Creamy Dill Sauce with Tunaballs for Daring Cooks

The June Daring Cooks’ challenge sure kept us rolling – meatballs, that is! Shelley from C Mom Cook and Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to try meatballs from around the world and to create our own meatball meal celebrating a culture or cuisine of our own choice.

I chose to do another take on my Tunaballs, with a different sauce.  The last time I made these Magnificent Tuna meat balls it was a variation of a variation on Jamie Oliver's.  This one is a variation on an old Fish Patties recipe of mine, origin unknown, deep in the dark past.  An old recipe 3x5 card.

What I like about this version is the utter simplicity, not to mention good taste.  Also, utter simplicity, the Creamy Dill Sauce, and just what the Tunaball Dr. ordered to be lopped around and over them.  Thank you Nancy for the lovely home-grown dill.

I would say this is a mixed ethnic expression.  Like me, and probably many of us, a blend of various cultures and genetic background.  There's a bit of the Scandinavian in both the sauce and those fishy balls.  Not exactly lutefisk, thank God.  Though I'm sure there are a few Norwegians who have made left-over lutefisk into balls or patties.  A dollop of Italian in the pasta. Not sure what cuisine uses ground sunflower seeds as a binder?  So in celebration of cultural smorgasbords.

As I shared in that earlier post, it would be a culinary travesty to use fresh ahi tuna in these.  Sorry Jamie.  The whole point is to take something from your pantry, a can of tuna, and turn it into something special.  Flake and mix with the seasonings, and ground sunflower seeds. 

Tuna Balls with Creamy Dill Sauce

1 can tuna, drained
1/2 chopped onion
1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice
3/4 cup ground sunflower seeds
salt and freshly ground black pepper
seasoning/optional additions:
2 anchovies
1-2 tablespoons minced dill or sage
2 teaspoons chopped capers
salted preserved lemon, minced
3/4 oz. grated parmesan cheese

Sauté the onion in a bit of oil until translucent.  Flake fish in bowl and add remaining ingredients.  Mix well and form into balls, squeezing together  (wet your hands with a little water).  Put the tuna balls onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper and let sit while you preheat your oven to 400F.

Bake for about 20 minutes or 'til lightly golden.

1 cup cream
1/2 cup finely minced fresh dill
1/4 cup white wine
1 egg yolk
salt and pepper to taste

Begin heating 2/3 cup of the cream in a skillet.  Meanwhile, beat the egg yolk well into 1/3 cup of the cream, add the wine and whisk into the heated cream.   Continue whisking while it simmers, and until thickened.  Add the dill and Tuna Balls, then heat through.

Serve with pasta or potatoes, add a bit of salad or maybe some steamed asparagus.  I marinated cooked, cooled beets for a salad to go alongside.  We enjoyed this Challenge meal.  Both the tuna balls and sauce were delicious.  Wasn't really much of a challenge though, to tell you the truth.   Easy peasy.


shelley c. said...

What a great idea - tunaballs look fun and delicious and that dill sauce sounds heavenly. Thank so much for cooking with us this month!

Swathi Iyer said...

I like dill, I will try this dill sauce and potato ,by the way your tuna ball looks delicious.

Joanne said...

I'm so intrigued by that dill sauce! What an interesting combo!

Ingrid said...

Tunaballs are new to me, but these sounds so delicious, that I am wondering why I never thought of them before. I'll have to come up with another sauce though, because dill is like coriander a herb that I am not "allowed" to use, unless I want to be the only one eating.

Ingrid @ Kitchen Tales of Sugar & Spice

Andy Drouin said...

I never would have thought to use tuna in a meatball. Well done!

SeattleDee said...

Tunaballs, with anchovies, capers and lemon - what a good idea! Now why didn't I think of that? No matter, these just hit the "Must Try" list.

Joanne T Ferguson said...

G'day! I had never heard of tuna balls previously, TRUE!
What a great idea and combination with the dill too!
Cheers! Joanne
The Daring Kitchen Cooks Challenge too! :)

monkeyshines said...

These look great... tuna, anchovies and lots of other tasty flavors! Mrs Monkeyshines does not eat fish so I am going to have to wait until she's out of the house before giving these a try... :-)