Friday, May 25, 2012

Tostadas de Atun (Tuna Tostadas), an UnRecipe Recipe

I had a bit of a debate with myself about posting this dish. I mean, it's tuna and a bunch of other stuff on a tostada. Nothing gets cooked. Pretty basic stuff. Tasty to be sure -  but worth blogging about?

Then again ...  things like boxed cake mix, Cool Whip-based desserts, and Jello pudding with a handful of raisins tossed in seem to count as recipes - so why not a tuna tostada?  It's so very Sandra Lee.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not claiming I make a homemade meal from scratch every single night - not by a long shot. The occasional sandwich, grilled sausage, or canned soup is certainly served at Casa de Trix. But when I put a little extra somethin' somethin'  into, say, a sauce I bought at the grocery store, I don't particularly feel compelled to tell you about it.  (Of course the exception proves the rule, like this fabulous doctored cake mix post by my friend Trevor. But then, most people can't pull this off with such aplomb.)

Truth be told, I did write about some rather questionable things early on in the life of this blog, so I'm not complaining about anything I haven't been guilty of myself. But I have tried to make amends. (As an aside, I am thinking of changing the name of this blog from "Tasty Trix" to "Cranky Trix." Thoughts?)

That said, make of this non recipe what you will, and feel free to mock me in the comments. I can take it. In its defense, it involves chopping things up with a knife.

And it's pretty, and pretty can get away with anything, right?

I had the prototype at Cantina La Mascota in Mexico City:

I actually hadn't enjoyed tuna salad in exactly this way before - it's light and herby, and it doesn't feel heavy, as it's dairy-free - so perhaps this post is a little bit useful after all?

I try.

I added a lovely layer of guacamole - not only did this give a  flavor boost to this dish, it solved the problem of the tuna falling off of the tostada. Mmm, guacamole glue.

Given that this is an unrecipe, I won't bother giving you amounts - just eyeball it. The key thing here is that you must - must! - use oil packed tuna, not that dreadful bland water packed stuff.

 For the tuna: 2 cans oils packed (such as Genova or Cento), 1 cup of halved grape tomatoes, a bunch of chopped chives and/or the greens from spring onions, minced red onion, a healthy handful of chopped cilantro, salt and pepper and lots of fresh key lime juice. Lots and lots. That's key. Basically, you almost want more "stuff" than tuna.

For the guacamole, I kept it simple -  2 avocados, one minced jalapeno, a drizzle of olive oil, a bit of cilantro, salt, pepper, and more of that lime juice. I also rubbed the bowl I mixed it in with a smashed garlic clove.

I won't insult your intelligence by explaining to you how to assemble it ... pretty straightforward, yes?
This really is greater than the sum of its parts, and just the thing for a summer lunch. Next time, though ... I think I'll post a real recipe.


  1. Trix, So you are saying I should put the tuna on top of the guacamole or do I mix it into it? When do we mix up the tuna with the dressing? Maybe I'll just make a sandwich. I have recipes for that. Not all of us out here have the smarts to figure out this stuff y'know.

    Thanks for the shout out. I remember the internal debate I had on whether or not to post on a cake mix are right, its all in the telling I guess.

    More seriously, I find posts by bloggers on this type of food very interesting. I think we should share more what we eat on 'off nights' as usually, while simple, it also has a great deal of personal style. Like these tostadas. Beautiful, healthy, and easy. Mostly, delicious. I appreciate you sharing it!

  2. I do not have an aversion to quick mix items nor items that are "Sandra Lee". We all need to take short cuts sometimes!
    Also, cold food is definitely in order for these hot days ahead, so this is perfect. I will need to try the tuna with the guac, very unique! Enjoy the weekend.

  3. Why not to post non-cooking food :). This seems tasty and it looks pretty!

  4. If Dorie can put unrecipes in a cookbook, I think you are good.
    I think it is inspiration for those of us who aren't always so inspired.

  5. This sounds fabulous. And I can't agree more about using tuna packed in olive oil. Makes all the difference!

    1. Oh, and, as far as I'm concerned, if you like it, it's worth blogging about. Chances are someone out there hasn't heard or thought of it, and will like it, too.

  6. La Thon et les taco et la langue d'amour! GREG

  7. For an unrecipe this is da bomb. This includes many of my favorite things on top of a crunchy crispy really can't go wrong. The pictures are amazing as well. Maybe I'll enjoy a plate of these while I sun bathe in my back yard...allll friggen weekend :)

  8. I love these should see some of my dinners when I've done a lot of baking...not so gourmet. And this is definitely a lot better than I've seen from Sandra Lee :)

  9. Your photos look amazing. Love the close-ups.

  10. I concur with the majority - the un-recipes are very useful as reminders. They give us an inspiration:) I would never think of preparing tuna this way and for me, your post is very useful:)
    Have a great weekend!

  11. Some of the simple foods are the best. This looks good. I would eat it.

  12. I have no idea why such a strong need to apologize, we ll have these silly but amazing recipe. I have not bought tuna in oil in a long time. And guacamole glue..yumm.

  13. I love n0n-recipe ideas, after all don't we just play with components more times than not? :) This is such a unique idea and looks so why not!

  14. I'm cracking up at Trevor's comment! But agree with the others that non or unrecipes are worth blogging about. I think we have all shared our unrecipes or lazy night recipes. There's no wrong in it. But I do have to agree with you that recipes that resemble Sandra Lee's are not blog worthy, well at least not on my blog. To each his own. Anywho, I love tostadas de atun. This used to be the only type of "tuna salad" I had growing up. Loved it!

  15. nice idea.. thanks for sharing.