Sometimes (about 50% of the time) I enjoy food that isn’t sugar. That whole “balancing” thing, don’tcha know. I’m also, often too tired (*ahem*lazy!*ahem*) to go grocery shopping after class, so just as often, I find myself having to make due with what I’ve got at home. Tuna. Canned tuna. Doesn’t exactly inspire drool secretion, but I assure you, dressed up the right way, it can be delicious. And, it’s cheap. And it keeps nearly as long as Twinkies. Or Cher. College and Grad students rejoice! Easy, cheap, long-lasting. Oh, and did I mention delicious?
When my Cuban grandmother lived with us, the house always smelled like food. Which, I feel is way cooler than Spring flowers, or mountain breeze… which are lies. Lies! You aren’t on a mountain! There are no wildflowers anywhere! And, no! Dollarweeds don’t count. See, food? You can eat it. The smell promises good things to come. Mima would cook a weekly rotation of yum. Cuban tortillas, black beans and rice, mojo pork, and heroine cakes. Okay. Obviously she didn’t fry up little heroine patties (that’s illegal. True story), but these things were just as addictive (if only Cobaine knew about them…): Tuna fritters.
Silver dollar-sized fluffy, salty, greasy, crispy…ugh. I can’t. They would be scooped up (to Mima’s chargin) as soon as they were out of the oil-burned tongues and smacked wrists be damned! For dinner, however much I’d LOVE to just eat an entire bowl of tuna fritters, I feel the reprocusions would be…bad. So, I’ve adapted it to be healthier, bigger, and fit for a side of veggies and rice, or to be plopped ontop of mixed greens.
Makes 3-4, 3-4-ounce cakes
1 12-ounce can of TOOOONA!
1 tablespoon minced Onion
1 tablespoon minced Red pepper
1 teaspoon minced Garlic
1 tablespoon minced Celery
3 tablespoons Low fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Low fat sour cream
1 teaspoon Stone-ground mustard (Ooo, Fancy. Really, you can use any kind of mustard you like)
1/4 cup Breadcrumbs or Panko
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees (Convection bake, if you have it)
1. Drain the tuna.
2. Shlop it in a bowl.
3. Combine the onion, garlic, red pepper and celery in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute, or until soft and translucent (you can also saute them. But like I said. I’m tiredahemlazy!ahem. )
4. Add the vegetables, crumbs, sour cream, mayo, mustard, soda, salt and pepper to the tuna and fold to combine. If you want a mooshier texture, be more vigorous with the mixing. I like soft and fluffy, so I have at it. The mixture should resemble mashed potatoes (thick enough to form into patties, but not as dense as, say cookie dough)
5. Form into desired-size patty, spray the top with non-stick spray (completely optional, but it gives it a nice crust, and helps browning)
6. Knock it in the oven and bake until golden brown (anywhere from 7-15 minutes depending on your oven. DON’T walk away! It’s like Jack and Rose. Never let go. Until they’re ready, and you eat them.)
Serve on a bed of greens with your favorite dressing and this sauce:
Ingredients for Sauce
2 tablespoons Low fat mayo
2 tablespoons Low fat sour cream
1/4 teaspoon Wasabi
1/4 teaspoon Siracha