Mom agreed to host a neighborhood Christmas party the day before 40+ people are scheduled to arrive at her house on Christmas Eve for our annual family dinner. She called me for suggestions on finger foods; she’s already making my “fancy” chicken salad with apples and dried cranberries and I offered to whip up a batch of jalapeno-pimiento cheese and Southwestern style tuna salad.
We make this tuna salad every day at work, along with regular tuna, regular chicken, fancy chicken and cajun chicken salads. This has turned into one of my customer’s favorites and it’s my favorite way to make tuna salad for sure! Don’t let the name, or the ingredients fool you. This is not a super-spicy salad. The addition of honey and the dairy in the Ranch cuts the heat, so you’ll just have a zesty after taste. Give it a shot the next time you’re looking for something different than a plain old tuna fish sandwich!
- 2 6oz cans quality tuna packed in water, drained and flaked
- 2 T pickle relish (we use sweet at work, I use dill at home, so it’s a matter of preference only)
- 4 pickled banana pepper rings, minced (you can get these in jars on the pickle aisle)
- 1 small fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (don’t touch yourself after seeding the pepper without first washing your hands!!!)
- 2 boiled eggs, diced
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/3 cup + 1 T buttermilk ranch dressing (it’s best to use Hidden Valley made from a packet, but any will do)
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (I normally use Texas Pete’s at work and Tabasco at home)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together. Taste and season to your liking. If it’s too hot for you, add a little sugar. Chill well before serving. Great on sandwiches, wraps or just to scoop and eat on a bed of lettuce.