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!
10 thoughts on “Tuna, Caper and Feta Patties – and 2 more fish for Lent”
These tuna patties sound delish!
Where are you getting fresh tarragon at this time of year?
It all looks great, but I think that amount of cheese would stop my heart. 🙂
Peter, I love putting feta with tuna – or anything, actually
brassfrog, my tarragon is up enough to cut – HA! It just looks like a lot of cheese – there’s really cauliflower hidden in there….
Tuna noodle casserole … yes I’ve gone back there and now have one we love.
Really like that tuna noodle cauliflower cheese, might have to try that one.
Ha, we did not leave spring arriving in the north. They had freezing rain today and then snow. Here it’s 80°. I call that summer.
Tuna casserole was one of the things that my mom allowed me to make when I still lived at home, many, many years ago now.
Katie, I love your cooking, it warms my heart and puts a smile on my face. I love tuna casserole! Back in the day, before I knew I was a Celiac, I was a baking Queen! Seriously, I was. Baking gluten free is a whole different ball game. And although I thought I was a pretty decent cook, baking was my forte. Here I am 15 years later, and cooking is now my forte…however…baking is slowly,ever, so slowly coming around. I am slowly learning to bake good foods gluten free.
It is a shame your mom did not like cooking, especially since she was good at it. I remember the same..I hated to cook, but the conundrum I faced, was I loved good food! So I had to get over it, get off the pot, and look for joy in cooking. So glad I did,because it has opened up a whole new culinary world for me and my family. (not to mention, my mom was a gourmet cook) So glad you share your wonderful recipes. Thanks, Ina
My mum was and is still a great cook and baker. It was a chore for her when she had a young family as it was for me. I think it becomes less of a chore and way more rewarding as your family grows up and their taste buds sophisticate and they can express enjoyment and appreciation for your efforts. There was very little reward for me in cooking for toddlers and small fussy children who won’t try anything new. With adult children now it is a whole different ball game.
We used to call tuna noodle, a staple in our house, toodle-loo. I loved it as the Friday cook because everyone liked it, it went together fast and it filled you up. Salmon loaf was another favorite. Now I’ll have to try the tuna, capers and feta patties…they sound delish!
I gulped, this look so delicious, I’m drooling, tuna is my favorite fish so this recipe is welcome.I enjoy reading your blog, I always find something interesting here.
Tanna, I have to admit I never outgrew tuna noodle casserole – or ‘hot dish’ as my mother called it.
Val, moi aussi. Guess she figured I couldn’t mess it up – little did she know. She would be appalled at the cauliflower. Not right!
Ina, thank you so much for all of your kind words. It’s a real challenge to have to change your life and kitchen style due dietary needs change…. We did that 1 years ago when mon mari had his pancreas removed. Still adjusting… My mother had to cook for her family (her job) when she was growing up and I think that made her dislike it.
manningroad, it’s never fun to cook for people, young or old, who don’t appreciate it. Age has its rewards LOL
Elle, my aunt called it that!!! I love capers with fish of any sort.
Eye care, thanks for visiting – and commenting, Hope you like it
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