Creamy Tuna Spread

(#39 in the limited series: cooking/baking in the time of the coronavirus quarantine)

This came about after hubby made a request for a tuna hand pie.  Confession time, though, this is not the first time I tried to make a tuna pie that hubby will like… so far, my attempts have been… ho hum at best.

But, this one, hubby is very happy about.

My usual tuna spread for sandwiches has the usual ingredients – tuna, minced onion, pickle relish, salt and pepper, and of course, mayonnaise.   But that was good for a sandwich but not as a pie filling… pie filling should be thicker I guess and, as hubby says, must have a cheesy component…

Well, in experimenting, I decided that I was not so fond of the raw onion taste so the first change I did was to cook the onions with the tuna.  Then, because hubby is not so fond of pickle relish, I did away with it.  Then, he wanted cheese, so he got cheese – I used some quick-melt (which I added to the onion and tuna cooking on the stove).  I had some grated carrot, so that went in too… for salt I used celery salt… and of course, mayonnaise!!!

Saute some minced onion (about 2 tablespoons) and 2 small cans of tuna (drained of course)… smash the tuna so no large pieces remain.  Add about 1/2 cup of shredded quick-melt cheese and cook just until the cheese is melted.  Then, let the mixture cool to room temperature.  when the tuna mixture is no longer hot, mix with 1 to 2 tablespoons grated carrots and about 1 cup of mayonnaise (use more mayonnaise if you want a creamier spread).  Season to taste with celery salt and pepper (take it easy on the salt, though because the cheese has a bit of saltiness already).

A final note – since hubby likes spicy food, I actually halved the tuna (and in effect the recipe) and added a ton (figuratively) of chili flakes for his share.

I used some puff pastry to make tuna hand pies with his half of spicy tuna spread…



or basically yogurt and cucumber salsa (?)

I made some homemade bread rolls with the whey that was the result of draining the yogurt that I made. There was a lot of whey and a lot of yogurt! I was not able to send it to the usual recipients so I got stuck with it.

What to do, what to do???

Make something out of it, right?


  1. Shred/grate 400 grams of cucumbers. Add a little salt, let it stand about 15 to 20 minutes (in the meantime, go to #2) then squeeze the water out!!!
  2. Meanwhile, stir together 1-1/2 to 2 cups greek-style yogurt, 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (to taste), 2 cloves of garlic (finely minced), 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste), and 1 to 2 teaspoons dried (and crushed) dill. Season according to your personal taste (for me and hubby, we prefer a less sour taste so we take it easy on the lemon juice). Leave to chill in the freezer for a few minutes while we drain/squeeze the water out of the cucumbers.
  3. Stir the drained/squeezed cucumbers into the yogurt mix.
  4. Chill a couple hours (or not, whichever you prefer). Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of EVOO on top just before serving.


(We served it with the homemade rolls and spiced ham.)

Egg, Ham & Cheese Pimiento Sandwich

I am not really a bread person; I like rice more.  But when (or if) I had to make sandwiches, my favorite filling is cheese pimiento, followed closely by egg mayo.

For some of hubby’s friends, I combined my 2 favorite fillings/spreads…

6 eggs, hard boiled and coarsely chopped
200 grams cooked ham, diced
1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 to 1/3 cup diced pimientos
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon pickle relish, or to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

Stir everything together gently so as not to smash the eggs too much.  For a chunkier filling, use less mayonnaise.  Use more mayo to make the filling “wetter”.

To serve, line sliced bread (or whichever bread you prefer) with lettuce leaves. Pile on the filling ( I used a scooper and it is convenient! ) and add cucumber slices.


Veggie Patty Sandwich

Actually the patty is a variation of the corn fritters I’ve made before… which the kid absolutely loved.

The reason for the variation is the doctor’s orders that the kid needs to eat more veggies.  And this variant is a success!

1 cup fresh corn kernels (canned is ok just drain)
1/3 cup grated carrots
1/4 cup malunggay (moringa leaves)
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Mix together egg, milk, oil, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.  Stir in the corn kernels, grated carrots and malunggay.

Using 1/8 or 1/4 cup as measure, drop into hot oil and fry until browned.

The kid ate a sandwich and then asked if she could munch on another patty!

Spicy Bangus Spread

I had been looking for a spread using bottled bangus and found this recipe for Bangus Pate.  Although it was not right on the dot, I used the recipe as a springboard…

1 bottled spicy bangus, drained and mashed
1/3 to 1/2 cup cream cheese
1/3 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh lemon juice, to taste
reserved oil from bangus bottle, for thinning
chopped spring onions, for garnish

mix everything together, that’s it!!!

B’s Sandwich…

The kid has always been a picky eater!  When she was a toddler, she ate everything!  But one day, poof!  She suddenly refused to eat her favorite foods.  She only wanted plain white rice and nothing else!


We had such a difficult time trying to figure out how to coax her into eating again.  But her pediatrician said not to force her to eat because she could be traumatized so we let her set the pace even as we tried to convince her to eat more.

The good news is things got better.  Years passed and little by little she ate more and more.  Still, the kid is not adventurous at all.  But at least she will try new foods and decide if she is okay with it – it used to be she decided first that she didn’t like it!

Anyway, one of the foods that she absolutely did not like is the EGG!  It didn’t matter what kind or how it was cooked, she refused to eat eggs.

