Try canned fish again

Wendy Rahamut's Tuna Pasta - Photo courtesy Wendy Rahamut
Wendy Rahamut's Tuna Pasta - Photo courtesy Wendy Rahamut

It is the season when fresh fish automatically increases in price, it’s the Lenten season when many Christians refrain from eating meat at least once per week, I don’t see how that warrants an increase in price but we can’t stress over what we cannot change.

So let us turn our attention to canned fish, which is actually not bad nutritionally. We do consume lots of canned tuna, and many brands are on sale at the moment at the supermarket.

Canned salmon and tuna can be very efficient economically, one tin of tuna can be turned into a delicious tuna noodle casserole for 4-6 persons, or the same in salmon can be made into delightful salmon and corn cakes for six people, as well as it can become the filling in some delightful salmon turnovers.

Why not become a little bit adventurous this week, make some magic in your kitchens and embrace canned fish once again.

Tuna noodle casserole

  • ¾ cup uncooked macaroni elbows
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 small bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped celery
  • 1 10-oz tin cream of mushroom soup
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 6-oz tin chunk tuna, in water, drained
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup frozen green peas or any mixed veg
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Boil macaroni in enough salted water, drain and set aside. Combine breadcrumbs with ½ cup cheese. Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil, until fragrant, add peppers and sauté for a couple of minutes, add soup, milk, macaroni, tuna, half cup of cheese, and peas, stir to combine. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Pour into a greased one-quart casserole dish and top with cheese and breadcrumb mixture. Bake for about 25 minutes until top is brown.

Salmon and corn cakes

  • 1 7 ½-oz tin pink salmon, drained and skin removed
  • ½ cup whole kernel corn
  • ½ cup chopped chives
  • 2 tbs fresh French thyme
  • 2 tbs chopped parsley
  • 1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 medium-sized potato, peeled and boiled
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste vegetable oil for frying

Drain salmon and flake, remove skin. Combine salmon with corn, chives, thyme, parsley, red pepper, garlic, and lime juice. Mash potato and add to salmon mixture, combine well. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Shape salmon into patties about 2 inches in diameter. Pour about quarter cup of oil into a medium-sized frying pan, and shallow-fry patties until golden on both sides. Drain.

Makes 6

Caribbean tuna and pasta toss with fresh herbs

  • 4 cups penne pasta or any short pasta, boiled and drained
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup chopped chives
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 6-oz tin chunk tuna in water, drained
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 6 black olives, cut into slivers
  • 1 tbs capers
  • 2 tbs chopped basil
  • 2 tbs chopped parsley
  • Parmesan cheese to garnish, optional salt

Heat oil in a frying pan, add garlic and chives, cook until fragrant.

Add tomatoes and stir, then add tuna and combine. Stir in lemon zest, add olives and capers. Sprinkle on basil and parsley and remove from heat. Toss with pasta and garnish with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Serves 4

Salmon turnovers

Flaky pastry:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup shortening
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup iced water

Combine flour with salt. Cut shortening and butter into mixture until mixture resembles small peas. Add a small amount of iced water and with your hands bring the mixture together (you may not need all the water). Divide into 2 pieces and pat into rounds. Wrap and refrigerate for about one hour.

Salmon filling:

  • 1 14 ¾-oz tin salmon, drained and skin removed
  • 1 cup chopped chives, green and white parts
  • 2 pimento peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 tbs finely chopped chadon beni (or cilantro)
  • 1 tbs fresh French thyme
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp pepper sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with one tbs water
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F. Place all the ingredients, except egg, into a food processor bowl and process just until ingredients are very finely chopped. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. If you are doing by hand, break salmon into very tiny pieces and add the balance of ingredients, mix well. Roll pastry out to about ¼-inch thickness. Stamp out rounds about 3 inches in diameter. Place about 1 tablespoon of filling onto the centre of the lower half of 1 pastry round. Fold upper piece over and seal by hand or crimp with a fork. Repeat until all salmon and pastry are used up.

Place on a lined baking tray and brush turnovers with beaten egg mixture. Bake for 15 minutes until golden.

Makes 24 turnovers

Cuisine Calling with Wendy Rahamut.
Cuisine Calling with Wendy Rahamut.


"Try canned fish again"

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