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Chris Hennes

Uses for Canned Tuna

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Canned tuna is a staple in my house, and as I ate it for lunch today (with lemon zest, capers, red pepper flakes, and olive oil, on pasta) it occurred to me that I don't actually use it in that many things. What sorts of things do you all use it in? Any good recipes to share?


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I use it in pasta also, usually medium shells, with sauteed garlic, black olives, fresh basil and mint, canned San Marzano or Tuscan tomatoes, dry white wine... Adapted this from an authentic recipe from Italy.

I make this sandwich with lots of tweaks and variations:

GRILLED SWISS CHEESE, TUNA AND RED PEPPER SANDWICHES

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/recipe_views/views/10356

Mega salad of tuna, lemon juice, white beans, celery and their leaves, black olives, tomatoes, sweet onion, corn kernels, green peas, red bell pepper, fresh herbs, etc., tossed with a Dijon/red wine vinegar/balsamic vinaigrette.


Edited by merstar (log)

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I've got a recipe for a very nice smoked salmon terrine (called a "mousse" in the recipe) that contains canned tuna to mellow the taste of the salmon.

  • ~ 150 g smoked salmon
  • 1 can of tuna au naturel
  • 250 g sour cream
  • mayonnaise of 1 egg
  • gelatin

Make a 1-egg mayonnaise (or use the commercial stuff *shudder*), add the salmon, tuna, sour cream and mayonnaise in a bowl and blend with a stick blender. Soak the gelatin, melt it and stir in some of the fish base. Add the gelatin mix to the fish base, blend some more. Pour everything into one or more oiled bowls or terrines. Allow to set in the fridge. Decorate with parsley and eat with good French white bread.

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Delicious in potato salad. Best with a tangy vinaigrette dressing instead of the mayonnaise-y type.

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Some of my favorites are tuna croquettes and classic tuna melts. I might also throw a can of tuna into a pilaf, couscous, quinoa, etc... to make it a light meal.


"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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Great cooks think alike. I just made a salad for work tommorrow including tuna, small white beans, diced tomato, capers, rosemary, thyme and basil, dressed simply with olive oil and lemon juice. It's quick and easy and far better than eating at the fast food shops in the building where I work.

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Gotta be the Volquetero for me. This is a specialty from the Amazon town of Puyo, where I lived for a time and where I became addicted to it. Volquetero is basically a starch salad, but done correctly it's delicious.

For 2 people (or me, when I'm hungry):

1/2 Cup (generous) of drained cooked and lightly salted chochos (Lupini beans.) Fresh is best.

1/2 Cup (generous) of freshly popped popcorn

1/2 Cup (generous) of the thinnest-cut chifles you can find or make (green plantain chips; fresh is best if you can do it)

1/2 Cup (generous) of tostado (dry yellow Caraguay-type corn, kettle-roasted with a bit of oil and garlic. No idea if this is available in the US; you can substitute anything salty and crunchy with a garlic flavour.)

About 1/2 a small red onion, cut into thin slices

About 1-2 medium tomatoes, fresh, cubed

The juice of 4-5 small limes and one large orange (I use a bitter orange or green mandarin; you're looking for a tart flavour rather than a sweet one)

A dash of aji (hot sauce)

Cilantro

A personal-size (small) tin of tuna fish, preferably in oil

1. Begin by mixing the onions, tomato, citrus juice, aji and cilantro together in a separate bowl, and set aside to quick-pickle. This stuff is called Encebollado, and is essential to most Ecuadorian cold salads.

2. Put your heap of chochos in the bowl in which you will serve the salad. Next, layer in the chifles, tostado, and finally the popcorn.

3. Add as much Encebollado as you like. In comedores, this will be the full amount you made earlier. I like less, usually.

4. Open the tuna, drain out about half of the oil, and then drizzle the remainder over the salad, then flake the fish out on the very top.

5. Eat immediately.

There are a number of variations on this; my favourite is to add finely shredded carrot to the Encebollado and reduce the onion by about half. Others serve this with any cold legume in place of the chochos.


Edited by Panaderia Canadiense (log)

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Tuna noodle casserole and this one dish (can't remember the name) that's basically tuna, white sauce and sliced green olives, with maybe some canned green peas, generously peppered and served over toast. Yeah I must've lived in a trailer park in a past life.

(Also I think both of those dishes are better with chicken).


This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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Little panfried tuna cakes. Made with fine diced onion and jalapeno water from a jar of sliced peppers. Served on a little square of pumpernickel toast with lime Mayo.

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1 can tuna in olive oil, 1 can cannellini (white beans), 1 very thinly sliced red onion soaked in two changes of water and dried, olive oil, red vinegar,salt and pepper. Mash with a fork until completely pureed. Spread on soft fresh pita bread triangles as an appetizer.

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I used to stir fry canned tuna with rice, onions and green peppers - cheap, easy & good - but I did it too often when I couldn't afford much else and got tired enough of it that it I rarely think of it any more.


QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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I can't stand canned tuna, for me it's just dry, stringy and tasteless.

If I am going to eat tuna, I will very rarely go for anything other than raw. I'm sure there are some nice recipes using it, but not any I will ever be enthusiastic about. About the best I can think of with it is tuna mayo, but even then diced raw tuna bound with aioli will always win me over.


