Tuna Salad-I hate it. Funny way to start a post about tuna salad, right? But I hate tuna salad. No, I’m not being dramatic. I hate it. Know who doesn’t hate it? My hubby, he loves it. In fact, it is one of his go-to meals when I’m out of town. Why when I’m gone? Because I hate it. I know we can’t possibly be the only couple that gets to enjoy one dish only when the other one is not around? My dish is risotto. I love it, hubby hates it. In fact, he won’t even look at it. So you see, that makes us even.
One time upon my return from a trip, I opened the fridge and saw a container of tuna salad that hubby failed to completely consume. My first thought was, “What on earth was he thinking?” I quickly shut the fridge for I especially hate the smell of tuna salad. Don’t get me wrong, I could eat a tuna steak or tuna sashimi all day long, but tuna salad? No, I used to open a can of tuna and give some as a birthday treat to my cat! I immediately called hubby to ask why he left the container of tuna salad in the fridge. He said, he had to work late one day and ended up eating out so he didn’t get to finish it and he couldn’t exactly throw it away. Yes, all of what he said is exactly what I preach about food waste. Good intentions are often interrupted by life and most times the food gets trashed. Of course, he couldn’t have thrown it away, he’s my hubby. (Insert sappy happy smile 😉
Begin my dilemma of what to do. I put on my TO COOK IS TO CREATE thinking cap and did what I tell everyone to do when it comes to leftovers. Break down the leftover into basic ingredients. Tuna Salad=tuna, mayonnaise, celery, onions, and relish. I thought about adding mashed potatoes and making a dough, but thought I still could taste the fishy tuna. Then I thought about what makes everything taste better here in Louisiana–Fried Foods! Yes, I turned the leftover tuna salad into a plate of crispy fried fritters. I admit I was a bit hesitant the first time I took a bite, but one bite into the fritters reminded me so much of fried cod in fish and chips…which I love.
We enjoy (yes, no longer hate seeing leftover tuna salad in the fridge) these fritters with a dip similar to a Tzatziki style dip minus the cucumbers. I like to use pickle or jalapeno juice to really add spice or zing to the fritter batter, but if not water works fine, too.
Put On Your TO COOK IS TO CREATE Thinking Cap: Think about what is already in your tuna salad and adjust seasonings accordingly. Not an onion fan? Use minced bell peppers, celery, or even carrots. Caper fan? Add some. These fritters also go well with cocktail, remoulade, or tartar sauce or keep it simple with ketchup. Think about how simple herb substitutions like oregano, thyme, or could change the sauce. If you are a cilantro lover, I recommend substituting it along with lime juice for lemon. Like a traditional Tzatziki dip? Add in some diced cucumbers and even some feta cheese for even extra flavor. No tuna salad? Give chicken or egg salad a go. I can’t wait to try my Crunchy Leftover Jambalaya Salad.
FOOD FUN: According to Smithsonian Magazine, tuna salad sandwiches came about when “office lunch hour had time limits. So lunch counters came up with the idea of offering the salads between two pieces of bread, which sped up table turnover and encouraged patrons to get lunch to go.” I definitely don’t want to grab a tuna salad sandwich to go, but I will grab a few fritters.