Friday, April 4, 2008

tuna + onion + pepper = yummy in my tummy tuna salad...

tuna salad: a dish that everyone knows,has his or her favorite place to get it from or a favorite family recipe. me? i never knew tuna salad as tuna salad. for me, it was just "tuna fish." see, whenever my mom would fix what everyone else called "tuna salad" she would just say we're having tuna fish. when she said this, i knew what she meant and how she'd be fixing it. tuna, diced tomatoes, onion, and mayo. i knew nothing of the added celery bits and parlsey or any of that other stuff people add and that was ok. it was good, it still is good. i just don't get to eat it because a) i live 500+ miles away and b) she doesn't ever fix it for me when i do go to visit. it would probably help if i asked her to fix it. she's not a mind reader, or so she says... silly me. maybe next trip.
due to the above mentioned circumstances, i've had to make do it making it myself. not a problem.that's part of the beauty of enjoying to cook, circumstances like this allow for me to add one more dish to my small arsenal of recipes. i, however, chose to do things a little differently from her. not alot. just a little.
Differently? How? Why?
differently because i add diced red pepper. sometimes in place of the tomato or in addition to. it's pretty and it tastes good. plus, let's face it. summer does not last all year and finding tomatos that are actually good is like trying to find osama. ok so maybe grocery store bins aren't quite desert caves but still, you never know which one, if any, is gonna have what you're looking for. so when in doubt, grab a pepper.
another thing that makes mine different is that i add spanish smoked paprika. it was an experimental addition i made one day that turned out successfully tasty. it adds a nice smokiness to pair along with the creaminess of the mayonnaise. that's pretty much it. oh wait no, sorry. i add diced celery too. delana likes it, i've come to like it and it adds crunch. that's no secret. i think my mom just never added it because we never had any. it's just not something she cooks with. no big deal. i promise that not having it will not cause you to go through celery withdrawals.

"Tuna Fish" or Tuna Sald for the Masses
serves 2

1 6 oz. can Solid, White Albacore Tuna
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 roma tomato, diced (optional)
2 celery stalks, sliced lengthwise in 1/2 then cut crosswise
4 tbs mayonnaise ( i used a ratio of 2:1 of light mayo and Fage 2% Greek yogurt. Any plain yogurt will do)
1/2 tsp of smoked, Spanish Paprika

start by draining your tuna and then break it up right in the can with a fork till you have small, bite size chunks. in a large bowl, combine the broken up tuna with the pepper,onion, tomato, and celery and mix the 5 ingredients together.
in a separate bowl, mix the mayonnaise (and yogurt?) with the paprika and salt and pepper. stir to combine. do a taste test to make sure the seasonings are to your taste before adding it to the tuna mixture. once satisfied, combine the 2 in the larger bowl and stir till the dressing is evenly distributed. serve with your choice of bread. enjoy!

does anyone have any recipes inspired by their own families that they've modified to better suit their tastes? if so, please feel free to share. any family staples that have led to new, more jazzed up creations?

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