James.

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It sounds pedestrian, but smoked tuna spread is now my go-to potluck/party item. So simple and easy, but so delicious.

Found this idea in a Luhr-Jensen Little Chief smoker recipe book many years ago. Drain a can of tuna, put in baking dish and flake with a fork to spread it out. Smoke for one hour, allow to cool, and use in your favorite sandwich spread recipe.

I keep it simple to not overwhelm the smoked fish flavor: just enough mayo give a spreading consistency and Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning to taste.

Since making it the first time, I have never made less than 6 cans of tuna at a time. :blink: My smoker had three shelves and I could get 2 cans of tuna into each of three pie plates or I would have made more. As a spread with crackers, it usually disappears quickly at a party, but any leftover makes great tuna sandwiches. I occasionally make it just for me and my husband and still prepare 6 cans worth. It keeps well for several days.


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Here in the South, we don't hide crazy. We parade it on the front porch and give it a cocktail.

The devil is in the details but God is in the fat.

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I can't stand canned tuna, for me it's just dry, stringy and tasteless.

Tasteless? It seems to me that canned tuna is anything but tasteless. I can easily understand those who don't like the taste, I think it's quite strong. And if the canned tuna you are buying is dry, stringy, and/or tasteless, I'd suggest finding a better brand!


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I can't stand canned tuna, for me it's just dry, stringy and tasteless.

Tasteless? It seems to me that canned tuna is anything but tasteless. I can easily understand those who don't like the taste, I think it's quite strong. And if the canned tuna you are buying is dry, stringy, and/or tasteless, I'd suggest finding a better brand!

I have to agree with Chris. Canned Tuna has a particularly "fishy" aroma and taste--and that's what I like about it.

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I can't stand canned tuna, for me it's just dry, stringy and tasteless.

Tasteless? It seems to me that canned tuna is anything but tasteless. I can easily understand those who don't like the taste, I think it's quite strong. And if the canned tuna you are buying is dry, stringy, and/or tasteless, I'd suggest finding a better brand!

You're right, tasteless was the wrong word. I meant to say that the flavor does nothing for me at all. Canned fish in general turns me off, except for the salmon rissoles my Nan used to make. Man I do miss those.


James.

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I know summer is deserting those in the USA...but for me, Salade Nicoise is a mainstay over the warmer weather. I personally detest fresh tuna ( go figure) but when I can lay my hands on a can or two of good Italian tuna then it is destined for a Nicoise. Along with all those other gorgeous ingredients...canned tuna sings. And the first two times I ever ate it with canned tuna ...was in France!

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I have decided to no longer purchase canned tuna from my regular grocery store.

Ive been buying Star Kist Gourmets Choice solid light in water for years but

lately it no longer tastes like tuna. If you research canned tuna, you will see

that legally the tuna companies can use many varieties of fish and call it canned

tuna. Well the recent batch of tuna smelled faintly like ammonia. So the other

day when I was at the HMart I bought a few cans of Korean brand Dong Won and

they tasted like the tuna of old! It was fabulous!

Try it


Edited by GlorifiedRice (log)

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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I know summer is deserting those in the USA...but for me, Salade Nicoise is a mainstay over the warmer weather. I personally detest fresh tuna ( go figure) but when I can lay my hands on a can or two of good Italian tuna then it is destined for a Nicoise. Along with all those other gorgeous ingredients...canned tuna sings. And the first two times I ever ate it with canned tuna ...was in France!

The traditional Salad Niçoise is made with canned tuna; not fresh.

In fact canned tuna is a more pervasive ingredient around Mediterranean countries than fresh.


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So the other

day when I was at the HMart I bought a few cans of Korean brand Dong Won and

they tasted like the tuna of old! It was fabulous!

Try it

That's a good point: what brands are you guys buying? This weekend I picked up some from a brand called "Wild Planet" to try, I had never heard of them.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I buy Isabela in Sunflower oil, Atún Reál in water, and Van Camps in olive oil. All three are tinned locally; Isabela is hands-down the best of them and also often they throw in a little can of tuna paté with the 4-pack of regular tuna, which is quite tasty.


Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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I buy canned Ortiz Bonito del Norte from Spain. Don't know where I picked up this notion, but I hope it is true: Bonito is either a small fish like tuna or it is a small type of tuna, I'm not sure which (anyone clear on that?) but the operative word here is small. In other words, less mercury than most canned tuna. And I think it tastes better than most other canned tuna I've tried. Packed in olive oil only, and not cheap. For less mercury I will pay. Tell me its true.

In addition to tuna salad and tuna melts, I like tuna in a warm or room temp rice salad. I mix it with cooked long-grain white rice, celery, roasted red peppers (usually I roast them myself or I buy Spanish piquillos in the jar) a little red onion, sherry wine vinegar, olive oil, parsley and a garnish of toasted pine nuts and a dusting of paprika, smoked or not. Sometimes I add some leftover cooked beans or even edamame. Would be good with favas too. In warm weather it makes a great meal served with gazpacho. I've done this with fresh tuna, but that negates the idea of making a meal from pantry stock, which is what canned tuna is all about.


Edited by Katie Meadow (log)

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