Sunday, December 2, 2007

Tuna Polynesian

My apologies for having been out of action for so long. I knew that with things heating up at my job, November would be a difficult month, but I didn’t realize it would be that difficult. It was easier than last year in one respect: In 2006 my Thanksgiving week featured a case of food poisoning on Monday, recovery on Tuesday, and the replacement of our gas stove on the Wednesday—except for the connection of the new stove to our gas supply, which despite being scheduled for Wednesday evening didn’t actually happen until Friday. As you can imagine, that made it (ahem) challenging to host our annual vegetarian Thanksgiving party. This year we were more fortunate. No food poisoning, a fully functioning stove, and a truly delicious vegetarian celebration.

But we are not here to talk about good food. We are here to talk about things like tuna and pineapple in mayonnaise. As I write up this recipe I feel like I’m making a sudden change of plan. In the Dole pineapple cookbook in which this recipe appears, The Thatched Kitchen, Tuna Polynesian follows two molded salads and appears opposite a large photo of a rather pretty mold, “Ruby Borscht Salad.” (I have never had borscht, but for a negative view see this Bateman365 animation; note there is adult language.) Anyway, because of this context I have been laboring under the impression that Tuna Polynesian is a molded salad, and so I was relieved to see that it is not. To my mind, tuna and pineapple in mayonnaise is just a tad less spectacularly bad than tuna and pineapple in gelatin. My distaste comes from the fact that I really, really hate canned tuna. I like tuna in sushi; I’m not sure why I’m so picky about canned tuna. Maybe because when you grow up in Indiana you so often encounter it in gloppy mayonnaise mixtures or in starchy baked casseroles, which don’t do the stuff justice. Assuming there is justice to be done.

Also, the idea of using the pineapple syrup to rehydrate the dried onion makes me cringe.

Tuna Polynesian
1 can (1 lb. 4 oz) Dole Pineapple Chunks
2 cans (7 oz. ea.) solid packed tuna
1 cup diagonally sliced celery
1 tablespoon instant minced onion
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup dairy sour cream
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
crisp salad greens

Drain pineapple, reserving 2 tablespoons syrup. Drain tuna well. Chunk tuna; combine with pineapple in a deep bowl. Add celery. Allow onions to stand in reserved pineapple syrup until rehydrated. Blend mayonnaise, sour cream, curry powder and seasoned salt. Stir in onion. Pour over tuna tossing to combine. Spoon onto crisp salad greens to serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

From The Thatched Kitchen: Harvest & Holiday Cookbook. Honolulu: Castle & Cooke, 1972.

6 comments:

Samatakah said...

I really really like tuna fish. I would even try this recipe, but I would never put 14 ounces of tuna against 20 ounces of pineapple. This is a pineapple salad, not a tuna salad.

I'd probably do four ounces of pineapple and use scallions, and leave out the Lawry's altogether. But I'm a tuna freak. And by the way, I'd only try it if I HAD TO.

richard said...

While I'd likely use scallions and skip the curry powder, this doesn't sound as horrible as I thought it would. I read the list of ingredients expecting marshmallow fluff or lime gelatin or raisins or something... I'm a bit disappointed that it's not as horrible as I was expecting.

richard said...

I just noticed I'm not alone on the scallion theory.

sally said...

Also, the idea of using the pineapple syrup to rehydrate the dried onion makes me cringe.

Just a cringe? Not a rising gorge or churning stomach? You're a much stronger woman than I.

I can eat tuna rarely. I eat pineapple almost never. And certainly never with tuna.

Kimberly Ann said...

I hate to say it, but I would give this sucker a try. I love pineapple with odd pairings. Pineapple and onion pizza is one of my favs.

catalina said...
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