Saturday, November 24, 2012

Tuna Biscuit Braid: I Kist Cheap Tuna Goodbye

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Big tunas,

Being from the Pacific Northwest, it's probably not surprising that I am pretty particular about my seafood.  Aside from the fresh and world-famous fare we can purchase in Seattle and the nearby harbors, my husband is a spearfishing diver and often brings home the bacon in the form of ling cod and spotted prawns.

I love this coast! 
Stands to reason, then, that I can't abide sub-standard, cheaply-tinned run-of-the-paper-mill tuna fish.  Yech.  Shredding, dry, reminiscent of particle board, smelling funky and in scrawny little aluminum cans, I once thought ol' tuna fish sandwiches (and all other things tuna) were a thing of my past.

Not so.

Welcome, would you, the TunaGuys.

Tender, moist, huge, perfect flakes.  Pink, fresh meat, without a hint of "fishy" smell; tenderly canned, these tuna are caught and processed in the USA and sold from their Washington state small business.  Spanish Style Yellowfin is probably my favorite; slick with the natural oils of the tuna meat, with slices of carrot, peppercorns and other delicate flavors, a can of this disappears faster than I can throw the little tin lid away.

This tuna is more expensive than the grocery store garbage, but rest assured it is not the same thing.  This is no Bumbled Bee-minus.  You could hardly expect to pay the same for a lobster dinner as you do for a dollar-menu cheeseburger!  The huge chunks in this can are known for being eaten straight out of the container (would you ever do that with Smelling of the Sea?).  If I am I going to enjoy tuna (and I do, I do!), it's going to be with the finest, most flavorful of all.  And these cans are so full of meaty goodness, I use one can, mixed with chopped celery, pickles, relish, spices, mayonnaise, mustard, tomatoes, carrots, and peppers, to make three fat sandwiches!

Imagine my ecstatic joy when my aunt and uncle (the ones who originally introduced me to this wondrous delicacy) gave Mr H and I an entire case for Christmas!!  Oh, there was singing that night.

Like most good things, after you've tasted of the best, you just can't ever go back.  Once, after being introduced to this fine fare, I was In the Mood for Tuna and, thinking the difference must be all in my head, went to the store and bought a can.

I ended up feeding it to a feral cat.

Tuna Biscuit Braid
This is a wonderful way to use tuna!  I am sorry there aren't more pictures - it was quite literally gobbled too quickly for me to snap any more than just one!!  Somewhere I have a stash of process photos - if I ever find them, I'll update this post!  
Mom made this for us when we were growing up, and I had to beg her for the recipe and finally learned to make this fun and memorable dinner myself!

2 cans (6 1/2-7 oz.) tuna, drained & flaked
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. minced onions
½ tsp. salt

Mix tuna, mayonnaise, parsley, lemon juice, onion and salt. Prepare biscuit dough.

Biscuit dough - Southern Biscuits

2 cups flour
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp soda
1/3 cup shortening or lard
2/3 cup buttermilk or milk

Heat oven to 425°. Measure flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and soda into bowl. Cut in shortening thoroughly until mixture looks like meal. Stir in almost all the buttermilk. If dough is not pliable add just enough milk to make a soft, puffy, easy-to-roll dough. Round up dough on lightly floured, cloth-covered board. Knead lightly about 20-25 times, about ½ minute. Roll into rectangle 12 x 10 inches, a little less than ½” thick.. Place on ungreased baking sheet.

Spread filling down center of dough. Make 7 cuts down each side from edge of dough to tuna filling. Bring first 2 opposite strips over filling, seal ends. Continue to criss-cross remaining strips. Bake 15-20 minutes. Serve slices topped with creamed peas. Note: Serves 6-8.

Cream Sauce (Medium)

2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
¼ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 cup milk
1 pkg frozen peas

Tun' in later for more deliciousness,

Mrs H

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