Thursday, April 19, 2012

Faux Crab Cakes (Tuna Cakes)

I strongly desire crabcakes but developed and allergy to shellfish in my early 20's.  I tried imitation crab meat a time or two but found it to be pretty tasteless and even some imitation crab meat still has some shellfish juices, etc. in it.  I stumbled across a show one day several years ago where they were using tuna to make crabcakes - I love tuna but don't have a lot of ways of cooking it and the hubster is not real crazy about it.  So I have experimented over the years and came up with this zesty little tunacake that even my kids and husband consume without a mumble of complaint.  And if you have a budding young chef it is a great one for the kids to help with.

I just love this little vintage bowl - it came from my dad's
grandmother - I'm told she used it as a fruit bowl but its the
perfect size for so many tasks that I use it a lot.

Start with 2 cans or 1 really large can of tuna (I use the regular tuna packed in water) and drain them well.

Add 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard, 2 tablespoons dill relish, 1 egg, salt and pepper, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs, 1/2 cup mayo, and 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I use colby jack or cheddar).

Mix it well but make sure you don't over mix - you don't want the tuna broken down too fine.  If its too soggy to form into a patty, add more bread crumbs and shredded cheese (half and half) until it forms into a loose patty.  I like to use an ice cream scoop or 1/2 cup measuring cup to scoop the patties so they are fairly uniform in size.

Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet and add patties as you form them.  Cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until they are golden and the edges are starting to firm.

Don't wait too long to flip them like I did here - unless you like your stuff done a little more well.  My hubby actually prefers them this way.

Crispy on the outside - soft and melty on the inside - perfect!

I served them with a side of rice with shredded carrot and blackbeans for a slightly Creole take but they go well with just about any side dishes.

I also always offer a simple tarter made from 1/4 cup mayo, 2 tablespoons relish, salt and pepper.

The leftovers do freeze and microwave well.

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