and they lived.
8 oz box small elbow macaroni uncooked – about 2 cups
1/2 teaspoon butter/margarine for macaroni water
1 teaspoon sea salt for water
2 5oz cans tuna
1 8oz can very young small sweet peas
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup crumbled, seasoned croutons
Fill 4 quart pot halfway with water and bring to a boil.
Add teaspoon sea salt to water or to taste.
Add uncooked macaroni to water, and return to boil.
Add teaspoon margarine to water (keeps macaroni from sticking to itself).
Boil for 8-10 minutes until ‘al dente’ (firm), stirring occasionally.
Pour into colander, drain well, and return macaroni to the pot.
Drain water/oil from the tuna cans and add tuna to the macaroni pot.
Drain liquid from peas and add to the macaroni pot.
Add mayo to the pot and lightly toss all ingredients together.
Arrange contents of pot in serving dish and sprinkle crumbled croutons on top.
Chill in refrigerator for up to an hour and serve.
Note: The versatility of this dish is that it can be served hot as well. The prep is exactly the same, except that once the ingredients are combined in the pot, they should be transferred to a baking dish. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until heated through.
Tastes great hot or cold, but in the summer, we always serve it cold.
During the pandemic, we’ve tried a few quick bread recipes, because yeast cannot be found anywhere. This bread is so creamy and moist that it’s going to be on the menu at the Kerrian house long after Covid19 has left the planet. Sheila played around with the balance of peppers, and finally decided to leave out habanero pepper, since that one is harder to find in the average grocery store. We can toast the cheesy bread for breakfast or serve it for lunch/dinner with chili.
1/4 cup drained, diced jalapeno peppers (canned Old El Paso works well)
2 Tablespoons diced fresh red bell pepper
1 extra large egg
1 cup 2 % milk
3 Tablespoons melted margarine
Thoroughly whisk dry ingredients together in large bowl.
Add shredded cheese, jalapeno peppers, and red bell pepper, and stir.
Combine milk, egg, and butter in small bowl and beat lightly with a fork.
Make a well in the center of the cheese/flour combination and pour the liquid into the well. Blend dry and wet ingredients together with a large spoon, being careful to spread the peppers throughout.
Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 9”x5” bread pan.
Bake for 45+ minutes in 350 degree oven until golden brown on top and done in the center - skewer inserted in center will come out clean. Edges of the loaf should pull away from the sides of the pan in final five minutes of baking.
Cool in the pan on a rack. Slice, serve and enjoy.
First and foremost, the listed ingredients have been easy to find at the store. We make extra every time and pass it around to the neighbors. Give it a try. 🙂
Honestly, it’s been odd doing the grocery shopping during this time of shortages. I head to the usual aisles for the produce and find a ready supply of celery and carrots, but not always potatoes of any kind. Fresh onions and garlic? None in sight for days. Our store makes rotisserie chicken every day, so when we can’t find raw chicken in the meat section, we grab a cooked garlic roast chicken which can serve four hungry people – more if you make soup with it.
We picked this soup recipe for Kerrian’s Notebook because the ingredients have been available every day, no matter which large grocery store we visit. We’ve made it several times during the last three weeks, so it’s definitely been taste-tested. Adjust the spices to your family’s palate.
1 32ounce box of low sodium chicken broth (Swanson’s has a nice organic version)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1.5 cups sliced fresh baby carrots
1.5 cups diced fresh celery, 1/4 inch pieces
1 cup canned diced potatoes
1/2 cup potato water from diced potato can
1 heaping teaspoon garlic powder
1 heaping teaspoon onion powder
1 cooked rotisserie chicken
1/2 cup canned young sweet peas
In large soup pot, sprinkle sea salt evenly on bottom of pan.
Add carrots, celery, and one cup of the chicken broth, cover the pot and simmer on medium high heat until carrots and celery are tender, ten to fifteen minutes, stirring every five minutes.
While celery and carrots are simmering, chop the rotisserie chicken into 1/2 inch pieces, (about 3 cups) and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium, add diced potatoes, potato water, garlic powder, and onion powder to pot and stir.
Add 3 cups chicken broth to the pot and stir.
Add 3 cups chopped chicken to the pot and stir until well mixed.
Cover pot and heat soup mixture for about ten minutes until it bubbles around the edges, stirring occasionally.
Add peas to the pot, tossing gently, and heat another five minutes.
Remove from heat and serve with crusty bread or crackers.
As with any home prepared food, the leftovers keep for up to four days in the refrigerator.
Good news: it can be frozen in individual portion containers, and freezing extends the shelf life for two weeks. So double the recipe and you’ll have enough for another night. You might want to add more chicken broth when reheating.