Tuna hot dish is a food product that has a nearly legendary reputation as being a Midwestern comfort food served at home, church functions and at public institutions. The typical list of ingredients includes canned tuna, potato chips, cream of mushroom soup to which may be added various amounts of cheese, salt and nuts.
The problem is that while tuna and nuts are healthy ingredient almost everything else is not, with the result that the dish is carbohydrate, fat and salt rich. After listening once more to Garrison Keeler’s expositions on hot dish, I decided to see if I could come up with something at least a bit better from the point of view of enhancing the better ingredients and reducing or eliminating the harmful ones.
With bold resolve and casting about the kitchen to see what I had in my cabinets this is what I came up with. It turned out good without adding any salt and using crushed red pepper to pop up the taste a bit.
1 12-ounce can tuna packed in water
2 medium Irish Potatoes very thinly sliced
1/2 medium Spanish onion finely diced
1/4 cut cabbage
1X2 inch block low-fat white cheese
1/4 cup of skim milk
1/4 cup slivered almonds unsalted
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Put olive oil in black-iron frying pan and allow to heat. Add thinly sliced potatoes and stir until potatoes start to brown. Add onions, and cut-up cabbage. Allow onions to partly cook and cabbage to start to wilt. As mix dries pour in and mix tuna allowing some of the water to evaporate. In the meantime heat and whisk together about a 1X2-inch block of white low-fat cheese (any type) in a quarter-cup of skim milk to form a smooth mixture.
Wipe Pyrex dish with olive oil and pour in contents of frying pan. Add all other ingredients and place in oven at 350 degrees. Allow to cook until excess moisture evaporates (about 15 min.). Serve hot.
If I had fresh mushrooms, I would have added those to the frying pan mix. As for nuts almost any will serve including almonds, pecans, walnuts or hickory nuts so long as they are unsalted.
My four-member tasting panel, Demeter, Diana, Zeus and Casey enthusiastically approved of this dish.