Friday, June 8, 2012

Absolutely Easy Antipasto

What could be simpler than reaching into the fridge and always having an appetizer on hand? Like … always. This is one of those appetizers. Now don’t start jumping up and down with excitement! I do not recommend that you make this for you and you, alone - or even for you and your significant other to stock when nooooo one’s due to visit! Do that, and you will look like a basketball, Dollink. A basketball. If I don’t tell you, who will? But if visitors are due and you need something quick and not-too-expensive, this is the ticket. This also makes a great hostess gift or excellent contribution to a potluck get-together. I’ve updated the recipe from a book I wrote a thousand years ago (Fast & Easy Company Treats, McClelland and Stewart Ltd., Toronto, 1985).
Absolutely Easy Antipasto:
1-½ c. sweet mixed pickles, drained
1-½ c. pimiento-stuffed olives, drained
One 10-oz. (284 mL) can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
One 10-oz. (284 mL) can cut green beans, drained
2-¾ c. ketchup
1 tsp. hotdog relish (or similar relish)
1 tsp. dried chili flakes
Two 6-½ oz. (184 g) cans solid light tuna, drained
Chop drained pickles, olives, and mushrooms coarsely (a few short bursts of power in a food processor does this job quickly). Stir in beans and set aside. In a large bowl, mix ketchup with relish and chili flakes. Break up tuna chunks with a fork; stir into ketchup mixture. Add pickle mixture, combining well. Spoon over crackers to serve. Serve at once or store, refrigerated, up to two weeks in covered jars. Makes about 2 qt. (2 L) or 8 cups.

Note: Although this recipe isn’t cheap enough to qualify as a penny pincher, it’s very cheap when I think about the outrageous price charged for something similar - without tuna! - on the supermarket shelves. In the Time Zone and at the Latitude where I live, a few scant ounces in a teensy jar costs $6. That is appalling. 

Drain the sweet pickles ...

... and the olives and mushrooms

Ron went shopping - and bought long beans
instead of the shorter, cut variety I needed

The can of beans was also was bigger than I needed, but this
recipe (and I) are flexible. I cut the beans to fit, using them all.

Measure out ketchup ... any brand will do, but I quite
like the Slowest Ketchup in the West (or the East)!

Add mushrooms, pickles, olives to food processor, or chop by hand

Chop drained mushrooms, olives, and sweet pickles

Gently stir green beans into sweet-pickle mixture

Add tuna to ketchup mixture

Gently stir tuna into ketchup mixture, breaking up large chunks

Combine sweet-pickle mixture with ketchup-tuna mixture

Combine thoroughly, being careful not to crush beans

Serve with crackers. As the saying goes: Bet you can't eat just one!

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