Saturday Supper: Cheddar Ale Soup and Tuna Croquettes with Fried Spaghetti

Several weeks ago, we had dinner at Drew’s Bayshore Bistro. It’s a BYO, so Michael took along a bottle of Paulaner Wheat Grass Ale to go with his favorite main course: (VERY spicy) Jambalaya. Since he only drank about 5 ounces (the bottle holds 17 ounces), we took the rest home, and I kept it in the frig with the intent of using it in future recipes.

Paulaner Beer

For last night’s start to the meal, I used this recipe, White Cheddar Cheese Beer Soup, substituting yellow cheddar for white and the ale for beer. Delicious!

/”>At Home:  Cheddar Beer Soup

Tuna Croquettes with Fried Spaghetti has been a part of my cooking repertoire for a long time. It’s one of Michael’s favorites. When I‘m occasionally stumped about what to make for dinner and ask him for his preference, this is the combo he invariable chooses.

The ingredients for my croquettes are as follows: canned tuna, chopped onions, chopped pickled jalapeno pepper, chopped parsley, lemon juice + grated rind, Dijon mustard, egg, and bread crumbs.

The fried spaghetti has an interesting history. Michael told me that his mother served spaghetti coated with ketchup. That was it! Nothing else! My mother never served spaghetti for family dinners because my father didn’t like spaghetti. She did, however, occasionally make it for lunch when my father wasn’t around. Her idea of how to “sauce” it was to sauté some chopped onion in butter, add the cooked spaghetti to the pan, coat it with – yes, you guessed it! – ketchup, and heat it through.  (What was it with our Jewish mothers and ketchup for spaghetti?!)  I thought this fried spaghetti “recipe” was her invention, and that nobody else could possibly be coming up with it.  That is, until I went to Israel in 1965. While in Tel Aviv, I stayed for two weeks with an Israeli family. One day, I came into the kitchen when the mom was preparing lunch for her two little boys. Shock of shocks to discover that of all things I could ever imagine, she was making “our” fried spaghetti. Amazing! There was one difference: she added some crushed fresh garlic to the sautéed onions. She offered me some of the finished spaghetti. The garlic really zipped things up. It thus became part of the recipe. I also use lots of freshly ground black pepper for added spiciness.

At Home:  Tuna Croquettes and Fried Spaghetti

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