Sweet & Spicy Tuna Pie


Remember tuna casserole?

That pie with goopy white sauce, noodles and canned tuna, probably topped with crushed potato chips? I am blessed that my mother never made it, but I certainly had it at friends’ homes and the school cafeteria.

Now, put your preconceptions aside and give this tuna recipe a try. It may seem like a basic tuna and veggie casserole, but it springs to life in your mouth with a twist of spicy (from the chili peppers), sweet (sugar and onion) and salty (capers and olives). The puff pastry adds just the right flaky, crunchy packaging to make this a unique and delicious dish.

Sweet & Spicy Tuna Pie

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large red onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 1 7- ounce can tuna drained rinsed if in oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup raisins roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped green olives
  • 1/4 cup pickled hot chili peppers preferably jalapeno roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 1 package 2 sheets frozen puff pastry thawed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons water

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and bay leaf and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until everything is kind of mushy, about 10 minutes. It should be on the dry side, so keep cooking and stirring if the sauce is soup-y.
  • Toss in the tuna and break it up to make sure there are no big chunks. Add the brown sugar, oregano, thyme and salt and mix well.
  • Stir in the raisins, olives, chili peppers, capers and parsley. Cover the saucepan and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for about 10 minutes, The mixture should be moist but not watery. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
  • Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  • Line the bottom and sides of a round baking dish with one sheet of pastry. Add the tuna filling, spreading evenly.
    Sweet & Spicy Tuna Pie
  • Cover the tuna filling with the second sheet of pastry. Pinch the edges together to seal them.
  • In a small bowl, beat the egg and water together. Using a pastry brush, paint the top and edges of the pie evenly and lightly with the egg. Cut 4 to 5 one-inch vents in the cop crust.
  • Place the pie in the bottom third of your preheated oven and bake until the pastry is crisp, puffed up and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Rotate the casserole at the 10-minute mark to ensure that the puff pastry cooks and browns evenly.
  • 10. Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes. Slice and serve!
    Sweet & Spicy Tuna Pie

Notes:

  • This recipe makes four good-sized servings – a dinner when you add a simple green salad. Although when my husband and I are ravenous, we’ll each eat half!
  • You can use any green olives, but remove and discard pits. Even jarred cocktail olives with pimentos work well. My favorite are spiced olives from the self-serve olive bar at our local Whole Foods. (These are also a yummy snack!)
  • This is a two-crust pie. However, you can make it without the bottom crust – just cook it in the top half of your oven.
  • My puff pastry comes in big sheets so I don’t need to roll it out to make it large enough for my cooking pan. If your puff pastry sheets are smaller, put a little flour on a large, flat surface and gently roll out each sheet to stretch it to fit your baking pan of choice.
  • Although puff pastry makes a beautiful presentation, you can also use regular pie crust. You could also use the filling in tacos, or place small spoons-full in single-bite pastry cups for a unique hors d’ouevres. And how about empanadas?!
  • An 8-inch tempered glass, oven-proof pie plate, or metal cake pan, works fine for cooking. But for presentation pizzazz, a cast iron skillet looks amazing!

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