Most of the time when I visit with Chef Jill McCoy it's via e-mail or telephone. She is now based in Austin and I hang out here at the radio station. This past week we actually got to visit face to face and discuss cooking and food and where we want this Food Friday Series to go next.  Let me just say we have some very exciting things planned for you to enjoy and learn from in the future.

During the course of our conversation I asked Jill about ingredients. Austin is a much larger town than Lafayette and especially Jill's home town of Alexandria. I asked her is there a difference in the recipes that she can create when she is limited by grocery stores that aren't specialty stores or stores that have the ingredients but are way over priced?

Her response was basically you can't cook what you don't have but you can always find something fresh and affordable and make it delicious. That is what today's recipe is all about.

Almost every grocery store in the area has tuna. Sometimes it's a little pricey but you can usually shop around and find a better price and a fresher piece of fish. But you won't have to worry because for this dish we are using tuna from a can.

Capers are one of those additions to a dish that just scream elegance. If you didn't know capers are actually pickled flower buds.  They add a delightful burst of flavor and for my money they always go great with fish.

Pepperoncini are those wonderful Italian peppers that most of us find in a pizza box and aren't sure what to do with. These peppers add flavor and a bit of zing to this easy to make recipe.

The whole wheat penne pasta just gives a great foundation for all of these flavors and makes the meal extra hearty. To be truthful this is just a gourmet tuna salad but like Chef Jill says you can always find something fresh and affordable and make it delicious and healthy too.


**Jill McCoy is a former announcer at 97.3 The Dawg who has turned her focus to cooking. She is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu. She is currently employed in the kitchen of an international hotel in Austin Texas. Jill also maintains her own food and lifestyle blog, Salt and Pepper 2 Taste. Her blog work has been recognized by the Austin Texas Food Blogger Alliance.   She is a regular contributor to 97.3 The Dawg every Friday**


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