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Cheesy Salmon Hot Dish

Cheesy Salmon Hot Dish

I can feel winter coming to an end. Lent has started and the foods I crave are lighter.

I find myself going back and forth between cheesy and warming to cold salads and citrus. Spring is almost here!

February 26th is Ash Wednesday and that marks the beginning of Lent. The observance ends on Thursday, April 9 on Holy Thursday. Lent is a Christian ritual representing the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness.

Lent is a time when catholic Christians give up something. A sacrifice. Most abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays throughout Lent. Some also give up things like sugar, alcohol, or something that means a lot to them.

A research firm to the restaurant industry, found that 24 percent of people who eat out observe Lent. Seafood sales also jump up 20 percent as well during Lent. 

From restaurant menus to school lunches, it is normal to see fish or vegetarian offerings on Fridays. Think of fish fry’s on Fridays and tuna melts or fish sticks at public schools. 

Even if you don’t observe or celebrate Lent, trying some new recipes with fish or seafood is a win. 

If you’re not a fan of salmon, you can substitute with crab meat or tuna.  

Modern Salmon Hot dish

3 cups wide egg noodles, partially cooked

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1 carrot, sliced

1/2 cup button mushrooms, sliced

1/2 onion, diced
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 ½ cups whole milk
1 tbsp mild Dijon mustard
12-15 ounces fresh or canned salmon (tuna or crab meat can be substituted)

1 cup frozen peas, thawed
12 oz mild cheddar cheese, shredded, divided—reserving ½ cup for top
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated fine
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp butter, melted 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a large 2-quart baking dish with cooking oil spray and set aside. 

Cook the noodles according to package directions, removing 3-4 minutes before recommended cook time is finished. Drain, and set aside. 

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add celery, bell pepper, carrots, mushrooms, and onion. Cook until vegetables are tender; about 5 minutes. 

Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Slowly add milk and cook, stirring constantly until thick and bubbly. Stir in Dijon mustard. Remove from heat and add salmon, peas, noodles, and cheddar, cheese reserving ½ cup for the top. Pour mixture into the prepared dish. 

In a small bowl, combine panko, Parmesan cheese, smoked paprika, and melted butter in a small bowl. Sprinkle remaining cheddar over the top of the hot dish. Sprinkle the panko/cheese mixture over the top of the cheddar cheese. 

Bake casserole for 30 minutes, uncovered, or until heated through and the top is golden brown. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. 

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