Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fry Free Zone.....Tuna Fish Croquettes

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

Drain the tuna. Transfer to a bowl and flake into pieces with your hands. With a fork mix in the beaten eggs, garlic, shallots, tomatoes, parsley, 2 tsp olive oil, bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper.

Take a large spoonful of the tuna mixture and form into a quenelle or flat football shape

In a bowl blend the panko breadcrumbs, smoked paprika and season with salt. Coat gently each croquette with the seasoned panko breadcrumbs and transfer to a baking tray which has been lined with a lightly oiled sheet of parchment paper:

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


  1. oh it got your mom's seal of approval...i'm sure it's passed the test then :)

    and Jessica trivia was interesting...

    lovely chicken of the sea recipe and the no fry trick is a great value addition!!!!

  2. Another delightful recipe...I see where your cooking talent and passion stems from :) Love that these are baked and they would be perfect for entertaining as well :)

  3. I just couldn't resist poking fun at Jessica Simpson. Hope it made you chuckle. The canned tuna was really saved the meal. Aren't panko crumbs the best?

    Alisha, you're absolutely right, it was my mom who nurtured this passion for food. She still remains my mentor, especially when it comes to traditional Italian cuisine.
    Love your idea of serving them as appetizers. I swear panko crumbs are the magic ingredient when adapting fried recipes.