Aji Tuna…sort of

Joel is (was?) trying to cut back on mayo, to help reduce his bad cholesterol. How do you make a good tuna-salad sandwich without mayo, though? Well, I must confess that I didn’t completely eliminate it, but I did use less.

To make up for the loss of flavor, I spiced up the mixture by adding aji.  What is aji? I just learned a few months ago, when we visited Colombia (my first trip). It is a salsa using a very hot pepper "native" to the country. I don’t think that you will find it in the States, because I have had a hard time even finding the fresh peppers (instead of bottled sauce) here in Bogota.  A lady in the town of Villeta sold me 2 T of aji peppers from her garden. She had pickled them, because the fresh peppers spoil quickly in the heat and humidity of the market. 

One of our friends told us that the aji salsa is usually made of onion, cilantro, the aji, some vinegar and oil(?). Sometimes they add tomato, but that is not so common.  I did the "uncommon" and threw in a tomato, first to tone down the heat, and secondly because I had a tomato that was just beginning to get soft (too soft for medium dice pico, but still fresh enough for blended sauce).

Aji is good as a condiment for steak, potatoes…whatever.

I really needed to get more groceries, but I was able to find a few things to complete our lunch menu.  Some balsamic vinegar and a little bit of salt made the beans a tad bit more interesting (but I didn’t manage to cook them long enough). Italian herbs and parmesean cheese were good broiled with the tomato wedges.


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