Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pupus in Memoriam

The header for this blog is our version of "pupus". My husband coined this term for the lunches I put together on our deck. I have no idea why, he was not a fan of being in Hawaii where pupus are the norm. I mean he liked Hawaii okay but hated the long flight over there and the idea that he was on a crowded island. Anyway "pupus" are what we called our little bites of this and that. It must have been his Swedish heritage and the smorgasbord thing. I loved putting them together on our cute fish plates carried out to the table on a beautiful rattan tray that our friends, the Murphy's gave us one Christmas. There are many photos and memories of these concoctions. I chose today to write about them as it would have been Steve's 69th birthday. The saddest part of his illness was when he couldn't eat anything but soup. He did accompany it with a pint of wheat beer or glass of wine. At least we enjoyed our ocean views on the deck and each other's company.
So, today, I made a small lunch of our pupus and toasted him with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. The sun came out long enough for me to eat out on the deck too. 
I found some pretty yummy looking pictures from my "Pupu's" file to share.
After the 4th of July parade in 2010


Smoked salmon, hummus, cheeses, sliced turkey, pickles, the always plate of tomatoes, onions, cukes drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with fresh or dried herbs,and sometimes olives. 2011 Pre-birthday.

Looks like a little Mediterranean tuna salad, roasted eggplant hummus, deli ham, grainy mustard, wasabi mayo & veges

For a party, these are great although a little time consuming to gather all of the ingredients. If you don't have enough plates, just put them on a large board in piles with the soft dips and condiments in little bowls. Trader Joe's is my go to for the selection of hummus, artichoke or cheese spreads and tapenades.  An assortment of hearty breads, whole wheat pita breads, cut into quarters and crackers, like Wasa afford the vehicles to pile these goodies onto. Leftover chicken, turkey, tofu, fish etc. are perfect to pile onto slices of veges or breads/crackers. A typical combination would be a smear of mayo (preferably wasabi) or mustard, thin slice of cheese, meat, slivers of onion, tomato and cucumber. Balance between thumb and forefinger and guide to mouth.
Sometimes I make my own smoked salmon spread by putting cream cheese, smoked salmon, a little mayo or heavy cream, Tabasco sauce and dill in a food processor and whipping it up., put into little bowls and garnish with dill or capers.

For a different take on the good ole tuna salad try this.

Mediterranean Tuna Salad

1 can olive oil packed tuna ( Trader Joe's "Dolphin Safe" is my fav), drained ( I don't like the taste of the canned olive oil and would rather add a good EVO)
1 Tbsp. mayo or Wasabi mayo
drizzle of Extra Virgin olive oil ( about 1 tsp.)
1 tsp. capers in brine, drained
2 tsp. lemon juice or use some of the caper brine but not too much
2 Tbsp. chopped celery ( or fennel bulb)
2 Tbsp. chopped onion
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. fennel seeds ( opt.)
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
sprinkle of salt and pepper

    Combine in a small bowl. It should be moist but not laden with mayonaise, add more olive oil if necessary.  This is great piled into Pita bread halves with greens, tomato and sliced onion.

Happy Birthday Steve we all miss you like mad!