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I have a sister who just loves tuna fish.  Also green beans.  Also tomatoes.  If you put them all together as in Salade Nicoise, she’s already entered heaven. We don’t live near to one another, but I often think of her as I cook and that’s what happened today.   This sweet old school favorite pumped up with the addition of a spicy thousand island sauce would be her order for lunch if she saw it on Friday’s menu.

Below: We always go out for lunch when we’re together.

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If you’re like Helen and love tuna, this is your Friday!  Fast and homey, great to serve on trays in front of the tv while you watch Chocolat, that quintessential Lenten film.   (Well, it is to me.) You’ll remember when Vianne opens her chocolate shop in the little French village, she’s in trouble for many reasons, but one of the largest is that she opens it during LENT, for God’s sake. What was she thinking?

As I made lunch, I ran back and opened the back deck door; it’s that warm.  I passed by my new staircase.  All in all, it took 7 months to finish as we had a few problems and had to begin nearly from scratch.  In the end, it’s worth it.  I have very safe, in-code railing and no more carpet on my stairs.  Whew.

Below: All done!

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LENT?? If you are on a Lenten journey or just interested, you might want to check out Day 20 and 21 of my Lenten Blog, Praying in Saint Paul.   To look at other dates, in the top left corner click CLASSIC and then click SIDEBAR.

IMG_7374TUNA MELTS WITH SRIRACHA THOUSAND ISLAND

SERVES 2

SRIRACHA THOUSAND ISLAND SAUCE

Depending on the year you were born, you might remember thousand island dressing as one of the 3 or 4 choices for dressings when you ordered a salad at a restaurant sometime in your past.  If not, try it now and maybe you’ll like it.

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ketchup or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sriracha sauce or to taste (or a few drops of hot sauce like Tabasco)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Pinch each:  granulated sugar, salt, pepper
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider or plain white vinegar or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced dill pickle

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together well.  Taste and adjust seasonings, including vinegar and sugar.  Set aside.

ALYCE’S TUNA SALAD SANDWICHES

  • 1- 5 or 6 ounce can tuna in oil (I like Italian tuna such as Genova), drained and flaked with fork.
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons each minced radish, celery, yellow or red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • Pinch each Salt/Pepper
  • Hot sauce–a drop or two
  • 1 boiled egg, chopped*
  • 4 slices rye bread
  • 2 teaspoons soft butter
  • 2 slices Swiss cheese
  • 8 slices dill pickle (I used hamburger dills)
  • 2 cups potato Chips because tuna is just better with potato chips

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In a medium bowl, mix together tuna – egg.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Heat large heavy skillet, griddle, or indoor grill over medium flame for 3 or 4 minutes.  Meanwhile, butter one side each of the four pieces of bread.  Add them butter side down to the skillet, and add 1/2 cup or so of the tuna salad to each of two pieces.  Top each with a piece of cheese and 4 slices of pickle and add the other slice of bread. If you have one, weigh down with a sandwich or meat press.  A foil wrapped brick works fine, too.  Grill until toasty brown on one side, turn and grill until brown on the other and the cheese is melted.  Serve hot with great potato chips and a side of Sriracha Thousand Island. A few more dill pickles wouldn’t hurt.

*You can quick “boil” an egg in the microwave:  Break open an egg into a greased microwave safe bowl, prick yolk once and whites several times, cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high 45-60 seconds. Let sit 30 seconds or so, unwrap carefully, and turn out onto board to cool briefly before chopping.

IMG_7364Sing a new song,

Alyce