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Suntanned Tuna Casserole

by Christa Upton
(South Dakota)

Hot Pot Tuna Casserole with potato chips

Hot Pot Tuna Casserole with potato chips

Recipe 29 in the Solar Hot Pot

You might not want to print out this recipe until I make sure this one works! LOL It’s an experiment, and I also wouldn’t try it on a ‘partly cloudy’ day. But, since it’s canned tuna (and not fresh meat), the cans can just sit in your cupboard until a sunny day comes along! Also, in a pinch, you could use canned mushrooms. If using canned mushrooms, still cook them in the butter at the beginning because they will pick up the butter flavor (even though they are already cooked to death in the can).

Suntanned Tuna Casserole

Note: 3 c. of macaroni and everything else filled the Hot Pot pretty full. If you are concerned about heating the final casserole thoroughly (early in the season or whatever), cut back on the onions and pasta.

10:00 am—4 T. butter: cut into pieces, put in Hot Pot, cover, set up facing the sun, set timer for 30 minutes.

Then prep:

5 or 6 mushrooms (slice thinly)
1/2 onion (chop finely)
1 clove garlic (smash and mince)
1 t. parsley (sprinkle on veggies)
1 t. salt (sprinkle on veggies)
2 T. flour (sprinkle on veggies, trying to distribute evenly)

10:30 am—veggies, seasoning, and flour: add to Solar Hot Pot, quickly stir into butter, cover, adjust to sun, set timer for 30 minutes.

11:00 am—take veggies out and CHILL in refrigerator until later today.

After taking veggies out and wiping out Hot Pot—6 c. room temp. or hot water: put in Pot, cover, adjust to sun, set timer for 2 hours.

1:00 pm—adjust to sun, set timer for 90 minutes.

Clouds came through, and that water just would not boil. Foiled again! I guess we are destined to cook pasta indoors. Oh, well, the Hot Pot will still heat up the casserole nicely. If your water boiled:

2:30 pm—3 c. macaroni (or other noodles), 1 t. salt: stir into boiling water, quickly cover, adjust to sun, set timer for 40 minutes. (Some noodles will cook quicker; thicker ones might take longer than 40 minutes.)

A little while before the pasta is done—get pre-cooked veggies out of refrigerator to come to room temp.

3:10 pm—test pasta to be sure it’s done (eat a piece). (While it’s cooling in your spoon enough to eat, put lid back on Hot Pot to conserve heat.) If done, drain pasta (drain the water into a pot, let it cool, and later water your favorite plants with it!)

(We cooked our pasta indoors instead and then continued with the recipe.)

Put drained pasta in a bowl, and thoroughly stir in:

pre-cooked veggies/flour that you had chilled and then brought to room temp.
2 cans tuna in water (NOT drained—the water is your ‘broth’)
1 can peas (drained) (or use frozen peas that have been thawed or fresh peas that have been steamed)
1/4 c. cream

Put back in Solar Hot Pot, cover, adjust to sun, set timer for one hour. Hope there’s enough sun left to heat it at least a little! Actually, somewhere on this website is a video for making the most of that late afternoon (or earlier morning) sun—it’s neat how it directs the sun’s rays better for those times!

If desired, sprinkle crushed potato chips or corn chips and/or cheese on top.

This was yummy and savory! The pasta on top was a little dry, but our middle child likes that. (smile)

Even though we now have two Solar Hot Pots and could have cooked the pasta separately, I wanted to see if this whole recipe could get done in one day in one Hot Pot. (Definitely could have, if the clouds had stayed away and the water had boiled!) And, that left the other Hot Pot free for me to make more flat bread this morning and another peach cobbler for supper (see Sunrise Peach Cobbler and Solar Baked Flat Bread posts for recipes). (smile)

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Jul 15, 2014
Solar cooking pasta
by: Nathan

Solar Cooking pasta can be a little tricky at times, but I have found out that it will do quite well in a Hot Pot and any other solar oven.
And even when sun conditions are not prime.

We get accustomed to doing our pasta at a hard boil on the electric or gas range, but I have found that you can do it in solar ovens and panel style cookers at a very slow simmer and without even really reaching a boil. Of course you can end up with mushy pasta if you do not keep an eye on it when it is cooking for that long of a period.
You also have to take care not to open and check the pasta very often when it is at a slow simmer so that you don't lose your heat.

So, you can find yourself "between a rock and a hard place" when clouds are hampering the cooking of your pasta and you cannot check to see when it is finished cooking.
I have solar cooked pasta under less than ideal conditions and it turned out alright. Not perfect but alright.
There are worse things than having mushy pasta ;)

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