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A brief history of tuna taco time

26 Mar

Canned Tuna fish: love or hate her she’s here to stay. Delicioso dinosaur: aqui ahora antes us y will be despues. And like the very air we share, tunafish has touched all of our tongues if not at least our nostrils – whether we asked for it or no – as this white and gray matter Del mar has shapeshifted to round out dishes as diverse as a dilettante Italian white bean bruschetta topper or a down and dirty truck stop tuna fish salad wedge.
Serving as many culinary roles as Mc Donald’s sells hamburgers; a veritable Zelig de la lengua – like the Happy Meals of our youths and the custom Starbux beverage of today’s contemporary our lifestyle – this grave y feo pescado, like any web browser worth its gigabytes in NSA spyware serves as a history menu listing of our life and times. 
And sooooooo heeeeeeereeeee’s mine:
A Brief Personal History of Tuna Time, if you will and I don’t mind if I do – replayed in the voice of Steven Hawking:
1970 – nature vs nurture vs nutrition
Hola first forkful of the family casserole: 

Tunanoodlepea, made by Mom.. A Miracle Whip based conglomerate, as essential a Az summer staple as air conditioning (with a side of salty plain potato chips, washed down con fruit punch), a source of comfort and controversy (See: Mayonnaise vs Miracle Whip epic rap battles) and anchor throughout the red ‘you are here’ dots mapping my peripatetic vida. 
Significant how? The binding genome for a family of four adopted kids.  
1980s- Soundeconomies

For those of us bypassed by the greed gene, this decade painted in hues of excess, pastel and acid wash – but for the saving graces of late punk rock and early Camper Van Beethoven – well it like totally kind of sucked. The currency plugged into my rebellious jukebox twernt coke nor junk bonds not sushi but canned tuna fish and cloves and nicked Buzzcocks tapes. A cupboard stocked with Bumble Bee meant an empty checking account and a menu rich in creative approaches to cooking with tuna tuna tuna: tuna helper, tuna Mac and cheese, tuna burgers, tuna melts, and gracias grande to you both Sassy Magazine and Sonic Youth for printing a glorious recipe I still punk rock today: tuna tacos.
Economics covered, onto the sonics…
How I survived the 80s has been noted and memorialized on or is it in this agui IFLAG by working getting fired then working again getting fired then rehired again and again by my dear, bittersweet late mother: sole proprietor of the award-winning Tempe,Az hoagie shop Bellyfillers. The lay-offs rained whenever Teen Anst got the better of me and I got snappy with either customers and/or the sole proprietor. 
And yeah, maybe I once got caught answering the phone ‘Bellykillers’ only because the caller just so happened to be the sole proprietor. Never, I repeat never I did I once taint – with or without my taint – even so much as a crumb served to our outstanding clientele. Making the best fucking food you ever tasted was a priori. Forcing you to listen to ‘Orgasm Addict’ (on cassette) at an ear-piercing pitch while you waited for TBFFYET, well, that may have accounted for one or two of the grievances passed on to the sole proprietor who passed on to me mi pink slips.
Diga me though, has not my 1981 pre-Pandora practice of playing pre-recorded music in a dining establishment so loud you couldn’t even hear yourself chew (and I could not hear your complaints about its volume) become the norm? Escuche: try whispering your order at any bourgeois burger joint or Starbucks. See what that gets ya.
One might have easily assayed Pete Townsed-sized hearing loss by stopping in Bellyfillers before the sole proprietor handed over the spatula to her 13 year old son or the award winning tuna fish salad supply needle neared ‘E’. 
Escuche: What the tuna salad recipe lacked in original ingredients – kind of like diction in IFLAG analogies – it made up with an invisible secret ingredient: sound. The tone deaf need not apply as my replacement. Each and every last employee (including my 10-year old sister who holds the silver medal in firings with 4) need pass tuna tuning training. A harmonious blended batch of canned tuna in water, chopped onions, relish and ahem – miracle whip, which we always referred to as mayo – had to achieve a certain pre-slosh splkurth but never so much as a slosh. Turning and folding and mixing each pungent batch with as delicate and deft a hand as that of a soufflé chef you’d think the greater concern be that it risked bruising the pescado all the while holding an ear tuned to each turn: Magic. Put a fork in as soon as it sounds as if recorded could easily pass for the foley effect of a zombies head being bashed in by a cricket wicket.
Nose Scientists press states that 87% of food & beverage taste comes not from brain IM from la lengua but invisibly via Smell. Escuche up ear scientists: what’s your cut? The ear scientists hypothesize music fires up more neurons at once than any other human activity. Then Check this hypothesis out for super size: If you mute the OST at say random sample say McChipolte, upon first bite into a burrito dragged through the jardin a brain freed from Adele’s undulations nourishment neurons will properly light up like a scoreboard, teeetimg to the rest of your gourd how aforeforaged burrito now sounds and tastes like a cilantro and lime perfumed Taco Bell special. (Hold the helping of hate on TB, my being both a fan and stockholder of their superior hot sauces)

The 90s: http://www.tuna.com
We’ll lets just leave what this might mean to your id.

