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White Trash Cuisine: Kraft Dinner and Tuna Sauce

First and last in a series -- because I'm now a man of wealth and taste and all -- but this dish is so good I will never renounce it. (Not that we were white trash or anything, but, well, you'll see.)

It must have been a back-of-the-box recipe at some point, but I've never heard of it outside my family. My mom made it all the time when my brothers and I were growing up, and I'm continuing the tradition.

The recipe for the sauce is simple. If you're a cook, I can just tell you to whip up a basic white sauce and toss in a can of tuna. If not, it's still simple:

1. Prepare Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner according to package directions (seven minutes of boiling is plenty), powdered cheese and all.

2. Start a roux by melting two tablespoons of butter or margarine over medium-low heat (here I'm being good and using Smart Balance).

 

3. When the butter or butter-like substance is melted or nearly so, add two tablespoons of flour. Stir to combine the butter and flour.

4. Combine the mixture and raise the heat to medium. When things start to bubble, pour in a cup of milk.

5. Watch and stir as the sauce thickens.

6. When thickness is achieved, lower the heat to low and stir in a can of tuna. It doesn't have to be the fancy stuff, and chunk light is better than solid white. Oil-packed adds a little unctuous goodness, but water-packed provides a tasty beverage for the cats.

7. Give the tuna a minute to heat up, then pour the sauce over the macaroni. A tiny sprinkle of onion salt or a black-peppery spice blend is optional -- Morton's Nature's Seasons works well. Makes, let's say, two healthy servings.

-- Bill Walsh