Friday, April 2, 2010
Danielle's $2 tuna
First off, I like this dish because I like alliteration. Two-dollar tuna. It's those t's that get me. I have spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to think of a perfect 3rd t-word to stick in there. Unfortunately the only t-words that come to me are entirely unrelated to this dish. Oh well, I am sure one will strike me next week, and I may go as far as to edit this post to stick that final t-word in its place...
The other night while I was busying myself with cauliflower and such, my roommate Danielle was also cooking in our kitchen, making a large batch of a tuna pasta salad of her invention to be eaten for a handful of lunches or dinners. After agreeing to be featured in a blog post,Danielle made not a single complaint as I buzzed around her taking pictures. When I said "wait, stop chopping, your hand looks blurry...just pretend to chop for a bit!" she did so without so much as an annoyed glance in my direction. Now there is a good sport, right? Well, she even agreed to photograph my process as I went on to cook dinner myself (the photographs of this entry should be credited to her), and above all of that, she allowed me to share the bottle of wine she had bought. Excellent. After all of this, she certainly deserves a glowing endorsement.
Danielle explained to me that this dish does not quite have a recipe, she doesn't measure the amounts particularly, and may change what goes in it a bit each time. I watched what she did put in and estimated for the most part. the trick is to adjust to your tastes, and just keep adding until it is perfect. I think dishes like that are always fun, ever changing, you may discover something amazing by accident when you throw in a pinch of this or a dash of that. All in all this is a dish that is all about figuring out what you have sitting around in the pantry and using it, similar to my father's wonderful (though unpredictable) refrigerator meatloaf. According to Danielle, $2 tuna "began with experimentation and I'm still discovering new things to do with it." Likewise, if you choose to make this dish, take a chance, got an ingredient you don't know what to do with? Why not throw it in here!
As a side note, she also includes uncooked garlic in this, which is certainly an acquired taste, I suggest cooking up the garlic in olive oil ahead of time for a milder, sweeter garlic flavor.
Also, a note to those who live in fear of mayo: yes, the gelatinous white condiment can be intimidating, I found it wholly unoffensive in this dish, in fact, one could say it really "tied the room together".
1/2 package pasta of your choice- I suggest whole wheat varieties, Danielle mentioned she likes to use Capellini when available. this time it was whole wheat spaghettini.
1 can tuna
1 can garbanzo beans
1 bunch green onions
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2-3 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons chilli powder
Salt and pepper to taste
whatever your heart desires, or is about to go bad if you don't use up
Follow package instructions to cook pasta, once it is cooked, drain and rinse with cold water. drizzle with olive oil and stir to coat
Chop green onions, rinse the garbanzo beans
Add green onions, chilli powder, salt and pepper, garlic, garbanzo beans, mayo and tuna to the bowl. mix until distributed evenly.
Yep, that's it.
This super easy dish can be served cold or room temperature. If you use low fat or fat free mayo, it is even pretty healthy, packed with healthy protein and whole wheat, cheap (less than $2 per serving, hence the name) and pretty tasty, too!
A final note from Danielle: "to address the issue of bringing a cold dish to work in the summertime, I plan on putting some in a sandwich bag, and then putting that in a bigger sandwich bag full of frozen grapes or whatever. That way I won't have warm mayonnaise surprise. hopefully." Awesome.