Good evening everyone! After enjoying Maggie's (very tasty) tuna casserole last week, I was reminded of an old episode of Alton Brown's TV show, 'Good Eats'. The episode, titled "Tuna, Surprise" begins with a skit in which a giant tuna accosts Alton for "forgetting about tuna". Alton responds with a quip "Well, I grew up". To which the giant tuna responds "I understand, all I'm good for is old-lady casseroles and lunchbox sandwiches...I doubt there's anyone in this world brave enough, talented enough to take old canned tuna and make..." (The shows theme always rolls when they trail off, so that the first words you here are "Good Eats")
The intro makes a good point - canned tuna is largely looked at as a one trick pony. You can make tuna sandwiches, maybe a tuna casserole...and not much else. Alton Brown tackles that assertion and counters that you can, in fact, do more with tuna than the standard lunchbox fare. One of the dishes he cooks up on the show was tuna croquettes and I remember thinking "that looks good, I should try that".
As one tends to do, I forgot about the dish until Maggie brought tuna back to the menu. So, tonight, we're taking our own crack at making tuna into something more. Let's get cooking!
The Recipe: Tuna Croquettes
Original Recipe From: Good Eats: Tuna, Surprise
What You'll Need:
7 Ounces Albacore Tuna (Drained)
2 Scallions (Finely Chopped)
2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
2 Large Eggs
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
3/4 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
In a large bowl, combine the tuna, scallions, eggs, lemon juice, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs and dijon mustard. Mix well by hand, then divide the mixture into 8 equal pieces and onto a sheet of parchment paper (if you have a cookie scoop / baller - they work well for this). Allow the pieces to rest for 15 minutes.
Transfer the remaining panko to a shallow dish or pie plate. Use a spatula (or your hand if you want) to flatten each round to about 1/2 inch thickness. Next, place a round into the bread crumb mixture and turn to coat each side evenly in bread crumbs. Repeat with each round until all are evenly covered.
Add enough oil to a large (12 inch) non stick skillet to cover the bottom evenly. Bring the oil to a shimmer over medium high heat and add the rounds evenly in the skillet. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until they are golden brown. Transfer the rounds to a cooling rack and allow them to cool for 2 minutes before serving. Serve with lemon juice or tartar sauce and enjoy!
These little rounds remind me of crab cakes or salmon cakes (both things we've tried before on the blog) but with much better flavor. The tuna is a nice, neutral presence that carries the lemon / scallion flavoring beautifully while the panko provides a great crunch. This is a nice way to utilize that extra can of tuna hanging around your pantry without resorting to the standard sandwich.
That's all we have for you this evening. We're back next week with two brand new recipes, until then -