Tuna and Mushroom Potato Top Pie

This is yet another cheap, filling recipe you can make that is perfect for the cold weather coming up. And on top of being a fantastic recipe, I took this one from a fantastic blog, Bits of Taste. This is one of my go-to blogs when looking for something new to try in the kitchen, or a little inspiration before going grocery shopping. And the best part of all is that most of these recipes are pretty simple. This isn’t some Gordon Ramsay-type foods, where you have to plate it all perfect and there’s someone screaming expletives in your ear (although that does almost sound fun to me). This is some good, filling food with clear, easy to follow instructions.

Now, I’m a big fan of casseroles and pie. Basically, if I can throw it all in a baking pan, let it cook while I blog and clean, and then call it dinner, then it works for me. My current boyfriend is always amazed at how I can take seemingly any random things out of our fridge, and turn it into some delicious creation. The secret it to mix together foods that you would already serve together. For those of you who are just starting out with your own culinary creations, or who could just never out together a casserole or dinner pie on the fly, this recipe is a great start.

So, here’s your recipe.

Serves: 4
Ingredients A:
3 large US Potaotes, washed & peeled
1 tbsp Butter
1/2 cup Milk (I used full cream milk)

Ingredients B:
1/2 cup Fresh White Button, chopped coarsely or sliced
1 Onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
2 sprigs Curry leaves, removed stem
2 cups Tuna (use canned tuna chunks in sunflower oil)
Salt & black pepper to taste
2 tbsps Lime juice
2 tbsp shredded Cheddar cheese
4 medium-sized Oven-proof bowls

Methods:
1. Preheat oven at 300ºF.
2. Peel and wash potatoes, cut into small chunks. Bring water to a boil. Add in a pinch of salt & potatoes. Make sure the water cover the potatoes.
3. Boil potatoes until soft. Drain. Mash hot potatoes with butter & milk. Set aside.
4. Heat up oil in a frying pan over medium-high fire. Brown onions for one minute, add in garlic and curry leaves. Fry another minute.
5. Add in mushroom and saute until fragrant. Add the tuna and toss well. Sprinkle some salt & black pepper according to your taste. Off fire. Stir in lime juice and mix well.
6. Spoon tuna mixture into 4 medium-sized oven-proof bowls. Press mixture into the bowls with the back of a spoon.
7. Top with mashed potato and use the back of the spoon to smoothen the surface. Use a fork to make patterns on the top of the mashed potato.
8. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over and add a sprinkling of black pepper.
9. Place in the oven and bake for 15 mins at 400ºF or until the top is golden brown. Do not over baked.

Now, a few tips:

  • You can get canned mushrooms for this recipe too. Usually, I recommend getting canned if that’s what’s easiest for you. BUT, if your regular grocery store sells individual mushrooms that you bag up and buy like that, go for it for this recipe! When they’re fresh, they absorb the flavours a bit more. In a pinch, though, canned with still work. They’ll just be a little blander tasting, but won’t affect the recipe much over-all.
  • If you don’t have fresh potatoes at home, or have physical limitations that prevent you from mashing them by hand, grab a box of instant mashed potatoes. I got a box at the dollar store a few weeks ago, and have used it three times already. Since you’re not making the whole box at once, as long as you seal it up tight it will last a few weeks.
  • If you don’t have fresh garlic or onions, feel free to use dried or powdered versions.
  • In some places, canned tuna can get expensive. I was lucky enough to get a package of 12 cans for $8 at Costco a few months ago, and have been using those. You can always use less tuna and more fillers (mushrooms and a little bit of the potatoes) to save money.
  • Another great option is other canned meats. The nearest dollar store to here sells canned ham, salmon, turkey, crab, and chicken. And our local Metro sells these too, in slightly larger cans. Most of these are quite affordable (for canned meats). And you can always try Spam, if your heart so desires. While I’m not a big fan of Spam unless it’s in a Monty Python sketch, my mother swears it is one of the greatest foods ever artificially invented in a lab.
  • And you don’t need to separate this recipe into a bunch of different pans. If you want to make one big pie, go for it. If you want to make a bunch of smaller pies, then do that. If you want to put little bits of this into muffin tins and make tiny little muffin-pies, then you do that. Basically, cook this up whatever way you want. After all, that’s how you get comfortable in the kitchen and make a dish really yours.
  • If you want a little added flavour, try sprinkling some cheap spices on top of the potatoes before you bake everything. For this, I’d probably use garlic powder (since there’s already garlic in there), or paprika (because for some reason, I put that on almost everything I try to bake that isn’t a cake).

So there you go, another yummy experiment to try out. Now go have a bit of fun with this, sunshine!

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