This recipe really came about at the last minute when my mom reminded me that she had decided on two days of abstinence from meat during Lent.....not only Friday but Wednesday as well. With chicken broth simmering, and no fish on hand the only quick solution was canned tuna from the pantry. Tuna croquettes came to mind as the perfect protein substitute. I used white albacore canned tuna, which I feel is worth the extra cost. Packed in water, it is chunky, truly meaty and light in flavour. No wonder poor Jessica Simpson was perplexed while eating this "chicken of the sea"; wondering whether she was really eating chicken or fish. ......anyway back to the recipe. Although mom hasn't made these in years, I relied on her basic recipe which calls for garlic, eggs, fine breadcrumbs and lots of Italian parsley. The only thing left was to give the croquettes some colour and extra flavour by adding cherry tomatoes and shallots. Also, instead of frying the croquettes, I sent them into the "no fry zone" using panko breadcrumbs drizzled with a bit of olive oil to give me all the crispiness but none of the saturated fats. Served with a creamy celeriac salad and maple Dijon vinaigrette (again a homage to our maple sugar season), it proved a winner and got my mom's seal of approval.
Suggestions: Drain the tuna well. Gently form the croquettes and again gently roll into the panko breadcrumbs as the mixture tends to be moist. Regardless, they hold well while baking and should not fall apart.
2- 7oz. cans white albacore solid white tuna
1/2 shallot finely chopped
1 garlic clove finely chopped
5-6 finely chopped cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
2 eggs well beaten
1/2 cup fine breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons light olive oil
panko breadcrumbs for coating
1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
Take a large spoonful of the tuna mixture and form into a quenelle or flat football shape
Drizzle some light olive oil on each croquette. Bake in a preheated 375 F oven for ten minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and turn the croquettes onto the other side. Continue baking for an additional 10 minutes until the tops are golden. Makes 8