Callie’s Cabin: Tuna fish with a Tahoe chilled twist (recipe)
It’s hot, hot, hot and is not the season to bake bread or fry up fish. If you ask me, it’s the time to reach for a cold tuna fish sandwich, also aka tuna salad sandwich.
One version appropriate for summer at the Lake is called the “tuna boat” (served on a roll). So, come along and see how we dish it up mountain style.
Several summers ago, a former surrogate mom-type neighbor of mine was in need of a little help from her friend for dinner. She knocked on my door, and when I opened it she asked: “Do you have an extra can of tuna?”
Since I’m a 95-percent vegetarian, canned tuna sat on the bottom shelf in my pantry (usually I have it for Y2K disasters). I handed her the fish (my kitty adores a small piece on rare occasions if used) and she left.
Since we grew up from different generations, I sensed the tuna sandwich would be the salad-less type made with generic mayo, salt and black pepper. It would be spread on white bread, cut in half and suffice for a nondescript dinner.
This week I turned to tuna (fresh from the butcher would be nice) because during a heat wave the last thing I am going to do is slave over a hot stove. Nor should you! But I can change up a traditional tuna sandwich so you’ll enjoy it.
I’m talking about stuffing a sandwich with fresh, organic greens, tomatoes, herbs and spices, and a baguette from your favorite bakery.
TAHOE TUNA SALAD BAGUETTE
1 3-ounce can tuna, albacore packed in water
4 tablespoons mayonnaise with olive oil
2-3 teaspoons red onion, chopped (optional)
2 tablespoons ground pepper and fresh herbs (your choice) to taste
½-1 cup kale and romaine salad mix
½ cup Roma tomatoes, sliced
1 or 2 slices of Monterey Jack cheese (optional)
1 fresh French artisan baguette (whole grain or herb is preferred)
In a bowl, mix tuna with mayonnaise, onion, spices and herbs. Keep it chunky. Chill in fridge for at least one hour.
When ready to make your tuna delight, cut a baguette in half. Spread with lettuce, tomatoes and tuna. Top with a slice of cheese. Serves two open face sandwiches.
You also can slice a baguette and top each one to make a Subway-type sandwich. Serves two. Or you can slice the baguette in diagonal slices to make more than less. And simply double the recipe if you have more neighbors, friends or family to feed.
This tuna sandwich isn’t what I was served as a kid. I, like my neighbor, ate tuna on plain white bread (cut in triangles). It was basic without the frills.
Truth be told, if you make this new, improved version with a twist, you may be pleasantly surprised. Plus, not only are you getting lean protein, vegetables and grains — you’ll get plenty of flavor without the sweat of cooking a hot meal.
Don’t forget the iced tea or water with slices of lemon for chill of it.
Cal Orey, M.A., is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, and Superfoods) published by Kensington. The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club. Her website is http://www.calorey.com.