A friend who has (for some reason) never really eaten tuna, but is a good cook, has taken an interest in the fish, and announced a plan to find the best recipe using (1) tuna filet; and (2) canned tuna.
Given that she’s volunteered to do all the cooking and make me the test audience – I’m all for this plan.
So – I solicit your links or personal recipes for canonical or interesting tuna dishes. We’re equally okay with high brow or low, so I’d love to see the ultimate tuna salad, tuna melt, casserole as well as crazy high end toro recipes.
Take a can of tuna. Mix it with some finally chopped veggies- lots of garlic, maybe some red pepper, parsley, etc. Add Italian herbs and a generous heap of lemon juice. Throw in some oil. Then mix it up with a starch- bread crumbs or even instant mashed potatoes. Finally, break some eggs into it until you get something that will stick together and form patties.
Shallow fry these patties. Serve with pita bread and cucumber-tomato salad.
I’ve been experimenting with tuna nachos. So far my recipe is to take a bunch of tortilla chips, cover them with tuna mixed with Italian dressing, top it with lots of parm and dill, and bake.
It isn’t exactly good, but it is compelling in that “stinky-feet food” kind of way and I found myself making it for lunch and dinner a few days in a row. I think if I worked on it a bit I could actually make it into something yummy.
2 cans tuna (in olive oil)
1 can cream of soup (mushroom, chicken, onion, etc.)
1 cup mayonnaise
2 TBSP Dijon mustard
7 oz. tiny shell pasta (or whatever you like)
10-12 oz. frozen veg–I use broccoli, but you could use any kind you like
French fried onions (to taste)
Sharp cheddar cheese
Cook up the pasta, then combine all the ingredients (except the breadcrumbs). Reserve a bit of cheese to top the casserole, and top that with breadcrumbs. Bake for 30 minutes or so, until it starts to brown. You can add some more of the french fried onions to the top in the last few minutes for extra flavor.
Tuna in oil is soooo much more flavorful than the stuff in water–it also blends much better with the oils in the mayonnaise. Tuna in water is a travesty.
Ahh . . . . I’ve had this version of SoS. But – as with the classic tuna sandwich recipe – I need a canonical version.
Friends are steering me, on the “best ever tuna salad” toward vague but convincing ideas involvong lots of mayo, chopped olives, scallions, and bits of hardboiled egg – but I need a “classic plus” version.
Since you included low-brow, I’ll throw in tuna ceasar salad. I use a bagged salad to start with, but you can make the caesar salad from scratch of course. One bagged caesar salad, one drained can of tuna, bacon salt, lemon juice, freshly ground black pepper, and parmesan cheese. Tuna goes wonderfully with caesar salad, which isn’t too surprising, I guess, when you consider that a real caesar salad should have anchovies in it.
I’ve made tuna salad with dijon mustard, and I like it. I remember a friend commenting on it once.
Now, I’ve been cooking a long time. That creamed tuna on toast? I probably made that when I was eight. (And I didn’t know about roux then, so you can imagine how it would taste!) I made my first Thanksgiving dinner when I was ten when my mom was horribly sick with flu. When I moved in with my dad, I did most of the cooking. But. But I didn’t really ‘understand’ cooking until my mid- to late-20s. I’m still learning new stuff.
All that is to help you understand when I tell you that for a period I attempted to make the ‘ultimate’ tuna salad. Tuna, Miracle Whip (because that’s what dad liked, and what we had in the house), lots of coarse black pepper, dijon mustard, bacon bits, onion, celery, sweet pickle relish, bits of cheese, tarragon… Oh, veh. :rolleyes:
Nowadays I keep it simple: Chunk light tuna (because it has a stronger taste than albacore/white), and Best Foods Real Mayonnaise. When it comes to it, this is the taste of childhood for me. It’s how I like it. Add some leaf lettuce and a couple of tomato slices, butter the bread if I’m feeling extravagant, and that’s it.
I make a really yummy tuna salad with chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans).
2 cans of chickpeas, drained
2 cans of tuna, drained
1/2 bunch of green onions or 1/2 c red onion, chopped
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs balsamic vinegar (can also use regular vinegar or lemon juice) i
Chopped parsley if desired
Thanks – I really was serious, as she’s never had any of these and wants to sample the gamut. I’m going to go with your suggestion except substitute in a biscuit.
Lots of good (or, as with this one, maybe not so good but traditional) ideas here for canned tuna, which I’m glad to see as she refuses to accept that canned fish could be the basis of anything good and at least some of these will, I hope, surprise her.
As for fresh/filet, I’m not really sure what she’s looking for that would be different from preparation methods for any other somewhat-oily, meaty fish filet. I think we’ll start off with sashimi, tataki type things, then move on to searing/sauteeing with tamari. I don’t much love nicoise salad but I guess we ought to. Veal tonnato is a surprising and tasty application of tuna (but I guess that’s canned tuna, again).
I’m probably going to need to find a good source for tuna filets that I’d be happy eating raw-ish.
We had the Wishbone Italian version of this – an Italian salad with cherry tomatoes, flaked water-packed albacore, and . . . Black olives. This was the upscale alternative to the may/celery/caper salad.
Oh, and for the tuna salad sandwich – am I alone in sayong adding potato chips on top of the tuna salad layer is one of my greatest ideas (I know – not just mine)?
Well, there’s always my grandmother’s potato chip and tuna casserole. Mash up plain old potato chips (ruffles are fine), mix with a couple cans of tuna, a can of cream of mushroom soup, and a can of peas (and it HAS to be canned peas. Dunno why, but that just seems to work better). Bake at around 350 for…ohhhh, about 20 minutes or so. Doesn’t really matter all that much (hell, I like it raw).
Then there’s something we call “yellow tuna stuff.” Basic white sauce with mustard and tuna. Spread over crackers. Again, it has to be crackers. We’ve tried it with other stuff like rice, and it just wasn’t the same.
Ummmmm…I was also gonna post my mom’s tuna casserole recipe, but I can’t remember it off the top of my head.
My family does a lot of stuff with tuna. It’s my very favorite sandwich topping.