The Aughts: the great recession-proof pescado.
Were it not for gratis elk and food stamps I’d have been reduced in both income and economic stature to have inhaled enough tuna To sport gills. More than Quite a few links down on the food chain did yo slip, noting a notable uptick in Starkist and Bumblebee stock, me. Notable new variations on this veritable steak of the starving masses: nada one.
2010 – present: a tuna melt Medicaid for the millennium.
Student loans and gainful employment were this blog’s roux, where lard is lord, carne king, queso Queen – is it obvious kids books influence? – pork prince, beans boss, eggs some superlative word starting with ‘e’, chile the caca, butter beatific along with all the other loyal servants of the Az-Mex empire gathered to feed mi estomago and fill mi Corazon. My Held Steady upright forages and ruminations ahora along with previously undocumented, at times messy yet never not ecstatic, weekly assignation with double Chicago cheeseburgers of every stripe have been a source of binary joy I made an ass out of u and med twert accessible sin Googling la palabra porn. Tambien, according to my previously private until aqui medical records this la Comida Del Santos spiked my previously held steady cholesterol content. Because I’ve yet to concoct an AzMex plata con oatmeal (oatmeal as to cholesterol as Sherrif Joe Arrapaio is to ‘Mexicans’) brings me back to Tuna
Lo-Cho Nuevo-Mexi-Talian Tuna Tacos
Listo?
Chop ½ cup onion

InaBowl

Open and drain can-o-tuna

InaBowl

Dollop-o-mayo

InaBowl

Soy sauce splash

InaBowl

Salt & Pepper & pinch-o-Mexican oregano

Stir & set aside

InaBowl
Seed, stem & chop defrosted fresh roasted NM green chile approx 4 Big Jims (a small can of hatch will pass)
Pre-heat Oven: 425
Open pack small corn torts (El Milagro en Chicago)

Open Trader Joes tub-o-parmasean/Regiano/or any other dry/sharp Italian queso

Open/drain canned sliced black olives from California.

Layer on tort: tuna chile cheese – heat till bubbly and/or kitchen smells like Chinatown in July.
Cue up ‘Orgasm Addict”
Comer

If it looks like fish, smells like fish, and tastes like fish…

20 Jul

it must be fishy. Verdad? And if it’s a fish cake, should it be cakey? Served on a hamburger bun, bunny? Yet we’ve  been told bunny is supposed to taste chickeny, just like her cold-blooded anicmal friends froggy, alligatory and rattlesnakey?

it-tastes-like-chicken_5102434f91b3a

And if this all sounds mildly insaney that’s because waking hours ’round here pass interpreting the caterwauly requests of a 4 week old and/or re-re-re-re-reading books written for the under 4 set to the nearly 2 tortilla model which makes this blogger’s brain jell-o-y.

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So dig this big crux: even with dbl dad duties I managed to corral ingredients for a flippin’ rico patty as salmonly as it is Az-Mexi.

Before heading onto the recipe – and possiblamente the cooking secret of the century – as is my habit, I must clear my head:

Where is the logic in tossing out fishy fish? I mean, if it were gummy or furry or gnawing on your testicles, yeah, fish gotta go.

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Whomsoever won’t eat their meat meaty, fish fishy or elk elky can head on over to the latest vegan blog for a Satany seitan dish (conspiracy theory sidebar: veganism no doubt is the work of Satan. Mira, el diablo figures if he can convert Homo sapiens over to not eating and killing animals, well unless the Internet beats them to it, once the rest of animal kingdom friends up on Facebook, they will surely rise up and destroy us all.)

dayoftheanimals_poster

But because as I blogged antes, ‘my idea of seafood is a cow standing in a puddle’ one might pensar I’d be the last person on earth – save the few remaining teetoaling vegans foraging for twigs and loam – to delight in a fishy dish concocted from pungent Puget sound canned pink salmon
(actually from Trader Joe’s, Chicago).

Message to ‘The One’ doubter, in the words of the prophet James Brown, ‘Get Up Offa That Thing” and get up on this:

Stinkin’ Salmony Salmon Green Chile Gringo Fishy Fish Cakes

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The Innards:

1 can of canned Pink Salmon (skin, bones and all)

1 quarter bag of roasted, peeled, defrosted (duh) NM green chile (in a pinch roast, peel and seed a fresh jalapeno)

1 egg

1 handful binder (I used saltines, flour and bread crumbs will do)

1/3 cup of roasted cut fresh from the cob corn (0r canned)

chopped handful of fresh cilantro, parsley and scallions

salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste

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Optional toppings: lime, sour cream, crumbly queso blanco, fried egg.

Optional edible delivery vehicles: hamburger bun, english muffin, etc


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The How To:

Mash together the fishy, stinky mess with your bare hands then form patties. Size does not matter. Fridge till firm. Fire up the grill to medium. Grill 3-5 a side. NOTE: Don’t blame me if the cakes lose their firm grip on the grates and jump to their own fiery death.

Orale, ready for that how about that Cooking Secret of The 21st Century? Glad you reminded me – wait for it –

How to prevent a fish cake freefall through the grill grates.

Option A – My Great Idea:
Add binder. Fine and dandy if you prefer your fish to taste, um, ‘bricky’.

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Option B. y mi esposa gets full credit for aqui y ahora: Fry the patties up on a piping hot griddle. No caca, right?

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You, in the back row with your hand up, pinching your nose, you have a question? How do I compensate for the essential and superb deliciousness of ‘grilly’ness?

Uno word mi amigo: butter.

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Anyone who has a beef with ‘buttery’, I say let’s feed ‘that one’ to the salmon.

On ‘The One’ now if you please, JB: