What’s in a name? Would a rose by any other name still smell so sweet? My mother used to make a dish she called Creamed Tuna on Toast. Every French Canadian woman of my acquaintance has known how to make this dish. But, come to find out, Creamed Tuna on Toast
is an alias.
The real name for this dish is Tuna Pea Wiggle, this truth was revealed to me by my friend Fernande. I was at her house one evening for dinner, when I asked what we were having she said, “Tuna Pea Wiggle.” I had no idea what she was referring to. Only after the dish was described did it dawn on me that Fernande was talking about Creamed Tuna on Toast! I was stunned. How could such a wonderful dish have such a terrible name? Unappetizing images came to mind mostly having to do with congealed, gelatinous mounds on a plate. Ugh! So, here is the question: What’s in a name? Would Creamed Tuna on Toast still be so good by any other name? Most definitely!
This wonderful dish is classic comfort food. Quick, tasty, inexpensive, and nutritious Creamed Tuna is also versatile. My recipe for this dish reflects changes I have made to lighten the dish to make it more heart healthy. This includes modifying the roux used to make the cream sauce and adding other vegetables besides peas. I prefer to use 1% or 2% milk, but skim milk can be used, too. If this is your choice, just add 1/3 c. of non-fat instant milk to the sauce. This dish is usually served on toast, but it can also be served on rice, as you can tell from the picture above.
Creamed Tuna on Toast
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
½ red pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
¼ c. flour
3 c. 1% or 2% milk (for skim, see above notes)
2 6 oz. cans solid pack white tuna in water, drained
1 c. fresh or frozen peas
Toast or rice
Place a 1-quart saucepan on the stove. Turn the heat to medium and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, but not smoking add the chopped green pepper, red pepper, celery, carrots and parsley.
Sauté until the vegetables are just tender. Add the flour and stir to combine. When the flour is mixed in, pour in half the milk. Stir to thoroughly combine. Reduce the heat the medium low, and stir occasionally. When the milk begins to thicken add the remaining milk, and stir to incorporate. Continue to cook stirring occasionally until the cream sauce is thickened. Add the drained tuna, breaking it up with the spoon. Add the peas. Cook until the peas are cooked and the tuna is heated through. Add salt to taste and a good grind of pepper. Serve over toast or rice.