Tuna Croquettes with Yogurt-Dill Sauce

My food likes and dislikes have changed drastically over the years.  Foods that my young palate struggled with- like beets, cilantro, olives, and Dijon mustard- have made it into my repertoire.  Things I obsessed about at one point or another- like zucchini, cream cheese, cantaloupe- are starting to lose their appeal.  Then there are things I’ve never been too crazy about: raw onions, jello, cottage cheese, rye bread, okra, cherries (who doesn’t want maraschino cherries on banana split? me!), raw bean sprouts, spaghetti squash, anise, plums, mayonnaise, brussels sprouts, canned tuna.  There are definitely more to add to the list, except that I can’t remember all of them.

Recently, I have been thinking about the foods that I love now but hated as a kid, which made me wonder- how many foods do I still avoid just because I cling on to those preferences and I think I don’t like them?  Sometimes, our first impressions are wrong; certain foods may deserve a second or even third try.  Canned tuna- one of my dislikes- takes a starring role in this recipe.  I don’t eat nearly enough fish (maybe once a month?) and incorporating canned tuna into my diet can be a really good thing; it’s convenient, high in protein, and a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.

There’s no doubt that I enjoy croquettes (anything fried, by the way) so I am preparing the tuna in a way that I like.  Once cooked, these croquettes don’t have that tinny taste that canned tuna often has.  I’ll definitely make this again and possibly into larger patties for tuna burgers.

Tuna Croquettes with Yogurt-Dill Sauce
(makes 6 small patties)

For dressing:
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp fresh dill, chopped
Salt, to taste

For croquettes:
1 6-oz can tuna (in oil or water), drained
2 tsp Dijon mustard
¾ cup plain or seasoned breadcrumbs, divided
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp shallots, finely chopped
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 egg
1 tbsp water
Olive oil

In a mixing bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, dill and salt.  Mix well and keep chilled until ready to serve.

In a separate bowl, combine tuna, Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, shallots, salt, and pepper.  With moisten hands, shape tuna mixture into eight patties and set aside.  Place the remaining 1/2 cup breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Beat egg with water in another shallow dish. Dip the patties in the egg-water mixture, then into bread crumbs to coat on both sides.

Heat few tablespoons of olive oil in a non-stick skillet on medium high. Place the patties in the pan, and cook until nicely browned, about 3 minutes on each side. Drain on a paper towel-lined baking sheet and let cool slightly before serving. Serve with yogurt-dill sauce.

*For the breadcrumbs, you can use either plain or seasoned.  You can also substitute with panko.


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