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"We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie." David Mamet

Sunday, December 12, 2010

lori's favorite gadget

The Down-Home Holiday Guide to Kitchen Gadgets
When dedicated to tuna, a two-bladed mezzaluna is a tuna chopper, $15 and up 
Lori's beloved gadget is a tuna chopper (aka, double-bladed Mezzaluna) - My favorite kitchen gadget is my tuna chopper. It is double-bladed and decades old and was part of my used to have a red metal handle but now the paint's mostly gone. No matter. The blades work perfectly. Since tuna is one of my favorite foods (the way I make it, of course) that tuna chopper is part of my soul, my family, and when I use it I always feel a comfort, like all is right with the world...(continued, with Lori's famous recipe)

Also used to make the best egg salad (everyone loves my tuna and my egg salad), I use the chopper with a wooden bowl. The wooden bowl I'm currently using is not the one I grew up with - that cracked at some point - but it's got to be 20 years old, at least. 

I love my tuna chopper. Whenever I make tuna, which is about once a week or so, I always feel like, "hey, I have the perfect thing and it's going to make perfect tuna." Then I pull out the chopper.
PS: I have sometimes been on the phone with friends, happily chopping away, and they'll suddenly say, "Hey, are you making tuna right now?" They know me! And my tuna. It's famous!

Lori's basic but unbeatable recipe
Bumble Bee Solid White tuna
A few tablespoons white vinegar
Hellman's real (deal) mayo
1 chopper - preferably double-bladed
1 wooden chopping bowl
Big spoon and fork
Open cans of tuna and squinch mercilessly. This means really get the moisture out - especially important if you are using tuna packed in oil, but still important with water-packed. Empty cans into wooden bowl. The wood soaks up any oil or fishiness. Start chopping! Think of the chopping as if you are chopping tuna into miniscule squares, not shreds. For some reason this makes it less fishy, at least in my mind! Every so often AERATE the tuna by lifting the tuna with the chopper, FLUFF it, as if to let air in between the tuna that's getting weighty as it gets chopped. I think the LIFTING makes the tuna lighter and less fishy, but it really probably means it mixes and holds the mayo easier. When chopped completely and to satisfaction (I like it well and uniformly chopped), I add a few tablespoons (or capfuls) of white vinegar, about 2 tablespoons per can. The vinegar neutralizes any fishiness (again with the fishiness!) but also gives the tuna a fresh taste.
Again, FLUFF it around - by now you can use chopper or big spoon. Add mayo to taste. I like mine creamy but not out of control - gotta see the tuna in there!
Serve on: Matzoh, flatbread, toasted bagel, 12-grain bread, english muffin
Adding any of these makes me feel less like I'm addicted to white food: Thinly sliced kirby cucumber, thinly sliced red onion, perfectly sliced beefsteak tomato, potato chips for a nice complementary crunch
If you feel you must dress it up, add: touch of white pepper, or of course, melted cheddar on top is always a crowd pleaser.
Not going to fish for compliments. Try my tuna "recipe" - it's delish!


Anonymous said...

Lori, I need to know where I can buy that double blade tuna chopper.

Anonymous said...

Lori, I need to know where I can purchase that 2 blade tuna chopper. Contact me at