Coriander Complements Croquettes

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - June 29, 2011
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Manoa Valley Theatre cordially invites you to Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding! You’ll toast the happy couple, enjoy champagne and an Italian buffet dinner from auntie Pasto’s, and dance the night away ... because at this performance you’re more than a member of the audience, you’re a friend of the family!

The audience members actually play the roles of Tony n’ Tina’s family and/or friends.

This column is dedicated to Shannon Winpenny, a professionally trained and experienced improvisational theatre artist, and the guest director for MVT’s production.

Her interest in improvisation began 15 years ago when she performed in MVT’s original production of Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding.

She was so turned on by the art form that she departed hawaii to study with the world’s premier comedy club and school of improvisation, Second City in Chicago. She continued her improvisational theatre education at annoyance Productions and iO (formerly improv Olympic), both of Chicago.

For the past three years, Shannon has been co-owner and artistic director of Honolulu’s Laughtrack Theater Company.

She has participated in improv festivals in Honolulu, Chicago, Toronto, Seattle, Chapel hill, Los Angeles and New York.

She is also one of the writers of the popular Society of Professional Journalists’ Gridiron show.

Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding is onstage June 30-July 17. Tickets are available now. (no presents please - all prices are in lieu of gifts to the happy couple!) Call 988-6131, or visit

Coriander is native to the Mediterranean, and its seeds are among the world’s earliest known spices. There is evidence that the ancient Greeks used it as a remedy as early as 1,400 B.C.

Whole or ground coriander seeds are used to add flavor to foods such as seafood, fish, rice, chicken, curries and baked goods. It is also an ingredient of curry and garam masala, essential spice mixtures in Indian cuisine. The dried seeds keep for about a year.

These are good with some tart yogurt on the side for dipping, and can be made into smaller croquettes to be served as appetizers.


* 5 medium-size potatoes, peeled and cooked until tender
* 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and diced into small pieces
* pinch salt (or to taste)
* 1 tablespoon garam masala
* 2 tablespoons coriander powder
* 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 8 cilantro leaves, finely chopped
* 3/4 cup panko crumbs
* canola oil, for frying

Drain potatoes, place in large bowl and mash well.

Mix salt, garam masala, coriander, pepper and cilantro until well-combined, and add to potatoes, mixing until all spices are incorporated.

Add diced chicken and mix to blend.

Shape mixture into patties about 3 inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick and coat with panko flakes.

Heat about 2 tablespoons oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Fry patties until golden brown on both sides, adding oil as needed.

Makes about 10 patties.

Approximate nutrition information Per Patty:

Calories: 190
Fat: 6 grams (depending on how much oil is used)
Cholesterol: 10 milligrams
Sodium: 150 milligrams (depending on how much salt is added)

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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