Sunday, December 28, 2008

Individual tuna pies

A great way to dress up cheap tuna packed in water. This is loosely based on a recipe from Penzey's Spices. It makes two servings (in this case, for the adults — the kids got chicken strips from the freezer tonight) and could be doubled and all made in a 10-inch pie pan (kind of like how the original recipe is made). If you don't have creme fraîche on hand, sour cream, or a mixture of sour cream and mayonnaise (again, like the original) would probably work. I'm guessing a bit on the filling ingredient amounts, since I used the leftovers of a sauce from the Christmas salmon — the key thing is you want the filling to be a bit more creamy and liquid-y than your average tuna salad; it will firm up in the oven.

1 can tuna in water, drained
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
2 TBSP butter, cold
about 1/4 cup creme fraîche
about 1/4 tsp dill, dried (or 3/4 tsp fresh)
about 1/2 tsp capers, chopped up fine.
butter, for greasing pans

1. Preheat oven to 400. Butter two 4-inch ramekins.

2. Mix together flour, cheddar, salt and paprika in a mixing bowl. Cut butter into small pieces, add to the flour mixture, and cut together with two knives until it resembles coarse meal with a few pea-sized chunks.

3. Meanwhile, drain tuna and flake with a fork. Mix tuna together with creme fraîche, dill and capers.

4. Put about one quarter of the flour mixture in the bottom of each ramekin. Tilt the pans so the sides get at least a minimal coating of crust, then press the crust left in the bottom down slightly.

5. Spoon half of the tuna mixture into each ramekin, then top with remaining flour mixture.

6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until topping is golden. Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

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