That is, until I made a savory “french toast”…

First, beat an egg with a pinch of salt and pepper in a wide bowl.  Heat a non-stick frying pan (with a little butter).

Then butter a piece of bread and place 2 thin slices of farmers meatloaf, and pile on a piece of toast cheese.  Top with another slice of bread.  Flatten slightly.  Dip the sandwich in the beaten egg; make sure both sides have been dipped in the egg mixture.

Place the sandwich in the pan and cook about a minute on one side and another minute on the other side, until both sides are lightly browned.  (while the sandwich is in the pan, I use the spatula to flatten the sandwich a bit more).

Slice the sandwich into 2 triangles.  Enjoy while the sandwich is hot!


Cheese Pimiento (Salty version)

This is one of my favorite sandwich spreads.  It has always been so since I was a little kid.  Of course when I was a kid, our pimiento came from a bottle we bought from the supermarket.  But in the my teens, my mother got interested in cooking and baking, and she started making her own sandwich spreads, one of which was cheese pimiento.

She experimented… A LOT!  There were cooked ones, uncooked ones, buttery ones, cheesy ones, sweet ones, salty ones, and everything in between… we like some, and absolutely hated the others.

I decided to experiment on my own.  I knew what I did not like.  I did not like the sweet ones, nor the cooked ones or buttery ones.

I wanted a soft, cheesy, chunky mix.

My final recipe is an abomination of my mother’s favorite recipe…  abomination because I removed the butter and condensed milk (coz, those are what I didn’t like!)

250 grams cheese, grated
1/4 cup smooth ricotta cheese
mayonnaise, about 1/4 cup
200 grams pimientos, diced

Since this is an uncooked spread, it goes without saying that the ingredients (their brand) should be those whose taste you really like.  For example, the choice of cheese – the most common is cheddar but there are many kinds of cheddar.  Personally I like a salty, slightly sweet cheddar – the ones specifically adapted to our cultural taste, so I use a local processed cheese product which would probably have cheese aficionados scream in horror.  But hey, that is what my tongue likes.  Otherwise, I use gouda.  For the ricotta, I also use a local brand – with a really smooth velvety texture.  For the mayonnaise I always go for Hellman’s even if it means spending more and looking and searching for it (it is not common on our grocery shelves).  For the pimientos, since I am lazy, I just get a jar off the grocery shelves!

Stir the ricotta and mayonnaise together.  Add the cheese and pimientos, mix until combined.  Add more mayonnaise if desired.  Season with salt, pepper and/or chili flakes, to taste, but it is optional.  In my case, since the cheese I use is salty, I don’t need to add other seasoning.

I sent some over to my mom and she loved it!  The tub did not survive to see the next day… (hahahaha!)



For the Boys…

Some of hubby’s friends come to the house regularly (we refer to them fondly as “the boys”) and I like feeding them!

The last time they were here, I served them “Make-your-own-pita” sandwiches.  I had originally planned on curried chicken as a filling but at the last minute, having discovered that *someone* used up my curry blend, I had to find something else… that’s when I saw the bottle of (faux) Caesar Dressing that I had made a couple of days ago.  So instead of curried chicken to be stuffed in the pita bread, it became Chicken Caesar!

It was a great hit!

“Benedict Muffinbatch”

Reposting a favorite…

Friend T has christened this recipe – Benedict Muffinbatch.

I suppose the inspiration came from it being similar to Eggs Benedict, but that it is radically not… combined with a wonderful play on the name of a favorite British actor playing the character of Sherlock Holmes.

But, yes, it is a variation on the same theme… something on top of an English muffin!

This time, I got inspiration from one of the breakfast items of my favorite coffee and tea cafe… Salmon Scramble… although their version is on a rosemary focaccia.

Toast an English muffin and spread lots of cream cheese over the top. Layer on 2 to 3 pieces of smoked salmon (or as many as you like!) then top with scrambled eggs. Drizzle dill sauce over and sprinkle cayenne pepper on top.

Enjoy! Hubby sure did!

Ham and Cheese Rolls

This is a special request from the little girl.  She wanted a ham and cheese “stick”.  So I remade an old recipe.  The original version was the Ham and Cheese Roll-Ups.

ham cheese roll ups

The original roll-ups were an appetizer that I saw at a function that we attended some time ago.  I made my own version sometime ago and now I am re-working it.

The recipe for the original roll-ups –

Take a piece of sandwich bread and cut the crusts off.  Then flatten the bread (this is a very important step, will explain later).  Smear mayo or butter on the flattened, crustless bread.  Then place a piece of cooked ham and a cheese slice (square slices are best) on the bread.  Roll the whole thing up and secure with fancy picks.  Slice into 3 or 4 mini-rolls.

At this point I have to stress that it is crucial to flatten the bread.  I discovered (the hard, experimental way) that if this step is missed, the whole thing crumbles and breaks – the resulting rolls are just plain ugly.

The reworked version starts with flattening the bread too.  A ham slice, roughly 2/3 of the bread is placed on the bread, makeing sure that three sides of the bread and ham are aligned.  Place a stick of cheese on the ham, aligning the long edge.  Then roll, beginning on the cheese/ham side.  I found that I didn’t need to secure  the rolls with picks.

ham cheese 1

The rolls were supposed to be toasted in the oven but I was lazy (the toaster oven was out of commission and it was too much trouble to fire up the big oven) so I just used the stovetop grill.

Well, the little girl was happy!  So were our guests!