Tuna Noodle Casserole “Tots” with Tomato Dipping Sauce
- The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 (6-oz) can Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna, drained
- 2 cups of Del Monte Family Size Frozen Peas, thawed and drained
- 4 oz coarsely grated White Cheddar Cheese (1 cup)
- 6 oz dried pasta
- 4 cups fine ground fresh bread crumbs (from dried white sandwich bread)
- 4 eggs
- 4 oz. grated Parmesan cheese (Optional)
- 64 oz. Canola Oil (For Frying)
- 4 oz can Hunt’s Pasta Sauce (For Dipping)
- 45 Minutes
- Total Time:
- 1) In a medium sauce pot prepare a basic white roux by first melting the butter over a low heat, then whisking in a ¼ of cup of the flour. Slowly cook the roux for about 5 minutes stirring constantly being careful not to scorch, or caramelize the flour
- 2) Add the milk to the roux in three parts, whisking thoroughly at each addition to ensure that the ingredients are well incorporated. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly.
- 3) Slowly add in the cheese, stirring constantly to ensure that the cheese sauce is well incorporated and does not stick or burn at the bottom of the sauce pot.
- 4) Season the cheese sauce with salt to taste, remove from the heat, keeping covered.
- 5) Boil the pasta per the instructions on the box. When the pasta is cooked, drain it well.
- 6) Combine the frozen peas, drained tuna, as well as the cooked pasta with the prepared cheese sauce. The mixture should be a bit dryer than a traditional casserole.
- 7) Allow the finished casserole to cool to room temperature
- 8) Using a large tablespoon, portion the casserole into approximately 1 oz. portions. Then using your hands roll the tuna casserole portions into balls, flattening each side of the portion to form a puck like form, (Tots). Place the formed Tots in the freezer for at least 1 hour to firm up.
- 9) Whip the eggs with about 3 tablespoons water to form an egg wash.
- 10) Evenly flour the Tots on all sides being sure to pat off any excess flour. Next, coat the croquettes evenly in the egg wash, again allowing any excess egg wash to drip off. Finally, coat the Tots on all sides with the prepared bread crumbs.
- 11) In a large stock pot with tall sides bring the oil up to 350 degrees.
- 12) Deep fry the Tots until golden brown, then place in a 350 degree oven on a sheet try lined with absorbent paper towels for 10 minutes. Insert a paring knife into one Tot to make sure they are hot throughout.
- 13) Serve the Tots on a bed of grated Parmesan cheese with warm Hunts Pasta dipping sauce.
Note: The prepared Tots can be stored in the freezer in a zip lock for up to 3 months.
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