Sometimes, I remember a dish from childhood and wonder if I could make it better. This dish is one of those, and yes, I really did make it better. It's totally retro, and I'm totally cool with that...
Sometimes, I remember a dish from childhood and wonder if I could make it better. This dish is one of those, and yes, I really did make it better. It’s totally retro, and I’m totally cool with that…
Mum was the queen of the diet pamphlet, and her favourite was for a “High Fibre Diet” – roughly photocopied onto a mint green coloured paper and stapled together like some sort of make-do-and-mend craft project. Most the recipes passed me by, I don’t remember them at all – memorably unmemorable, you could say. But there was one recipe that really shouldn’t have worked, but it did, and it is the only recipe I remember from that pamphlet.
The basic flavour profile here is thus: tuna, peppers, scallions and pastry. It doesn’t sound the best does it? But trust me, it’s actually tasty AF! I don’t quite know where the ‘High Fibre’ element comes into this dish, but then again, this isn’t what I, personally, am looking for. Serve it up with an aul slice of brown bread if you really must – no-one’s judging you!
I had all but forgotten about this dish too, and then, one day, for no discernable reason, I remembered it as clear as a bell, and ever since I’ve been procrastinating about trying it out. I had a sneaking suspicion I could make it taste even better, and an even sneakier one that this would probably be a really simple mid-week supper that tasted like you spent far longer working on it than it does.
Think of it like a giant tuna sausage roll. The trickiest thing about it is the braiding, but when have I ever asked you to tie yourself in knots about how something looks? Remind yourself what the name of this blog is, then get over yourself and crack on!
Another absolutely great thing about this is that there is no cooking involved – except to bake the thing in the oven. If you can get your hands on some quality roasted red peppers in olive oil, this even saves you the job of blistering a long sweet red pepper on the gas ring of your hob. I insist you use ready made puff pastry for this recipe – another shortcut!
All this aside, the quality of the main ingredient is key. Back in the day, Mum used cheap tinned tuna – and of course if this is what is in your budget, then go for it. But in Ireland we are lucky to have the Shine Family who create a beautiful ready to eat product with their Wild Irish Tuna range. Chunky loins of silky tuna, preserved in olive oil and presented in glass jars, it is a far superior product to the tinned, super flaky, budget tinned variety. Early this year, the Irish Food Writers Guild bestowed its product award to the Shine family – so it comes highly rated by those in the know!
To give the dish some extra pep, I used Shine’s Wild Irish Tuna in Chilli Oil. It was the perfect choice! I served it up with a garden leaf salad, and it works really well with a Broad Bean Hummus I made (get the recipe here!)
Ingredients (serves two as a dinner, or four for a light lunch):
A light pale ale goes really well with this. Enjoy…
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