2 sachets of generic brand cheese sauce powder made up into cheese sauce (approx 500 millitres total)
1 large can tuna, drained and then flaked into the cheese sauce
1 generic brand can of corn kernels
about a cup of frozen peas
mix and pour into casserole dish
sprinkle with breadcrumbs... maybe dot them with dabs of butter if you can be bothered, I can't be bothered. Crushed crackers, crisps or corn ships would probably work too.
bake until the breadcrumbs brown
Total cost about AU$5
I'm quite capable of making cheese sauce from scratch, but with the price of cheese around here, getting a decent cheese flavour by adding shredded cheese to home made bechamel would have added another couple of dollars to the cost of the meal, taking it out of the price range I favor for weekend lunches. Certainly, if you can get real cheese cheap enough use real cheese, but don't for a moment feel guilty about forgoing all the fat in real cheese in favor of some trashy cheese flavoring in a packet sauce.
I think what really makes trashy tuna mornay work is the that the strength of flavor in the tuna distracts from the fact that everything else involved is kind of trashy. Also, the little bit of crunch in the corn kernels tricks you into thinking "mmmmmm, fresh" rather than "WTF is this over processed crud?"
Crossposted to trashy_eats. Because sometimes trashy is where it is at if the price is right.