Friday, April 1, 2011
Leftovers: Ahi Tuna Cakes
Fresh fish is delicious but what do you do with the leftovers? Warming it up results in a tough, dry piece of yuck so in my house it usually sits in the frig for 2 weeks (Why do I save it in the first place? Catholic guilt, I guess.) before becoming $10 per pound garbage.
I still had several pieces of grilled fish after my ahi sandwich meal, and decided to create a high-falutin' tuna cake. Here's how to do it: chop up a mirepoix, or "holy trinity"--for you non-foodies, this is a combination of onions, celery, and carrots, to equal about 1/2 cup. Mix them in a bowl with 4 filets of flaked cooked fish, 2 Tsp. dried oregano, 2 tsp. dried basil, (though fresh would have been better), 1/4 tsp. cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste.
For the binder, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a pot, then add an equal amount of flour--this makes a roux (You learned two new French words today!), and cook it for a couple of minutes to get the raw taste out of the flour. Add about 1 cup of skim milk and whisk til thickened, adding salt and pepper to taste, then stir it half this sauce into the fish mixture. Keep the rest for later.
Form the fish into patties, whatever size you want, and dip them into a plate filled with Panko Japanese bread crumbs--find these in your Asian section and then use them for everything breaded. They are far superior to the bread crumbs in those cardboard canisters.
Saute the fish cakes in a little olive oil until browned. Back to that reserved white sauce: thin it with a little more milk and serve the fish patties with the sauce poured over the fish.