From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Most of you are too young to be familiar with the malady called the Walton Syndrome. While it is not a mental or physical problem, the syndrome is a state of mind that periodically afflicts those of us who followed the television series, The Waltons, back in the 1970's. The show centered on the lives of a large extended family who lived in rural Virginia during the Great Depression and World War II. The series focused on love of family and how family needs, as well as those of the larger community, were met in difficult times. The show, whose message focused on endurance and the common good, struck a chord with viewers who yearned for a simpler time and, for years, they faithfully followed the family as they overcame the obstacles placed in their way. That yearning was called the Walton Syndrome and those aspects of their lifestyle that emphasized harmonious communal living were considered to be a prescription for surviving difficult times. Now, I haven't thought about the Waltons in years, and it is a bit embarrassing to admit that a can of tuna fish is what seemed to spark my reverie. Tuna cakes disappeared from my table years ago, but I thought they'd make a wonderful feature for Frugal Foodie Friday. Canned tuna is still cheap and the cakes are simple to make. I stopped making them because I, quite simply, tired of them. They were a weekly feature in my mother's kitchen and the Silver Fox and I had then often in the early years of our marriage. Canned tuna is one of the items found in supplemental food boxes, so I thought these tuna cakes would make a great frugal Friday feature. The recipe is put together from taste memory and it is really easy to follow. The only point at which you might encounter trouble comes while the cakes are frying. If you attempt to turn the cakes before the bottom has crusted, they will fall apart on you. While that will not affect their flavor, it may affect your appetite. I like to serve these with Brazilian Tomato Rice which you can find, here. I do think the cakes need a sauce of some type. While tartar sauce is a nice accompaniment I prefer to serve the cakes with salsa, which I think is a better match for the cilantro in the recipe. If you are looking for something that is fast, easy and inexpensive to make I hope you'll give these tuna cakes a try. They are really nice. Here is the recipe.
Tuna Cakes...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
2 cans (6-oz. each) tuna packed in water, drained
1/4 cup plain dried bread crumbs
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoon chopped chives or green onion tops
Juice and zest of one small lemon
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large egg, beaten
2 squirts of hot sauce (i.e. Texas Pete)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup prepared salsa
1) Combine tuna, bread crumbs, cilantro, chives, lemon juice and zest, mayonnaise in a medium bowl Season to taste with salt and pepper (I used 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper). Combine egg with hot sauce and add to tuna mixture, mixing gently until ingredients come together.
2) Form into six (1/3 cup each ) tuna cakes.
3) Heat oil and butter in a large non-stick skillet set over medium heat. When hot, add tuna cakes and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes per side. Serve hot with salsa. Yield: 6 cakes to feed 3 people.
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