For a creative sort, I come up suspiciously blank on many occasions when I am called upon to think up a menu plan. This Wednesday was one such day – friends coming in from out of town and the local concert in the park that night, I needed something easy but tasty and most of all — filling — for the evening. Not rocket science.
And yet I had nothing.
Regular readers of this blog know full well I can’t do impromptu…although I admit in the feeblest of voices and with well downcast eyes that perhaps I am starting to get a little better with that. Still, I am notorious for taking the easiest of recipes, the ones that call for “a little of this and a pinch of that,” and bolloxing up the proportions and creating a sodden or lumpy mess.
So even though Dorothy promised this was idiot proof, I had my grave doubts. But what could I do?
You can see the real recipe here. But here’s how I riffed on it, since typically I didn’t have exact ingredients although I thought I did.
- 2 cans good tuna in olive oil. Tonno brand was suggested, and since they had it at the fancy market I was at to get the “better than sex” cheese (Humboldt Fog), that’s what I used. Expensive, but it makes the salad.
- 1 apple, cored, skin left on and chopped. (A corer? Right. I just cut my apple up in quarters and went from there)
- 1 celery rib, chopped
- Half a red bell pepper, chopped as best you can. Go for medium dice, even though mine was more hack and mangle bits…
- Handful of dried cranberries. The actual recipe calls for “craisins,” which I suppose are a hybrid of raisins and cranberries, but in fact I’ve never even heard of before.
- Handful of cilantro, because that’s what I had in the garden. Chop it up a little.
- Squirt of mustard (again, the recipe calls for Dijon, but I couldn’t find my jar of it. I think the kids used it for cooking experiments in the backyard after their cooking camp earlier this summer)
- Big squeeze of lemon juice, about half a lemon. Again, I used a regular one because I didn’t have a Meyer. And again, it didn’t seem to matter.
Dump the tuna into a large bowl, oil and all. Add everything else and combine, using common sense to dictate how much of what you need. I can’t believe I even wrote that.
They can train monkeys to do all kinds of things. It’s not too terribly surprising that I would start to catch on to certain kitchen ways, right? Right?
By the way, I’m no photographer, either.
The result was very pleasing indeed. It was heartily consumed. And it tasted good even! Like tuna salad but with a nice sweet crunch of apple and snap of cranberry.
Go ahead and laugh all you people for whom this is elementary. Every time I make something that people like and actually eat, somewhere up in heaven an angel gets another beer.