Showing posts with label tuna. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tuna. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Dru Ann’s Tuna Melt in a Bowl: a Cheesy, Creamy Tuna Mac Casserole via Cleo Coyle

All of us here at Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen were excited to learn that our friend, book reviewer and honorary Cozy Chick, Dru Ann Love was nominated for an Anthony Award this year for her blog.

If you have yet to discover Dru’s Book Musings, then you’re in for a treat. Dru not only shares book reviews and hosts giveaway, she challenges authors with a creative question: 

How would you describe "A Day in the Life" of your sleuth?
Our Clare Cosi in avatar form.
To read her Day in the Life
at Dru's blog, 
click here.
Marc and I took up the challenge a few months ago, putting our Coffeehouse Mystery sleuth, Clare Cosi, through her paces on Dru’s blog. And every one of our fellow Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen cooks have written Day in the Life features for Dru, as well! Just click here and use the search bar on the left column to look for your favorite author's Day in the Life.

With Dru's Anthony nomination still hot off the press, Marc and I thought it would be fun to give her a little foodie tribute so we decided to whip up one of her favorite recipes, one she shared as a guest here at Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen. 

We have made Dru's version of this easy, cheesy pasta dish several times and (yes) LOVE it—which is quite appropriate since it came from a lady named Love!


~ Cleo

Dru Ann's Tuna Mac and Cheese Casserole

(or as we call it) "Tuna Melt in a Bowl"

To see Dru Ann Love’s original recipe post 
(with her step-by-step photos and commentary) , click here. 

Our version is practically identical. We made some very small changes in the recipe writing and some notes on the seasonings, that's it!

Serves 4


1/2 box of medium pasta shells (1 lb box)

3/4 of an (8 oz) block extra sharp cheddar cheese (or you can use the entire block if you want it extra-cheesy)

1 (5 oz) can solid white tuna in water

2 - 3 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise (Hellman’s is Dru's favorite, and ours, too.) 

1/2 teaspoon or so of seasonings (see the suggestions in the note below)

Directions: First preheat your oven to 350° F. Prepare the pasta as directed on the box, and be sure to make it al dente (do not overcook or the casserole will be mushy). While the pasta is cooking, drain the tuna well, place it in a large bowl, and flake it with a fork. Season it (see note below) and set aside. Slice the block of cheese into small cubes and set aside. When the pasta is finished cooking, drain well, and pour it into the bowl 
with the seasoned tuna. Add the cubed cheese and mayonnaise. Toss well, until all the pasta is coated. If needed, add more mayonnaise. Pour the pasta into a casserole dish (1-1/2 quarts in size) or a loaf pan (9x5-inches) and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before digging in!

Seasonings note:

Dru Ann suggests Black & Red from spice merchant Penzeys. 
This is a great seasoning suggestion! If you don’t have this on hand, you can make your own by mixing freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of hot red cayenne. 

Our suggestion from Penzeys is Northwoods Fire. Again, if you don’t have this on hand, you can make it yourself with this mix of spices: coarse salt, paprika, ground chipotle pepper, black pepper, cayenne red pepper, thyme, rosemary and granulated garlic.

Visit Dru Ann's 

award-nominated blog here.

Like Dru on facebook

Follow Dru on Twitter.

And may you always...

Eat (and read) with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries 

* * * 


Have you Entered Our
May Giveaway?

3 Gifts Cards and a
Coffeehouse Grand Prize Pack
will be awarded to four winners
next Monday at Midnight.

Find out how to enter in 
our Spring Newsletter.

It was sent out this past weekend and
includes recipes, news, and video fun...

If you didn't receive it or would like to sign up,
simply click here and follow the instructions.

After you subscribe, an auto-reply will send
you a link to several past newsletters.

Thanks for stopping by the Kitchen!

~ Cleo

Friday, August 1, 2014

Other Burgers

by Sheila Connolly

Here we are in full summer, and farmers' markets are bursting with goodies. It’s often too hot to cook inside, so across the nation barbecues are turning out wonderful smells of cooking meats, chicken, and even vegetables. Life is good.

