Occasionally I like to meander down memory lane and dabble in what I consider ‘retro’ foods….
You know, those foods we were forced to eat as children and now love.
Or maybe something that we ate every week that we swore would never cross our lips once we were in charge of our own kitchen.
My mother was a good cook, very good, actually, but she didn’t enjoy it. It was a chore, something she had to do every day. It was a rare occasion when she found a new recipe or tried something slightly different.
Even now, knowing I love to cook, write a food blog and am always trying new things, she will still ask: ‘How do you fix your chicken’ or ‘how do you cook your asparagus’. The implication is that each cook in the world has one, and only one, tried and true way to cook something, whether it’s chicken or asparagus or beef stew or ostrich steaks.
My mother’s chicken was excellent. She’s somewhat famous locally for it. But she only ever fixed it one way.
What she loved to do was bake: pies, cookies, cakes, fussy desserts, breads…. She loved it all.
Why is it that I love to cook but rarely bake? (other than bread, but that’s food, not dessert)
One thing that I didn’t eat for years after leaving home was boiled potatoes.
Nine out of ten days there was a big bowl of boiled potatoes on the table for dinner.
On the other day she fried them or mashed them.
I have 65 different recipes for potatoes on my website.
Boiled isn’t one of them.
Living in the midwest we didn’t have a big selection of fresh fish to choose from when it came to the ‘not eating meat’ bit during lent. We were reduced to canned salmon and tuna.
The choice for the tuna was the ubiquitous Tuna Casserole; the salmon was turned into Salmon Patties.
I kept on eating the Tuna Casserole – modified of course, with lots of cheese added…. and some cauliflower:
Tuna Casserole with Cauliflower Cheese
I combined the canned tuna and salmon – with our love of meat loaf and made a
Salmon and Tuna Loaf with Tarragon Mayonnaise
And just last week I modified the traditional Salmon Patty and made:
Tuna, Caper and Feta Patties
9oz (270gr) tuna
1 tbs capers
1 tbs chopped Greek or Kalamta Olives
2oz (60gr) feta, crumbled
1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
1 tbs bread crumbs
1 tbs olive oil
Drain the tuna and put into a large bowl. Whisk egg in a small bowl. Add mustard and breadcrumbs, mix well. Add egg mixture to tuna and gently mix. Add capers, olives and feta, stir until just combined.
Divide mixture into 4ths. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add mixture and form into patties with the back of a spoon. Sauté 7 – 9 minutes, until starting to brown. Carefully turn with a spatula and sauté another 5 – 6 minutes.
Serve with Tarragon Tarter Sauce
Tarragon Tarter Sauce
1/2 cup plain or Greek yogurt
1 tbs fresh tarragon
1 tbs fresh chives
2 tsp Dijon-style mustard
1/3 tsp garlic powder
Put all ingredeints in a small bowl and stir well. Set aside for 15 minutes to blend flavors.
Mom would be so proud!