There was no chance of going with this as a post last night when I had half of this hot for sups. That’s one of the joys of living so close to the sea as there’s usually a breeze at night whilst I tuck into a large plateful of hot pasta, or some other dish. And this is one of those recipes I could easily do on auto. Anyway, earlier today I couldn’t resist having this with freshly cooked pasta served cold instead as it’s amazing weather right now. And a new ingredient was screaming out to be used in this – cream cheese with black pepper.
Seriously, who would’ve thought? I certainly wouldn’t have come up with the idea of plain cream cheese and lots of ground black pepper. Well, it’s delicious in this. And great with cold pasta. And this dip is equally as good on lightly toasted slices of my feta, dried figs and walnuts ‘quick bread’ (the photos now featured are more recent than before, and the bread used is my ‘quick’ brown bread instead). And why that bread is so good with thick slices of organic Cheddar is anyone’s guess. It just is.
Tuna and Black Pepper Pâté, with capers, cream cheese and black olives
- olive oil
- 1 x onion, halved, peeled, trimmed and sliced crossways
- 1 x dried bay leaf, split
- 1 x small green finger chilli (Scoville heat rating: 50,000), washed and kept whole
- 2 or 3 x organic garlic cloves, peeled and chopped into small dice
- 1 x 185g (6.52 oz) or 130g (4.58 oz) drained weight can of tuna chunks in brine, drained
- 1/2 x teaspoon dried oregano
- 150ml (5.072 fl oz) x cold water
- 1/4 – 1/2 x organic vegetable stock cube (use less amount, allow to dissolve and taste for any needed extra)
- 2 x small stems flat leaf parsley
- large handful x capers, kept whole or chopped
- around 10 x pitted black olives, quartered or sliced into circles
- large handful x ripe green grapes, washed and cut in half
- flat leaf parsley, rinsed and chopped, to serve
- Greek style/Bush basil, rinsed and chopped, to serve
- up to 4 x tablespoons cream cheese with black pepper (sub plain cream cheese with freshly ground black pepper to personal taste)
- walnuts, to serve – optional
Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.
- Put a large heavy -based saucepan on electric heat No 3 (out of 6) and when hot add a good glug of olive oil. Add the onions, bay leaf and chilli, clamp on a lid and stir through occasionally. Give the onions about 15 minutes to let them start to turn a pale golden colour. Push them to the sides and add the tuna chunks. I prefer it if they get the chance of catching slightly on the base of pan. Making sure the onions don’t scorch. If there’s any sign of that happening then do remove them from the pan. When the tuna chunks start to change colour in places and smell fragrant push those to the sides and add a glug more oil. Add the garlic and take off heat. Sprinkle over the oregano as well.
- When the garlic has cooked enough, and it should from the heat of the pan, add the water and the stock cube (or dissolve the stock cube in the water). Either way add the stock and the parsley stems and up the heat to No 4 to reach near boiling point, stirring often to prevent anything from sticking to the base of pan. The extra heat is needed to reduce the stock to a light wet mixture. Reduce heat to No 2, add the capers and stir through. Take off heat and allow to cool.
- When tuna mixture is cold add some of the grapes, black olives, flat leaf parsley and Greek style basil. Start to add the black pepper cream cheese and mix through, adding as much or as little to personal taste. Keep some of the grapes, black olives and the herbs for adding to the top of the mixture if serving on lightly toasted bread as this type of dip always looks more appetising served that way.
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