January 26, 2010

Tuna Croquettes

Tuna Croquettes are my go-to recipe. Seriously, when we had just moved into our apartment, I made them with crushed up saltines and seasoned them with Salt and Pepper only. That particular version was not great, but when you add the onion and herbs, they are awesome! So when I was asked to participate in a recipe exchange a few months back this is what I immediately sent to my designated recipient off the top of my head. When we had this for dinner last week I also made "Authentic Greek Salad" modeled after a salad served at a diner near my grandparents' house in Valley Stream, Long Island. I also love that salad, but overall it is very similar to the Greek Salad with Tuna I previously blogged about. The basic recipe is: Romaine, Scallions, Dill, Feta, YUM!

Below is my recipe exchange e-mail, it is that simple.

Hey Rachel,

Here's my recipe for Tuna Croquettes, I don't have exact measurements and there is a lot of room for substitution. You can also adjust the amount you make pretty easily as long as the final mixture forms patties, I usually do one can of tuna per person if this is the main part of my meal.

3 cans tuna (I've even done it with leftover cooked fish like haddock)
2 eggs
~1/2 cup (more or less) of breadcrumb-like substance (this could be panko bread crumbs, regular bread crumbs, matzo meal [I think this was originally a Passover recipe] or even smashed up potato chips)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or dill or anything)
1 small onion, diced
salt and pepper
oil for frying

mix everything but the oil together until it can form patties. 3 cans of tuna usually makes 6-7 croquettes. fry the patties in the oil for a few minutes on each side (until brown and a little crispy). I usually drain them on paper towels before serving.


January 22, 2010

Mexican Hot Chocolate Meringues

Ruby and I were invited to our friends' apartment for Shabbat lunch. Proper etiquette in this situation is to offer to bring something. But me being my big-headed "culinarily-skilled" self, I responded with: "What can we bring? I cook, so if you want me to actually make or bake something, I'd be glad to." I was then asked to bake something, and it had to be Parve, because we would be having meat at lunch. This presented a challenge. Observant Jews are cursed with a whole variety of nasty desserts made with non-dairy substitutes. I was not going to make one of these, I was having a classy food week (Jeff and I made Orange-Rosemary Shortbread on our day off and I made Roasted Greens Panzanella for dinner one night); plus, there is no reason for it when the lovely dairy-free option of meringues exists. I decided on meringues and then as I was falling asleep the night before I was due to make them, the idea of flavoring them in the spirit of Mexican Hot Chocolate dawned on me, and in my deliriously tired state I thought it was quite genius; I still think it's a pretty good idea. After 2 failed attempts yielding sticky meringues, I sought baking counseling and put in a last ditch effort. I am SO happy I tried it again because they came out melt-in-your-mouth perfectly.


2 egg whites
pinch of salt
half a capfull white or cider vinegar
3-4 dashes hot sauce
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 tsp cinnamon
demerara/turbinado sugar "in the raw"


Preheat oven to ~250 degrees F.

Beat egg whites on low speed (most recipes say it's best when they are at room temperature) until just before they form soft peaks. Add salt, vinegar (or cream of tartar), hot sauce and vanilla, then continue to beat until soft peaks form. Add sugar in at least 2 increments so that it has time to dissolve. Turn up mixer speed and beat until mixture is glossy and forming stiff peaks. Add in cocoa powder and cinnamon and beat on high for one minute. Any movement made in the batter at this point should leave a track.

Transfer mixture into a pastry bag or a ziploc bag with a cut corner. Pipe small meringue dots onto a lined baking sheet. I used a reusable baking sheet liner, I have no idea what it is or what it's made of (it's definitely not parchment or silicone), but I credit it and my friend Jeff with the success of the third try on this recipe.

Sprinkle each dot with some sugar in the raw. And place the sheet in the oven for 2 hours. After 2 hours turn the oven off and let the meringues continue to cool and dry in the oven with the door closed for at least another hour.

Because I took a picture of it, this is what my Panzanella looked like. I followed Giada's recipe for the most part, but we know I'm not a fan of exact measurements. I hit it with some grated Parmesan and served it with "fried" eggs which was the perfect companion.

January 11, 2010

Teriyaki Noodles

So I know it's been a while since I last blogged, but I got inspired by the stuff in my fridge. I bought these precooked noodles last week, and I wasn't quite sure what I'd do with them, even in the end I don't think I used them properly. This dish tasted delicious, but I think the execution would have been easier had my noodles not been all stuck together.


1 bunch asparagus, sliced into 1" pieces on the bias
1 container sliced cremini (baby bella) mushrooms
1 large scallion, thinly sliced
1 package thin precooked asian noodles
1-2 TBSP roasted sesame seeds
2 eggs, beaten

I created a sauce and called it Teriyaki

1/2 cup lite soy sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1-2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 TBSP honey
1/2 tsp ginger, chopped or grated
2 TBSP sugar
5-6 cloves fresh garlic, minced or grated


Mix together all sauce ingredients in a bowl. Then pour into a skillet and heat until the sauce bubbles, then let it keep bubbling for a little under a minute. The bubbling is the sugar melting and thickening the sauce and the oil frying the other ingredients bringing out their flavors. Add the white part of the scallion, the mushrooms, and the asparagus and mix to coat the veggies in the sauce. Cover with a pan lid or some foil, or a contraption consisting of both. While the veggies are cooking down (stir them occasionally), prepare the noodles according to the package directions. The poorly translated directions on my package said to add cold water and fry to desired crispness, I sort of fudged it in some semblance of that. Once the veggies cook down and the sauce gets more watery from the moisture in the vegetables being trapped under the cover, remove the cover and add the green part of the scallion. After some of the liquid cooks off, add some (or all if your pan is big enough) of the noodles and mix everything together. Add in the beaten eggs and mix until eggs are cooked, as the eggs cook they will coat the noodles and veggies, you don't want chunks of scrambled eggs. Add sesame seeds and toss with the rest of the pasta. Top each serving with more sesame seeds.

Greek Salad with Tuna

After a long day (about a month ago) of shopping for me and work for Ruby we wanted a light dinner (with some protein, of course). So a salad it was. The dressing turned out really well, because the capers and onions are chopped together before being whisked into the dressing with the other ingredients, it's important to spoon it on.

Greek Tuna Salad
Green Leaf Lettuce
English Cucumber
Feta Cheese
Tuna (1 can per 2 servings)

1/4 red onion, chopped finely
dill from a tube
red wine vinegar
olive oil