Don’t knock canned tuna.
It’s rivaled in its versatility only by its price. A 5-ounce tin serves two — just add mayonnaise and bread — for about a buck.
“Water-packed tuna is low in fat and calories,” said Marla Nawrocki, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at Sutter Gould Medical Foundation in Modesto, Calif. “It is also high in protein and contains heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.”
A 2-ounce serving, about 1/4 cup drained, of water-packed tuna has 10 grams of protein, 50 calories and 1 gram of fat.
Processed tuna is the ultimate in convenience food. Open a pouch and eat or, with a little more effort, turn it into a sandwich for lunch. Tuna also can take a starring role at dinner — and with not much more effort than making a sandwich.
For tuna and chips casserole, empty a 10 1/2-ounce can of cream of mushroom soup into a 1-quart casserole dish. Mix in 1/2 cup milk. Drain a can of tuna and add it to the soup along with 1 cup crushed potato chips and 1 cup cooked green peas. Sprinkle top with 1/4 cup crushed potato chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly.
Spaghetti with tuna is just as easy. Brown garlic in olive oil, add 2 1/2 ounces canned tuna in oil, 3 tablespoons tomato paste and a tablespoon or two of water. Cook for 15 minutes. Add parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss with cooked spaghetti. Come and get it. It’s dinnertime already.
There’s no doubt tuna works hard, but it can do more. Try tuna burgers, tuna on salad greens, tuna in a bean salad with onions. The list goes on.
A quiet revolution in canned tuna means it’s time to stop turning up your nose at this pantry workhorse.
“Most large seafood producers cook their fish twice,” according to America’s Test Kitchen, which sampled eight brands of canned solid white albacore packed in water. The tuna is cooked once before it’s canned, and then again when it’s heated inside the can to kill harmful bacteria. Some of the lesser-known brands cook the tuna just once, “which preserves its fresh flavor and texture.” The findings are summarized in “Pasta Revolution: 200 Foolproof Recipes That Go Beyond Spaghetti and Meatballs” (America’s Test Kitchen, $26.95).
CRISPY TUNA SLIDERS WITH CITRUS SLAW
Makes 8 sliders
1 small red cabbage, shredded
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 fresh lime, juiced
Cracked black pepper to taste
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 fresh red chili pepper, minced
1 rib celery, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon heavy cream
3 green onions, finely sliced
2 cups canned tuna in water, drained
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Slaw: In a large bowl combine shredded cabbage, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss; cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. In a jar, combine the poppy seeds, mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon Dijon, lime juice, 1/2 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and lots of black pepper. Close lid and shake until blended. Pour dressing into slaw, along with a 1/4 cup of parsley, and toss.
Tuna patties: Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, chili pepper, rib of celery, cayenne, celery seeds, 1/4 teaspoon salt and ground pepper to taste.
Saute for three minutes, then take off heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together egg, cream, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, green onions, 1/4 cup parsley, the garlic-chili-celery mixture, sea salt and black pepper to taste. Fold in tuna and bread crumbs. With lightly floured hands, shape about 1/4 cup of tuna into a patty. Dredge each patty in flour and freeze for 10 minutes. Heat 1/2 cup canola oil to 350 degrees in a large frying pan and fry tuna patties for three to five minutes, until golden and heated through. Place each patty on a bun and top with the citrus slaw.
This recipe is from “Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen Cookin’ for Trouble,” by Ballantine Trade Paperback ($22).
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3/4 pound rigatoni
8 ounces ricotta cheese (1 cup, pushed through a sieve)
1 (7-ounce) can imported tuna in oil, drained
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups (about 5 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
Coat a 13-by-9-by-2 baking dish with 1tablespoon butter. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add rigatoni and boil until half-cooked (see package for directions). Drain and transfer rigatoni to a large bowl of cold water.
Blend ricotta and tuna in a food processor until soft and smooth. In a medium bowl, mix cream and Parmesan, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Fill a pastry bag with a conical nozzle and fill the rigatoni. Arrange in orderly rows in the baking dish. Pour the cream mixture over the stuffed rigatoni and refrigerate for three hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove rigatoni from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake uncovered until brown and bubbling on top, about 25 minutes. Serve hot with parsley sprinkled on top.
This recipe is from “Bake Until Bubbly: The Ultimate Casserole Cookbook,” by Clifford A. Wright (Wiley, $22.95).
CURRY TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE
4 ounces brown rice penne (11/2 cups)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups diced cremini mushrooms
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 shallot or onion, finely diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 tablespoon fresh thyme (1 teaspoon dry)
2 large eggs
2 (5-ounce cans) white albacore tuna, flaked
11/2 cups shredded white cheddar (5 ounces)
1/2 cup low-fat milk
Juice of half lemon
Grated Parmesan, salt and pepper
Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add mushroom, bell pepper and shallot or onion. Cook five minutes. Add peas, curry powder, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Heat until peas are tender, about one minute.
In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs. Stir in pasta, cooked vegetable mixture, tuna, 1 cup cheese and milk and lemon juice.
Divide among six jumbo muffin cups and pack tightly. Top with remaining cheese. Bake until golden on top, about 25 minutes. Cool before unmolding.
This recipe is from “Muffin Tin Chef: 101 Savory Snacks, Adorable Appetizers, Enticing Entrees & Delicious Desserts,” by Matt Kadey (Ulysses Press, $15.95). White mushrooms work great in this recipe. Chunk light tuna can substitute for albacore, but gives the dish a fishier taste.
