The Forum: Fresco tuna search turns up winner

  • By Judyrae Kruse Herald Columnist
  • Thursday, March 11, 2010 11:55pm
  • Life

Wow! Does NormaJean Layer of Arlington have a top-notch memory or what?

She told us, in the Feb. 12 Forum, “I have read your column for years and have never thought about contacting you until now for a particular favorite recipe my mom and grandmother made for me when I was growing up.

“The recipe was called, I believe, tuna fresco. I remember it was a treat for dinner as the tuna was flaked, so it was more expensive to make versus tuna noodle casserole. It had tuna, whole tomatoes, a type of egg noodle and, I think, Worcestershire sauce.”

NormaJean wound up asking, “Do any of your readers maybe know what I’m talking about?”

And the answer is an emphatic yes! Dixie White up there in Darrington writes, “This is for NormaJean Layer, who requested a recipe for tuna fresco. This old recipe is from my 1942 edition of the original ‘Good Housekeeping Cook Book.’”

Fresco tuna

1/4pound (about 2 cups) medium egg noodles

1medium onion, minced

2tablespoons butter

1can (29 ounces) whole tomatoes

1teaspoon salt

1/4teaspoon pepper

1/4cup snipped parsley

1cup chunk tuna, divided

1/2pound processed American cheese slices, divided

In a medium saucepan, cook noodles according to package directions. Drain well, add onion and butter, mix well and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, salt, pepper and parsley, mixing well.

To assemble the casserole, place half of the noodle mixture in an 8-inch square baking dish. Cover with half of the tuna, then half of the cheese slices. Pour on half of the tomato mixture. Repeat layers of noodles, tuna, cheese slices and tomato mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

SOS: Everett reader Suzanne Bay writes, “I used to make a German cinnamon roll recipe out of an Oklahoma City Baptist church recipe book. I no longer have the book and have been unable to find a similar recipe.

“The rolls themselves were a simple biscuit-type recipe, with no yeast. You rolled the dough out, put cinnamon, sugar, etc., in the middle, rolled, cut and placed them in a jelly-roll pan. Then you sprinkled a cinnamon-sugar mixture over the top and, lastly, poured milk over the top of that and baked.

“The rolls soaked up the cinnamon-sugar and milk by the end of baking time. The milk was NOT scalded, as I have seen in some German cinnamon roll recipes — it was just cold milk.

“Can anyone locate such a recipe?”

How about it, Forum cooks? If you can share the how-to for these rolls, please write to Judyrae Kruse at the Forum, c/o The Herald, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206.

The Forum is always happy to receive your contributions and requests, but please remember that all letters and e-mail must include a name, complete address with ZIP code and telephone number with area code. No exceptions and sorry, but no response to e-mail by return e-mail; send to

The next Forum will appear in Monday’s Good Life section.

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