Tuna on Toasted English Muffins *sigh.* Goddamned canned tuna.
I have never liked canned tuna, even more so after Tuna Cheese Macaroni Loaf. But I chose #80 for my latest meal because I already had canned tuna in the house and a grapefruit was the last unused item from my Arganica Farm Club crate (by the way, I totally kicked that crate’s ass. I froze the fresh rosemary that was included, but aside from that, I used every single thing in the box). Yeah, so I’m scared of canned tuna. Alas, I have to make all of the meals, so sooner or later I’d face this bad boy. Might as well be now.
Well, I’m going to give you a quick rundown of #80 because I am enjoying a night at home, just me, Brian the cat and a bottle of white wine I am looking forward to watching My Stepson, My Lover on the Lifetime Movie Network. I am extra-excited for two reasons: 1. I haven’t seen it before (and I feel like I’ve seen them all). 2. The title might be one of the best ever–perhaps only trumped by the great Tori Spelling Trifecta: Co-ed Call Girl,Death of a Cheerleader, and Mother…May I Sleep With Danger?.
OK! Let’s do this thing!
I was all ready to hate #80 because it includes 3 things that I just do not like:
- Canned tuna (I have made this abundantly clear numerous times).
- Grapefruit. I don’t know, I just don’t like it unless it’s in a Greyhound.
- White sauce. Or cream sauce. Basically any kind of sauce. From here on out sauces will be classified as gravies–a food subset that I just can’t make.
- Oh, there’s a fourth! I hate anything that involves baking.
It was heavy with heavy cream, but it was a white sauce that didn’t separate or clump.
At 5:55 I put all of the ingredients into the thinned (somewhat) white sauce. I folded in the tuna, eggs, tomatoes, ketchup, water chestnuts and mayonnaise. It’s important to note that I used the Japanese Kewpie Mayonnaise which previously appeared in the yum-yum dipping sauce that accompanied Sweet and Sour Shrimp. I think that the inclusion of Kewpie was key in #80. I suspect regular mayo would have been too thick–especially since I was starting with a hefty sauce.
At 6pm I threw it all into the casserole dish and got it into a 325 degree oven. Now, while my creamy, eggy, mayonnaise tuna mixture was bubbling in the oven I did the following:
- Glazed the cooled spice cake with a lemon glaze (1 cup confectioner’s sugar mixed with 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice).
- Sectioned the grapefruit. It turned out to be a red grapefruit. It was weird. It didn’t smell at all citrusy. It smelled kinda rank to be honest, but it tasted the way grapefruit is supposed to taste. Odd.
- Mixed the Lemon-Oil dressing. I eyeballed it, but it included: olive oil, fresh lemon juice, fresh grapefruit juice, white balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
- Assembled the salad.
At 6:40 I uncovered the casserole dish to brown, and toasted the English Muffins.
At 6:45 the dish was out of the oven and was plated and photographed by 6:50.
Here’s a surprise: this dish was so damn good! True story. I don’t know if it was the copious amounts of heavy cream or the Kewpie mayo, but Dinner is Served! did the impossible: I ate canned tuna and liked it. Now, I know what you’re thinking–this unbelievable feat was only possible because the sauce utterly and completely masked the tuna flavor. But that’s wrong! Wrong because I could totally taste the tuna, but it was just a hint o’ tuna and it really completed the dish. The smidge of seafood was key to the success of #80, because without it, it would’ve been just a white sauce with some tomato and water chestnuts thrown in. The tuna is like the Canadian Bacon on an Eggs Benedict–it gives it that little something extra. It’s the protein that ties the dish together and makes it a meal.
In fact, the best way that I can describe #80 is a cross of Eggs Benedict and Crab Imperial. It was very rich, and kinda decadent. If you substituted canned crab meat or fake crab (surimi) for the tuna, it would be the poor man’s Crab Imperial.
Right hand up to God, I would consider making this again with a shellfish substitute.
This was a baking success. I consider it one because nothing was burned nor tried to consume my oven. Although it was just a spice cake mix, I did make my own glaze. The leftovers were popular in office’s lunch room.
I made a fairly good white sauce and feel more confident about future gravies and sauces.
I still do not like grapefruit.
I got my ass served by Dinner is Served!, right? I didn’t think it was possible, but I not only ate, but enjoyed, a culinary concoction containing canned tuna. Furthermore, I ate the leftovers for lunch the next day. Man, if you had told me right after Tuna Cheese Macaroni Loaf from hell that I would EVER like a tuna casserole, I’d never believe it. But here we are…
Now, I’m gonna go watch the hell out of some LMN.
But one last thing before I do! Here is a cool Chicken of the Sea ad with a Tuna Macaroni Cheese Loaf scarier than the DiS! version because it has layers. LAYERS!