Thursday, April 3, 2014

Butch's Famous Tuna Noodle Casserole

April 4th would have been Butch Drimmel's birthday.  We all miss him so much.  Tonight I am making his famous Tuna Noodle Casserole for his daughter, April, and some friends.  I can never make it without thinking about all of the fun and laughter and great times we all had together over the years.   We cooked many a meal together with Butch in our kitchen.  Daddy and Butch together were a force of nature.  Always picking on someone.  I miss them both so very much.  Stupid Cancer.  I love the thought of Daddy and Butch sitting on Heaven's front porch drinking coffee and giving everyone a hard time.  I hope they will see us celebrating them tonight.  And hope that they are happy with the lives their daughters are now living.  

I am going to post this recipe exactly as Butch posted it in the cookbook we published in honor of his late wife Jean.  However, he made some alterations to the recipe when he served it as do I

Butch's Tuna Noodle Casserole

  • 6 ounces medium egg noodles
  • 7 ounces canned tuna
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped pimento
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 1/2 ounce can cream of celery soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 ounces sharp American cheese, grated
Cook and drain noodles.  Combine with tuna, mayonnaise, celery, onion, green pepper and pimento.  Salt to taste.

Blend soup and milk.  Heat through.  Stir in grated cheese.  Heat and stir until cheese melts.  Add to noodle mixture.  Put in 2 quart casserole and bake, uncovered, at 425º for 20 minutes.

If you double this recipe, it makes one 9x13 pan.

Butch's modifications:  Butch left out the onion, celery, green pepper and pimento when he made the casserole.  His family didn't care for those vegetables.  In addition, he took plain Lay's Potato Chips and crumbled them up and put them on top of each serving of the casserole.  It is so amazingly good.  Salty, crunchy, creamy goodness!

Tammi's modifications:  We love onion, so I leave it in.  And since you all well know by now that I think celery is the evil spawn of the devil, I completely leave out the celery and I use cream of mushroom soup in place of the cream of celery.   I also add either frozen or canned peas when I make it for our family.  We like the extra sweetness of peas.  And I use sharp cheddar cheese always.  I am not a fan of American cheese. It just doesn't have much flavor to me.  And you MUST add the Lay's Potato Chips.  Be sure to use the original, thin ones.  It is just not tuna noodle without them.

I actually made a triple batch for tonight.  Two pans the way April likes them to take to her house and then one pan with onions and peas for our house.  I will just have to pretend that there is no celery in there! 
Happy Birthday Butchy!  We love you and miss you very much!!

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