Saturday, August 8, 2015

Can Food Preferences Be Genetic?

Now that my cookbook co-author/son Kevin is out of the house, I don’t get a chance to cook just for him very often.  However, he dropped by for lunch the other day, and I automatically knew what he would most prefer to eat—a tuna tortilla.

During my 4 years of high school, I packed a tuna sandwich for lunch every day.  I even ate them on weekends.  Back then, I didn’t know what a tortilla was because Mexican food hadn’t yet penetrated Western Pennsylvania.  Now I live in Southern California, and flour tortillas are a staple.  I eat one for lunch most days.  Often it’s filled with tuna, melted cheese and a squirt of hot sauce.  Kevin’s kids are vegetarian, although his son Andy likes tuna tortillas.  Maybe there is tuna gene in the family.

Tuna Tortilla (photo by Kevin Mills)
Tuna Tortillas – serves 2  
1 5-ounce can tuna, drained
1 tablespoon sweet or pickle relish
1 teaspoon mayonnaise
1 scallion, cleaned, trimmed and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large celery stick, cleaned, trimmed and chopped into 1/4-inch slices
2 flour tortillas
2 handfuls grated cheddar or jack cheese
A few drops of bottled hot sauce (optional) 
Transfer the tuna to a small bowl.  Add the relish, mayonnaise, scallion and celery and mix thoroughly. 
Begin heating a tortilla in a medium-hot dry frying pan.  When the top starts to puff up (about 10-15 seconds), turn it over and sprinkle on 1 handful grated cheese.  Cover and cook for a few seconds, or until the cheese melts.  Don’t overcook or the tortilla will get brittle and crack when you fold it. 
Remove from the pan, add half the tuna salad and fold into thirds.  Serve with hot sauce on the side. 
Repeat for second tortilla.
Photo by Kevin Mills