But don’t you ever get tired of the same-old-same-old hamburgers and hotdogs? And our government keeps telling us that we have to cook our beef all the way through (per the Food Network, “Because E. coli is killed at 155 degrees Fahrenheit, the USDA sets the minimum safe temperature for ground beef at 160 degrees Fahrenheit. We can only second this.), or risk dire consequences. The pundits on newscasts are saying, literally, “cook your beef until it is gray.” I respect the threat of various nasty bacteria, but I don’t want to eat gray meat. I’d rather do without.

But there are other options! I’m presenting two here, with a nod at Mark Bittman (who puts out too many darned good recipes). You do need a food processor to make these work, unless you really, really love chopping things very fine.

[Disclaimer: these recipes make four burgers. Since it’s only my husband and me around to eat them these days, I made half-recipes, and that’s what the pictures show.]


1-1/2 pounds boneless lamb (whatever cut you can get, or can afford)
1 small onion
1 Tblsp garlic, chopped
2 Tblsp parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Trim as much fat as you can from the lamb, as well as the “squiggly bits” as my daughter used to call them. Cut the lamb and the onion into coarse chunks (or if you don’t want a strong onion flavor, use shallots). Put everything in the food processor and pulse just until the meat is ground (do not just leave the food processor on or you will end up with lamb paste).

...and after

Shape the meat into burgers and grill, turning once, for 4-8 minutes total. If you like, you can top them with feta cheese.

Or for something completely different: Tunaburgers!

1-1/2 pounds tuna (fresh, not canned!)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp mayonnaise
1 Tblsp capers, drained
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the tuna into large chunks. Put a quarter of the total amount in the food processor along with the mustard, mayonnaise and capers. Process until the mixture becomes pasty (this time you’re supposed to!). Add the rest of the tuna and pulse until the fish is chopped and well mixed (but don’t over-process).

Shape into four burgers. The cooking is a smidge more complicated, because (a) there is no fat in the fish, and (b) you want to cook these quickly over high heat to sear the outside while leaving the inside rare. Brush the burgers with oil and grill over high heat, turning once, about 4-6 minutes total.

This might work well with salmon too—I’ll try that next.

Yes, there's another Orchard Mystery, Picked to Die,  coming out on October 7th, and this one's about Meg's second harvest in Granford (nice timing, debuting in October, right in the middle of the harvest season, don't you think?).

But there may be another ebook sneaking into September: Seeing the Dead, a sequel to Relatively Dead (2013). No cover or blurb yet, so stay tuned!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Salad of Tuna and Cannellini Beans

by Peg Cochran

We had one (1) day so far this spring where it was on the warm side (meaning we didn't need to wear gloves and a scarf.)  Yes, that's one day!  I took advantage of it to make this salad which has been a favorite for years and years.  It comes from the 60 Minute Gourmet Cookbook by Craig Claiborne--a compilation of recipes that appeared in a column of the same name in the NY Times.  It's super easy to put together and makes a nice light dinner or a luncheon dish fit for company.  

1 20-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped scallions, onions (or red onions which I've substituted at times)
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped parsley (or as much as appeals to you!)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Splash of lemon juice (optional--something I've added to the recipe)

1/4 olive oil

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 7-ounce cans tuna packed in olive oil (best if it's Italian tuna, but   if you're watching your weight, tuna packed in water works just fine!)

Put the beans, scallions or onions, garlic and parsley in a bowl.  Whisk together the vinegar, olive oil and lemon juice if using.  Flake tuna and add to bean mixture.  Pour on dressing and toss well.  Serve on a bed of lettuce leaves.  If you're making it with tuna packed in water, you might want to increase the quantity of dressing.

Mix all your ingredients - my metal bowl is creating a surrealistic effect in this picture!

Mix your dressing

Serve on a bed of lettuce

Bon Appetit!

Have you met Lucille Mazzarella yet?  Check out the two books in my Lucille Series from Beyond the Page Publishing.    Lucille is a middle-aged "Jersey" housewife and Italian mama who believes every problem can be solved over a Sunday dinner of pasta, wine and cannolis!  Except for those dead bodies she keeps tripping over...

You might also enjoy my Gourmet De-Lite Series.  Is it a coincidence that they all revolve around food in some way or another??!!