Recipes: Summer’s tin stories

When it’s too hot to spend hours in the kitchen, take a shortcut by using good-quality canned items.

Recipes using good quality canned items (photo credit: ANATOLY MICHAELO)
Recipes using good quality canned items
(photo credit: ANATOLY MICHAELO)
As a seafaring nation, Portugal has cuisine that makes use of many cured or canned foods, especially fish. Chef Eyal Meron, who serves wines and delicacies from Portugal at his Porto wine bar in Tel Aviv, recently added a new summer menu that is based on quality canned food that he upgrades. Meron says that if you want to serve canned food for dinner, make sure you get the best quality, and then add your own touch.
So for the end of summer and just before the holidays have us all slaving in the kitchen, here are a few tinned delights that will make a lovely summer dinner and can carry over very well to a picnic on the beach.
Serves 4
Chef Eyal Meron adds Portuguese mayonnaise and spicy piri piri sauce to spruce up your tired old tuna salad.
For the piri piri sauce
✔ ¼ cup white wine vinegar
✔ 4 cloves garlic, minced
✔ 7 red hot chili peppers
✔ 1 cup olive oil
✔ Pinch salt
In a bowl, mix vinegar with garlic and let stand for 30 minutes. Place chili peppers and the vinegar and garlic mixture in a food processor bowl and grind in pulses. Add the oil while motor is running and season with salt.Transfer to a clean jar with a lid. Refrigerate for later use.
For the Portuguese mayonnaise
✔ ⅓ cup milk
✔ 1 tsp. lemon juice
✔ 1 small clove garlic
✔ Pinch white pepper
✔ ½ cup canola oil + ¼ cup olive oil, mixed
✔ Salt for seasoning
Place milk, lemon juice, garlic and pepper in a bowl and grind using a handheld blender. Add oil gradually while motor is running until emulsion is formed and texture resembles mayonnaise. You may need more or less oil. Season with salt to taste.
For the tuna salad
✔ 2 tins tuna
✔ 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
✔ Salt to taste
Mix tuna and lemon and toss together.
To serve: In a bowl, mix 2 Tbsp. Portuguese mayonnaise and 1 Tbsp. piri piri sauce.Place tuna in a serving dish and the sauce on the side. Serve with toast.
Serves 3
✔ 4 large potatoes
✔ ½ cup sunflower oil
✔ ⅓ cup vinegar
✔ Pinch sugar
✔ 1 onion, thinly sliced
✔ Salt and pepper
✔ 1 tin mackerel in oil
✔ Green onion for garnish, chopped
In a large pot with boiling salted water, cook unpeeled potatoes for 10 minutes or until cooked but not overcooked. Remove from water, let cool a little and peel. Cut potatoes into cubes. In a salad bowl, mix the oil and vinegar with sugar. Mix well and add onion strips. Add cooked potato cubes and toss well to coat the potatoes completely. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve: Heap potato salad on plates and divide the mackerel among the plates. Garnish with green onion.
Serves 2
✔ 3 cucumbers, peeled
✔ 3 celery ribs, thinly sliced
✔ 1 red onion, sliced
✔ ¼ bunch dill, chopped
✔ ¼ chili pepper, chopped
✔ Juice of 1 lemon
✔ Salt
✔ 1 tin sardines in olive oil
✔ 2 tsp. of the sardine oil
Slice the cucumbers lengthwise in halves and remove the seeds with a spoon. Then slice the cucumbers into medium half-moons. Place the cucumbers in a bowl. Add celery, onion, dill, chili, lemon juice, salt and oil and toss lightly. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add the sardines, toss again and serve.
Recipes and photos courtesy of chef Eyal Meron, Porto, 6 Tchernichovsky Street, Tel Aviv, (03) 620-6610. For more details,