Monday, April 21, 2014

tuna, egg and cheese mini-pies - an impossibly easy mini-pie recipe

Canned tuna is a really versatile ingredient to have in the kitchen.

Apart from the numerous combinations of sandwiches one can make with canned tuna, there are also many salads one can add tuna to, the most famous (I guess) being Salad Niçoise.

Indeed, for many years, I would not eat canned tuna. The LAM found it very difficult to understand this, as "Cat Food Bun" (ie, tuna sandwich) is one of his favourite things to eat.

He was, however, able to convince me to take a bite of his Salad Niçoise one evening while we were out at a nearby Italian restaurant and I guess that was the turning point for my relationship with canned tuna. While it would never make it to the Top 10 things I love to eat, at least I stopped hating canned tuna with a passion.

Which brings me to my offering for today - an impossibly easy mini-pie with tuna.

As with most of my recipes, this one is really easy.

I started by preparing the tuna. In a Dutch oven, I sauteed diced onion for about 3-4 minutes, or until the onions became soft and translucent. Into this, I also added thinly sliced chili. If you do not like spicy food, omit the chili.

Then I added the tuna which I had drained. Here, I used a combination of tuna in olive oil and tuna in chili oil but you can use any combination that you like.

Finally, I seasoned with a little salt and pepper.

And transferred the mixture into a bowl to cool.

While all that happened, I also boiled some eggs. The shells of the eggs were removed and I gave the eggs a rough chop.

Finally, I was ready to assemble the pies.

Into each greased cavity of a 12-hole muffin pan, I placed a scant tablespoon of Bisquick mixture. For those who do not have store-bought Biquick mix, I have also provided a recipe for a home-made version at the end of this post.

Then I added 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of tuna mixture and about 1 tablespoon of chopped eggs.

Finally, I topped (generously) with cheese. I used shredded Cheddar, but any cheese you like would work.

I added another tablespoon of Bisquick mixture onto each pie, sprinkled some coarsely ground black pepper, and baked the pies for 30 minutes, or until the tops had turned golden brown.

These mini-pies make really great breakfasts or even as a quick snack. I have friends who make them to pack into their kids' lunch boxes.

Easy, quick, delicious and versatile. What more can one ask from a pie? :)

Tuna, Egg and Cheese Mini-Pies - An Impossibly Easy Mini-Pie Recipe (Makes 12)

2 cans tuna, drained
2 large chili, seeds removed and thinly sliced
1/2 onion, diced
3 eggs, boiled and chopped
1 cup shredded Cheddar
Salt and pepper to taste
Black pepper to sprinkle

1. Saute onions for 2-3 minutes in extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet.
2. Add chili and cook a further 30 seconds.
3. Add tuna, salt and pepper. Stir to mix. Transfer into a bowl to cool.
4. Spray a 12-hole muffin pan with vegetable oil. Add a scant tablespoonful of batter, followed by 2 tablespoons of filling and 1-2 tablespoons of Cheddar. Top with another tablespoon of batter.
5. Sprinkle with black pepper.
6. Bake at 180C for 30 minutes, or until the tops of the pies have turned golden brown.
7. Cool completely before removing from muffin pan and storing in fridge (2-3 days) or freezer (up to 3 months).
Note: Thaw in fridge over-night if storing in freezer before re-heating.

For the Batter using Ready-Made Bisquick Mix:
1/2 cup Bisquick mix
1/2 cup milk - this can be whole milk or low-fat milk
2 eggs

Whisk Bisquick mix, milk and eggs in a bowl until combined.

For the Homemade Bisquick Mix:
3 cups plain flour, sifted
1/2 tablespoons baking powder, sifted
56.7g cold butter or shortening

Place flour, baking powder and butter in a mixing bowl. Use a pastry cutter (or food processor) to cut in the cold butter until evenly incorporated. Keep in refrigerator for up to 4 months.