Green Tuna Salad, Red Potato Chips

The avocado. I am in awe of the perfection of this fruit (yes, it’s a fruit). It’s green, clean flavor and smooth, fatty texture are heavenly to me, its color is gorgeous, it’s my summer ambrosia, if only they could grow in Tennessee! Luckily, Mexico’s not far!

The other day I came upon an ad for tuna, dubbed “the wonderfish” in a Southern Living magazine. Beside the ad was a recipe for a mayonnaise-less tuna salad, using the creamy flesh of avocados as the binder for the tuna instead. In fact, it’s basically just a simple guacamole with tuna folded in. Now, that made me excited, because not only do I have a love affair with avocado, but I have quite recently developed an affinity for tuna. Yes, I was once a picky young eater, and tuna salad was one thing my parents made that sent me to the other room or had me preparing a Hot Pocket or grilled cheese dinner. I thought it smelled terrible, and perhaps all that mayonnaise aided in disgusting me. But now I realize my past misjudgment. Canned tuna, preferably white Albacore tuna, is delicious, healthy, and very versatile! The tuna ad also said “35 Latin lovers dancing the Lambada agree—tuna is good for your heart!” That Tuna Council even has cute advertising.

Saturday I made these Avocado Tuna Salad sandwiches for Mollie and the family before Dad, Mollie, and I set out for Cookeville’s first-ever wine festival. They were a hit! Saturday morning I had bought some red new potatoes at our local farmer’s market, so I made them into oven chips and stirred up some Garlic Mayonnaise to serve with them. Also a hit! This was a perfect lunch and a perfect meal with enough fat to ready our stomachs for an afternoon filled with sunshine and glass after glass of Tennessee wine. The festival, too, was a (blurry) success! (See previous post: Wine on the West Side 2011)

Avocado Tuna Salad

2 (5 oz.) cans of tuna, drained
½ small red onion, chopped fine
2 ripe avocados
3 tsp lime juice
salt (to taste)
fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)

tomato slices
alfalfa sprouts

Flake the tuna and mix it in a bowl with the chopped red onion. In another bowl, mash the avocado flesh with the lime juice. Fold the tuna into the mashed avocado and add salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste. *Makes enough for 5 sandwiches.

Serve on your favorite toasted bread with tomato slices and alfalfa sprouts (optional)!

‘New Red Potato’ Cracked Pepper Oven Chips

5 medium-sized red new potatoes (or whatever potatoes you like)
vegetable oil, to coat
freshly ground black pepper

Cut potatoes into thin round slices and put them in a large bowl. Add enough oil to coat the potatoes. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet (or two) and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour or until done. Serve with Garlic Mayonnaise (recipe below).

Garlic Mayonnaise, a.k.a. The Best Stuff Ever
¾ cup mayonnaise
3 large garlic cloves, minced

Stir the garlic into the mayonnaise and let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so. Simple as that. Strong garlic flavor—a delicious dip for fries and great on burgers and sandwiches!