Saturday, February 23, 2013

Feeding the Lenten Catholic's Wife

Of my acquaintances, I would say that only two of them are Mass-going Catholics.  Neither one of them is Richie.  Instead, it is his quaint custom to annually insist on "No Meat on Friday."

Early on in this marriage, before I got smarter and Trader Joe moved into the neighborhood, I absolute hated this habit of his.  It meant that for seven or eight Fridays in a row, I had macaroni and cheese because I won't eat any fish except canned tuna.  Let me hasten to add that I do love shrimp, crab, crawfish and lobster. 

In thrashing about for a dinner we could both enjoy, remembering the constraints listed above, I came up with tuna dishes.  The first was macaroni tuna salad.  It was a nice change from mac and cheeese.

Half a package of elbow macaroni, or as much as you think you need, cooked and set aside
1 can of tuna - anyway you like it, oil or water-packed.
3/4 cup chopped pimento-stuffed olives
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapenos (optional)
Mayonnaise to your taste - barely coating or dripping.
     Mix it all up, let it chill for a bit and serve.

(After Lent, substitute a can of white chicken meat)
Half a package of noodles, cooked and set aside.
1 can tuna, any style
1 can cream of mushroom soup - don't dilute
1 can water chestnuts, drained
1/2 half medium white onion, chopped
A big hunk of Velveeta cheese, cut in 1 in. dice
1/2 cup chopped green pepper

Mix all ingredients and bake in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes or so.  Remember that the cheese will melt and so you need to stir it occasionally.  In the interests of speed, you could also heat everything up in a saucepan while you cook the noodles and simply pour the sauce over the cooked noodles and stir.

Richie discovered this one; in fact he made it last night
Amount of linguini you'll eat, cooked and set aside
1 can tuna
1/2 half red onion, thinly sliced
2 T garlic, chopped
1/2 cup lemon juice
12 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
2 T capers, chopped
Parsley to garnish

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and cook the red onion until translucent
Add the garlic and stir frequently.
Add the lemon juice, olives, capers and tuna, stirring gently. Toss in the linguini, mix well and serve. 

If this all sounds too tedius for words, I recommend Joe's Crab Shack.

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