About an hour before dinner, circa 1968, a child walks into the kitchen and sees their mother stirring something up in a mixing bowl. There is an empty can of tuna fish on the counter beside her.
“Mommy, what are you making?”
“I’m making Tuna Burgers,” she says matter-of-factly, concentrating on her recipe.
“Tuna? Burgers?”, said the confused child, never having thought of those two words as describing a kind of food.
“It’s a new recipe,” she said. “It was on the back of the mayonnaise.”
The child, in a careless tone that betrayed nothing of the worry of being required to eat some weird food that one would have to finish, said “Oh.”
My mother was a good cook, so I knew I wouldn’t have to worry on that score. But she also cooked brussels sprouts. Would it be good, or great, or would I have to choke it down like a brussels sprout?
The tuna burger was wonderful. It held together like a burger ought to, and the taste just made me happy. I said something to her that is music to the ears of any cooking parent:
“Can we have this again?”
1 can (7 ounces) tuna, drained and flaked
1 cup soft breadcrumbs
½ cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons minced onion
½ cup Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chili sauce
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 hamburger buns, split and toasted
Toss tuna with breadcrumbs, celery and onion. Combine mayonnaise with chili sauce and pepper; stir into tuna mixture. Form into 4 patties choose one and place on baking sheet. Bake in a 375°F (moderate) oven 15 min. or until lightly browned. To pan fry: chill mixture at least 1 hour. Form into patties and fry in lightly greased skillet over low heat about 5 min., turning once, or until browned on both sides. Serve on hamburger buns. Makes 4 tuna burgers.