Tuna revolution

Hello, everyone--

It's only every once in a while that I find or conceive of a truly good budget recipe. It's very disheartening to see "economical" recipes with ingredients (say, meat) that already cost good money or are just variations on rice and beans. But just yesterday such a recipe occurred to me.

My tuna (or salmon) repertoire is pretty varied. I am no huge fan of tuna salad (my mother is, which may have something to do with it ;-), but I do like it with red bell pepper (oddly, sometimes cheaper than green) and onions or black olives, or stuffed in a bell pepper, tomato, or celery.

The tuna and black olive concept (with canned olives on sale, of course) also makes a good tuna casserole or tossed with pasta.

Tuna croquettes are good with breadcrumbs, bread, stale chips, cornflakes, matzo meal, or whatever other rapidly molding complex carbohydrate you may have around. They are also fantastic with finely chopped potato peels, and no, you can't tell they're peels. If you haven't had croquettes since cafeteria days, try them again. If you drain them on newspaper and switch the newspaper out a lot, they certainly aren't any worse for you than hamburger, and probably better, in fact, being very low in saturated fat.

If you have no time to assemble and/or inclination to fry the croquettes, make baked croquettes or a loaf. Croquettes are good with dill sauce, tartar sauce, hot sauce, or (no joke) tomato sauce (the tomato sauce in particular makes a whole different meal).

For a change from a tuna melt, or if you have eggs but no cheese, put an egg over easy or even a poached egg on top.

For extra punch, mix a can of tuna with a can of sardines or kippered snacks. (Parents, don't let anyone see this going on. ;-)

But sometimes you are just sick of all the above variations. "No more," you cry. "I don't care that I got it for 67 cents a can." Enter the Tuna Turnover. Do NOT let the biscuit dough concept freak you out. It is not a dough/crust that requires rolling out. It takes absolutely no more energy than tuna salad or a tuna melt. I would absolutely, no question, serve it to company and will do so as soon as I get my house clean.

Tuna Turnover

1 can tuna, drained but not dry
Add-ins of choice (e.g., onions, or for this application only, frozen peas or canned cream soup)
Grated cheese (optional)
Bit of butter or margarine (if tuna is packed in water)

Biscuit dough (essentially the Hillbilly Housewife's recipe)

1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Salt to taste
1/8 cup oil
1/3 cup milk (regular, instant, evaporated, or soy all work, or for this, even water)

1. Get a cookie sheet or foil ready for the oven or toaster oven. Grease very lightly.

2. Mix up the dough, adding only enough milk or water to make a dough. Don't knead--it'll be tough.

3. Put the dough onto the foil or pan. Pat it into a circle the size of a dinner plate. Roll it out if you must, but it's not necessary. Spread a little bit of butter or margarine on the dough if you're not using rich fillings.

4. Put the tuna and extras in a strip down the middle of the circle. Fold the dough over and seal. Don't let the tuna be too dry. The biscuit dough can take a little moisture, unlike a pie crust.

5. Bake at 400 degrees in a regular oven or toaster oven. Done when golden brown. Serves 2 with something else to eat or 1 (heartily) by itself. Also good at room temperature. Would be good with a gravy or (gasp) cheese sauce.

Goes very well with soup or:

Corn Salad From the Freezer & Pantry

Canned whole tomatoes
Frozen corn (like the tomatoes, it tastes better on special)
Other vegetables as available (onions, garlic, bell pepper, green onions, grated carrots)
Salt & pepper

Drain the tomatoes very well. Save the juice and any soggy, unappealing tomato parts for another time. Cut them carefully into small, cute chunks so that it is less obvious they're canned. Once chopped, take out any (or even most) excess pulp to use elsewhere. Mix with the corn and other ingredients. (This will also fly with a lettuce salad, believe it or not.) Delicious! A good canned tomato is certainly more tasty than the average winter grocery store tomato.

Bon appétit and happy New Year!

THANK YOU. I was on WIC fora year as a breastfeeding mom and they give you 30oz of tuna per month. I have a huge stockpile of tuna, and mostly make casserole and salad. I welcome all these reccomendations with open arms :-)
They only allowed you to buy the lower-mercury kind of tuna (chunk light? as opposed to solid white or albacore), and could also buy canned sardines and canned salmon. I mostly opted for the tuna because I didn't know what to do with the other two.
I joined just now mainly so I could comment with a recipe :) My mum used to make these for my sister and I, and they're SO versatile - you can swap out pretty much anything if you don't have it. I wrote this up on my "food for one" style recipe blog, so just triple/quadruple the ingredients...

Easy Vegetable Fritters
Serves 1 as a main or 2 as a side dish

1 potato, peeled, grated
1 zucchini, grated
1 tin tuna or salmon, flaked
125g tin of corn kernels, drained, rinsed
1 egg
1/2 cup plain flour
approximately 1/4 cup milk

Lightly whisk the egg in a bowl. Add all other ingredients and stir well. Heat a little olive oil in a non-stick frypan and place heaped spoonfuls of batter in, flattening them slightly. Cook until golden on each side.

This should make eight medium sized fritters (cooked in two batches of four). You could use a teaspoon instead to make smaller fritters for little fingers or to serve as an appetizer.

Feel free to add more vegetables: some frozen peas, grated carrot, diced onion or leek, maybe some sweet potato. Just watch that there's enough batter to hold everything together!
Thanks for the corn salad recipe. Trying to eat a little healthier and this sounds perfect. I haven't eaten tuna since I was a kid but these recipes sound so yummy, I might have to give tuna a second chance.
I really dislike tuna...however, my grandma "gifted" me two cans of canned chicken. Any idea if these recipes would convert well over to using chicken instead?
I'm not personally a corn salad sort of fan, but that tuna turnover sounds amazing. The best part is I actually have these ingredients to make!

I'll certainly be making up a couple of these during tomorrow and I thank you greatly for the recipe. It's not something I've tried before; I'm really looking forward to it. :)
Thanks so much for the recipes! You make it sound so laid back and easy, I'm totally thinking about making some tuna yumminess right now, especially some tuna coquettes. Probably just seared instead of fried though :D
For the tomatoes and corn salad, with kidney beans, onions, and basil is my favourite.
I'm gonna try the tuna turnover, thanks!
Thank you for your enthusiasm, everyone! It makes me more excited about my own cooking, even. Perhaps next I will do the Hotdog.
My dad used to make salmon pie with canned salmon. It was basically the salmon mashed with potatoes and onions in pie crust. I can't remember how it was seasoned, but it was very simple, maybe just salt and pepper. We ate it with ketchup, like we did tourtière/meat pie. Just a good, hearty Canuck meal. My dad's good for that stuff as well as the fancier recipes. :)