Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tuna Patties

Since these were the catalyst that led me to start this blog, they will be the first post. It will be easier to store the family recipes in one place here than on Facebook. Needless to say to those who know me (oh look - there's something shiny!), topics will vary widely, including family things and friendly things and a stream of consciousness.

About this recipe: It started out as my grandmother's (Mema) Salmon Croquettes. Hers were exactly like this except she used canned salmon. I changed to tuna because it was less expensive than salmon. She made them often when we were growing up, and I in turn made them for my family.

For each batch, use one egg and 1/2 sleeve of saltine crackers per can of tuna. For a regular batch, I use 2 cans of Tuna, 2 eggs and one sleeve of crackers.

Drain about half the liquid from the tuna and put into a bowl. Add the eggs and mix it all well with a fork, to flake the tuna.

Do NOT add any salt, as the salt in the crackers will be plenty.

Crush the saltines. I usually crush them right in the package as it is easiest, but you can get them finer if you roll them with a rolling pin.

By the way, this little rolling pin is the one my father in law Belen made for me in 1974. He made it out of a piece of dowel, smoothing the ends. It is specifically made for rolling out tortillas and is about 1 1/2" diameter.

Add part of the crackers to the tuna and egg mixture. I start by adding about half to 3/4 of them and add more as needed to absorb the liquid. Stir it all together well.

You'll need to reserve some cracker meal (aka the crushed crackers) for the outer coating, but not much is needed for that. Form the tuna mixture into small balls (I make mine about the size of golf balls) and press into the dry cracker crumbs to coat both sides. This will flatten the balls into their final shape.
Add enough oil to a skillet to be about 1/4" deep and get it hot. When hot, add the tuna patties. Watch closely as they will fry quickly. Adjust heat as needed so they won't burn.

BE CAREFUL - THE GREASE WILL POP A LOT, so use care to avoid getting burned from flying hot oil!

Turn when nicely browned, and cook the other side.

Drain on paper towels or brown paper and serve with Tabasco pepper juice or Louisiana Hot Sauce.

I also like to make a simple tomato sauce for them using canned tomatoes, sauteed onions and celery. They are good hot, room temperature or even cold from the fridge.

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