Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tuna Cornbread Cakes with Lemon Aioli

So my husband and I went to Lowe's the other day to pick up some lumber, and we happened to walk down the mailbox aisle, and it suddenly hit us that what we really needed in our lives right now was a new mailbox and post because the one that came with the house just doesn't fit us.  And we discussed in depth (for an hour and a half) (in the mailbox aisle of Lowe's) the importance of having the right one because the first thing people see when they pull in the driveway is the mailbox.  It will set the tone for the whole property, as well as give passersby a glimpse into the kind of people who live here.  And didn't we want to make a good impression?  Even if we don't have the resources right now to make our fixer-upper into the home we envision, we could at least fake people out with a totally awesome mail box/post combo.  (I mean haven't you ever prejudged people by just looking at their mailbox?  Hand-painted mailbox?  Artsy-crafty people.  Owners probably have a wide variety of paint, stencils, and brushes in their arts and crafts closet.  Choo-choo train mailbox?  Eclectic and whimsical older couple.  See?  Mailbox profiling.  Right or wrong, I can't help myself.) 

In the end, we couldn't commit.  We just weren't feeling any of the mailbox set ups at Lowe's.  My husband actually googled mailbox ideas the next day and let me know that the possibilities are endless and we could do just about anything with a little creativity.  We could make one look like a John Deere tractor.

A-hem, no.

But I could see his wheels turning and I knew where this was headed.  I let him know quickly that if he even thought for one second that he was going to stick deer antlers on the front, or turkey tail feathers on the back, we would go back to using a post office box.  

And I am serious about that, mister.

So we are holding off on the mailbox until we can find the one that speaks to our souls. 

In other news, the spare bedroom/future office floor is completely torn out, so along with the chaos of moving and getting unpacked, we are under construction.  My son-in-law and husband are laying a brand new floor, and they've been working every night this week after their regular jobs.  This means that I have been cooking every night.  And these cornbread tuna cakes are my new favorite meal because everybody, everybody loves them.  Especially this little guy:

Yeah, his mother cut off all his curls.  It's hard for me to talk about, so let's move on.

So, yes, everyone loves these AND they are super easy AND they make use of leftover cornbread AND they are cheap.  Think of them as crab cakes for poor people.

I'm kidding!  We're not poor.  Sort of.

I have only very slightly adapted this excellent Southern Living recipe.  Here are my notes:

-Whoever thought to take tuna out of cans and put it into neat little foil packets with little to no smelly juice is beyond brilliant.  I love you.

-I love the aioli that goes with this, but regular tartar sauce would be good as well.  Or maybe some pesto.

-I always have leftover cornbread, so now I just stick it in the freezer and when I get enough, I make these.

-I have a really dark kitchen.  This is a problem when you take pictures of your food.  I'm going to have to do some experimenting, so bear with me. 

-I would spray your hands with nonstick cooking spray when forming the patties.

Tuna Cornbread Cakes with Lemon Aioli

2 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 green onions, chopped
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups cornbread crumbs
2 (5-ounce) aluminum foil pouches chunk tuna
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons vegetable oil 

Stir together mayonnaise and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl.

Fold cornbread crumbs and tuna chunks into mayonnaise mixture until well blended. Shape tuna mixture into 8 patties.

Melt butter with vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tuna patties, and cook, in batches, 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown; drain on paper towels. Serve cakes with Lemon aioli.

Lemon Aioli

3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Stir together all ingredients.

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