Monday, November 21, 2011

Recipe and Rambling: Tuna Burgers (And A Cooking Website for Men)

Cook Like Men
I haven’t posted for a while in my Recipe and Rambling Series so I thought it might be about time to regale you with my fairly non fabulous (but entirely adequate) cooking skills.

Before I get to the recipe though (and since I’m on the subject of cooking), let me tell you about a brand new website which is launching today. Its creators are part of a blogging community I’m connected with called Killer Tribe.  These two guys have named their site Cook Like Men and it has wonderfully simple and fun recipes that any guy in your life could make. 

And the fact that the recipes are so simple also make the site a great resource for kids and teens who are just learning to cook, not to mention providing good ideas for us ladies who don’t always feel like laboring over a twenty-seven step gourmet meal every evening. The site could even help out newlyweds who might be just learning to cook.  I’m just full of helpful applications for this great site!

So stop by and check them out and be a part of launching a terrifically helpful idea.

                                          A Recipe (And Rambling)

On Sundays after church, I am all about the quickest, easiest, cheapest way to get a meal on the table before falling into bed for a blissful Sunday afternoon snooze.

On a lot of Sundays, it’s tuna burgers to the rescue.  This is a recipe my mom made a lot when I was growing up although I use the term “recipe” loosely since I don’t know that I’ve ever seen my mom look at a recipe card or open a cookbook.  Since she had six kids in ten years, she didn’t have a lot of extra time for cookbook gazing; she’d just walk into the kitchen, open a cupboard, open the fridge, turn on the stove, fire up the oven, clatter a few pans, stir a few ingredients in a bowl and the next thing we knew, there would be a delicious, economical meal for eight on the table.  An amazing woman, my mom.

At any rate (I’ve already started to ramble, haven’t I?), I can have the following meal on the table in 20-25 minutes which makes me a happy woman, indeed. Because a fast Sunday lunch means a slow Sunday nap.  And I love me a good, slow nap.

So.  Let’s get started, shall we?

This is a can of tuna.

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These are eggs.
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This is a skillet, heating over medium/high heat with 2 T. of oil spread across its skillet-y self.tuna patties 012

Are you with me so far?  Am I going too fast?

Okay then.

Crack two eggs. Dump them into a tuna-containing bowl.

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Add a variety of seasonings which are entirely up to you.  I put in 1/2 t. of Lawrys seasoned salt, 5 or 6 shakes of coarse ground pepper and about a teaspoon of onion powder.    (You could add minced onion instead of the powder if you were so inclined.) I also add parsley which is more for looks than flavor but in the world of the humble (and woefully bland looking) tuna patty, appearance-enhancing techniques are rather imperative.
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Step over  the dog who is always helpfully present when any sort of cooking is in progress.
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Take 6 or 7 (or even 8 if you’re feeling adventurous) saltines and mush them up in your hands.
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Dump the mushed crackers into the tuna/seasoning mixture.
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If you feel like it, throw in a half cup (or so) of shredded cheese.  I usually use sharp cheddar because I’m a Wisconsin native and I feel a special kinship with sharp cheddar cheese. Although I do NOT feel a kinship with cheese curds which many Wisconsinites are known to eat.  On purpose.  (Ick.)

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After stirring everything together with great alacrity and also enthusiasm, make four equal sized patties and throw ‘em into the skillet which should be pretty hot by now.  You can tell if it’s hot enough by splashing a few drops of water in it; in a perfect world, the drops will sizzle a bit.  If they don’t sizzle, wait a minute or two and try the sizzle test again. (Important Note: If the pan starts smoking and then bursts into flames, that is another very accurate way of determining if the skillet is sufficiently hot.)

Cook the patties for about five minutes on one side before flippin’ em over and cooking them another 3-4 minutes on yon opposite side. When they’re sufficiently browned, they’re done.  (Unlike hamburgers, you don’t have to worry about a tuna burger being cooked all the way through; it’s mainly a matter of how crisp you want it to be.)

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While the tuna patties are sizzling merrily away in the pan, you can slice some tomato and sprinkle it with parsley, drizzle it with some Italian dressing and sprinkle it with coarse ground pepper.  (Our family is addicted to coarse ground black pepper; that powdery stuff just doesn’t do it for us anymore.)
And of course, I add parsley for color because . . . well . . . I just can’t help myself.
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Pull these muffins out of the oven which you would have put in the oven before starting the tuna patties if I had remembered to tell you.  (Oops.)
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(Let me just mention that you might want to keep this muffin batter in your fridge at all times; it keeps for 6 weeks, which means you can have freshly baked, home made muffins anytime you want you want them. Convenient, economical, delicious.  What’s not to love?)

After the muffins have been removed from the oven, ring the brass dinner bell to summon the daughter of the house from her bedroom.  (Note:  This dinner bell has been in our family for over ten years and was the bell that Sarah used during her cancer treatment to call for me in the middle of the night when she was sick.)

Also note that our dinner bell desperately needs to be polished but the chances of it being polished within the next ten years?  Zilch.

At any rate, I firmly believe that at some point, every family needs to buy a dinner bell.  They’re very cool.  And also loud.

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When said daughter arrives in the kitchen, ask her to set the table while you attend to the final touches.
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Those final touches are adding to the patties a bit of cheese (for color) and/or paprika or parsley flakes.
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I am psychologically incapable of putting anything on the table without adding some sort of color to it. I suppose I’m an Avon consultant of sorts for food products.  And in case you’re wondering, the reason there are two different kinds of cheese garnishes on the patties is because I was trying to helpfully display different ways of enhancing the food.  And adding color.  You know.  Like a good Avon (food) consultant would do.
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Next? Call any missing and/or far flung family members to the table using your voice or the dinner bell, depending on just how far flung they are.

Sit down.  Eat.     

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After you are done eating, go lie down. Take a nap. And be ye glad.

The end.

(And here for your perusal is the non-rambling recipe.)
Tuna Patties
1 large can tuna, well drained
6 saltine crackers, crushed
2 eggs
1/2 t. salt  (I use Lawry's)
A few dashes pepper
1/2 –1 t. onion power (or minced onion)
parsley (optional)
1/2 C shredded cheese (optional)
Combine all ingredients. Form into four patties.   Put on pre-heated, oiled skillet and cook for 5 minutes.  Turn over and cook 3-4 more minutes or until browned.  Garnish as desired.  Can serve with tartar sauce or salsa.

6 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

Anonymous said...

I think you forgot "eggs" in the short, recipe version on the bottom. :) Looks yummy!

Becky Smith said...

Anon, thanks for noticing the omission of the eggs. I just fixed it.

Guerrina In CT said...

Though I've an aversion to warm tuna (except for a fresh tuna steak), I think this one I'll have to try out! Thanks!

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