Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Once again, adding green onions blasts dish to the stars!

My fresh green onions have done it again. Remembering my Bistro Chicken Salad and how pulling a handful of green shoots from the soil and chopping them up for this dish brought enough zing to blast me to the stars, I just had to add them to a recent entree of Tuna Cakes with Creole Mayonnaise. Utter delight!

The Tuna Cakes recipe from Southern Living’s recent “No-Fuss Dinners” article appealed to me simply because of its title. Who doesn’t respond to a headline advertising easy meals that “take the pressure off weeknights”? Especially on days when I go sit with Grandmunchkin in the afternoons to help out his mommy, getting a quick meal on the table after I arrive home late is always a challenge. I also loved the idea of stirring up the zesty “Creole Mayonnaise”—regular fat-free mayo spiced up with Creole seasoning and lemon juice—as a topping. I always welcome suggestions about how to enhance a prosaic can of tuna fish.

After all that, however, the mixture still looked a little bland to me. That’s when I remembered our green onion rows that proudly wave in the March wind. I stepped to our backyard garden plot and pulled one that looked especially hardy. A thorough rinse, a few chops on the cutting board, a good stir into the tuna mixture, and this evening meal just took on new dimensions.

A word about the prosaic can(s) of tuna fish, however. The recipe below (originated from Southern Living, as I mentioned) calls for 2 extra-large cans of tuna or 5 of the small ones. I had only 2 small cans on hand, so I stirred it up with those 2 but stuck with the portions in the regular recipe. Even with this adaptation, the amount made 8 servings of nice-sized, flavorful patties—ample for a couple of good meals for me and Hubby.

Tuna Cakes with Creole Mayonnaise

2 (12-ounce) cans solid white tuna in spring water, drained well (5 5-ounce cans solid white
tuna in spring water, drained well may be substituted)
1 1/4 cups Italian breadcrumbs (I used two large slices of whole-wheat bread, pulsed them in a blender, and added 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning to make my crumbs instead of buying already-packaged ones)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten (or 1/2 cup egg substitute)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 cup fat-free mayonnaise, divided
1 1/4 teaspoons Creole seasoning, divided (I use the salt-free variety)
1 cup chopped fresh green onions
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Drain and rinse tuna. Place tuna and breadcrumbs in a large bowl; stir in eggs, lemon zest, mustard, 1/3 cup mayonnaise, and 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning. Shape mixture into 8 (3-inch) patties. Cook 4 patties in 2 tablespoons hot oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden; drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining tuna cakes and oil. Combine lemon juice and remaining 2/3 cup mayonnaise and 1/4 teaspoon Creole seasoning. Serve with hot tuna cakes. Makes 8 servings.

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