Don’t knock canned tuna.
Annual gingerbread house contest
Spread holiday cheer by making a gingerbread house this year. The Edmond Historical Society & Museum invites residents to enter into the fifth annual Gingerbread House Contest at 2 p.m. Dec. 14. Ages 5 and older are welcome to participate.
Gingerbread House Contest Rules:
• Ages 5-11, Ages 12-17, 18 and older
• Must be made out of edible materials
• Placed on 18-inch by 18-inch or smaller board
• No gingerbread kits (but you may use graham crackers)
• Participation is free, pre-registration is required
• Bring gingerbread house to the Edmond Historical Society & Museum between the dates of Dec. 10-13.
Judges will present first, second and third place awards in each age category. Judges will be looking for:
Edmond reminds residents of proper disposal of ‘FOG’
The City of Edmond’s FOG program helps homeowners learn to properly dispose of fats, oils and grease.
“These few simple tips will help you avoid a sewer back-up in your home. Not only is a sewer back-up unpleasant and unsanitary, the clean-up can cost thousands of dollars and your homeowner’s insurance may not cover the cost” said Casey Moore, public information officer.
Fats, oils and grease eventually become solid rather than liquid and the grease will stick to the sides of sewer pipes and clog them. This can cause a back-up and an overflow in your home, or into the streets and streams.
Kermit Lynch’s journey of wine discovery
“When I wrote the book,” explained wine merchant Kermit Lynch, “I thought the oenologists were going to take over.”
We were chatting about Adventures on the Wine Route, Lynch’s seminal tour of France that can be found on every wine enthusiast’s bookshelf. When the book was released in 1988, Lynch feared that “old-style wines” — artisanal projects that expressed a sense of place — were on their way out, so he launched a crusade to educate his “clients to the diversity and virtue of those wines.”
Enjoy season-long holiday flavor
After waiting so long to taste the distinctive flavors that make the holiday season so special, McCormick, a global leader in flavor, is here to make sure each moment is filled with them – every day leading up to Thanksgiving and every day after. With simple tips from the McCormick Kitchens on enjoying the season’s top seven flavors — pumpkin spice, ginger, vanilla, peppermint, sage, cinnamon and nutmeg — everything from breakfast to dessert can have the best holiday taste.
Sweeten the season with delicious holiday desserts
Show your friends and family just how much you care with delicious homemade holiday desserts. The combination of seasonal flavors and time-honored traditions are sure to give holiday party guests a sweet memory to savor long after gatherings and get-togethers are over.
Wondering what to drink? Ask a winemaker
Imagine if BMW’s design chief admitted that Ford produces some of his favorite cars. Or if the CEO of Coca-Cola confessed that every now and then, he craves a Pepsi.
A new take on traditional foods for Day of the Dead
Food will no doubt be a focal point for families celebrating the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead this November 1 and 2. What has become one of the most popular holidays in Mexico — and is becoming more common in the U.S.— is the custom of honoring and remembering deceased loved ones. Gathering with friends and family over delicious traditional dishes is sure to be a highlight of celebrations.
Preparing pumpkins for fall cooking
Most of us have a good eye for a pumpkin that might make a good-looking jack-o-lantern. But when it comes to pumpkins for cooking, the same rules simply don’t apply.
“When you’re choosing a pie pumpkin,” advises Amanda Horn, Family and Consumer Science Educator at Oklahoma County OSU Extension Service and registered dietitian, “you need a sweeter pumpkin usually the smaller they are the sweeter and the less watery.”
Also, it is important to look for pie pumpkins with a 1- to 2-inch stem. If the stem is cut down too low, the pumpkin will decay quickly and already may have started to decay when you buy it. Pumpkins that are going to be used for cooking also need to be free of blemishes and soft spots, but shape is unimportant.
Make baby’s first birthday a smash with playful pint-sized cakes
More than 374,000 babies are born in September and 367,000 in October every year, according to the Center for Disease Control and National Center for Health Statistics 2010. That’s a lot of cake. According to a recent Betty Crocker survey of moms conducted by KRC Research, the cake is one of the most important elements of a first birthday. In fact, 58 percent of moms shared that watching their one-year-olds explore, taste, smash, smear and dive in to their first birthday cake is the most memorable moment of the party, far exceeding opening gifts and singing “Happy Birthday” to their little one.
OSU Cooperative Extension offers ‘Soup Up Your Fall’ class
As we enter into the fall season and the weather begins to cool off many of us turn to those hearty comfort foods we grew up loving to keep us warm and full. One staple meal during the cool season is soup.
“Soups are fairly easy to make and if properly prepared they can be healthy and save you money” said Amanda Horn, a registered dietitian and family and consumer sciences educator for the Oklahoma County OSU Cooperative Extension. “In this class we discuss how homemade soups can be healthier than canned, how to prepare them in advance to save you time, and discover some fun and fresh ingredients you can use to add a little pizzazz to your bowl.”
“Soup Up Your Fall” is scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the Northeast Regional Health & Wellness Campus located at 2600 N.E. 63rd St. Oklahoma City. This will be an interactive cooking class with many demonstrations of soup dishes. The participants will have the opportunity to sample all the foods prepared during the workshop and take home a “Soup Up Your Fall” cookbook with some great soup recipes.
Cost of the workshop is $10 and pre-registration is required before Oct.14. For more information, contact the Oklahoma County OSU Cooperative Extension Service located at 930 N. Portland at 713-1125 or access the Extension website at http://oces.okstate.edu/oklahoma.
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