In keeping with our fish and seafood theme, consider the lowly can or packet of tuna. Humble, but convenient, easy to prepare and although the price has risen, it is a good buy. I stock up when it is on sale.
Open a packet or drain a can of tuna, toss a little mayonnaise in it and I am happy. I had been out of touch with a cousin for many years but when we reconnected, I found that she eats it with crackers, as comfort food. She remembered my mother giving it to her that way. I love it with cottage cheese and dry bread crumbs.(Don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it.)
If you add a little minced green or yellow onion, a dash of celery salt and a bit of minced celery, I am very happy; add a little minced dill pickle, put it on a nice Kaiser roll and I am more than happy…stuff it in a tomato and I am ecstatic. That makes a wonderful hot weather meal and a nice luncheon entrée or first course.
The salad alone or in a tomato can be made ahead of time and will last several days in your refrigerator.
Tuna Salad, my favorite way:*[see note]
1 packet or drained can of tuna
1-2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. minced onion
1Tbsp. minced celery
1 Tbsp. minced dill pickle
½ tsp celery salt
Serve on toasted bread,(rye is wonderful,), Italian or French bread, rolls or stuff into a tomato, top-off and seeded. Serve on a bed of lettuce with toast, crackers or plain rice cakes.
*note: Alternatives include using salad dressing “Miracle Whip” instead of mayo, if you prefer it a bit sweeter, and my husband opts for a bit of tartar sauce or sweet pickle relish. You can also add melted cheese of whatever type suits your fancy.
Another hit that I grew up with is Creamed Tuna. Easy to make, it is a warm and different take on tuna and can be served in a variety of ways.
Mom’s Creamed Tuna
2 Tbsp, butter or margarine
2 Tbsp. flour[use part corn starch or arrowroot if you are not using whole milk]
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ cups milk (can be soy or rice)
2 packets or well-drained cans of tuna
[opt: ½ tsp onion powder &/or ¼ tsp. white pepper]
Melt the butter or margarine in a heavy saucepan. Mix the flour in to make a smooth paste. (This is a ‘roux’; do not brown it.)
Add the milk slowly, (a wire whisk may come in handy), and cook over medium heat until quite thick, stirring constantly. If you are called away, return as soon as possible and stir briskly with a wire whisk. As long as the bottom has not scorched, it will be OK.
When thickened, add the tuna and stir over low heat until it is blended and warmed thoroughly.
Serve over cubed toast, (traditional), rice or small pasta and side vegetables. Green beans are a good choice with it; the flavors truly compliment each other.
In a container by itself, it can stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days, be warmed on the stovetop or in a microwave and then spooned over fresh toast or warm rice /pasta.
(Do not let it boil or scorch).
It can be also made in a bigger batch, in a bit thinner consistency and layered on rice,(preferably), or pasta with green beans in a casserole dish. It, too, can stay pre-made in the refrigerator for a few days. Warm in a slow oven (325F) before serving.
Give it a try!