Molly Wizenberg wrote about this dish in 2005, when I was just beginning my blogging journey. I made it with canned salmon because that’s what I had, and it struck me how similar it is to the Filipino torta, which I learned as a child, with a couple of exceptions: no dairy, and everything was sauteed with the classic Filipino combo of garlic-onion-tomato before folding into scrambled eggs, and then either fried in patties, or baked in a dish. In 2005 also we weren’t avoiding dairy, like we are now, but once in a while I miss the cheesy, creamy richness of Molly’s recipe, so it gets a spot on the menu.
It’s a great protein addition to a salad, plopped in the middle of a bed of greens and other goodies. Or tucked into lunchboxes as a handy snack — it’s delicious hot, cold or at room temperature.
You can follow original recipe linked above. Or do it with my substitutions:
1 jar tuna in olive oil, drained (if I can’t find Spanish tuna like As Do Mar or Ortiz, I like this tuna; Molly specifies tuna in water, but I almost never use a water-packed one, as I prefer those packed in olive oil) — I used more in this recipe, since I still had a partially finished jar which I added in as well
3 tablespoons tomato paste
5 tablespoons crème fraîche, or do as I do and use 4 tablespoons heavy cream mixed with 1 tablespoon yogurt and let stand for 10 minutes
3 large eggs
1 cup grated Gruyère
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1/4 cup minced onion
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, distribute into 12 muffin tins (Molly’s recipe makes 8, mine makes 12 because of the additional tuna, and I think mine come out smaller) and bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 20 minutes.
You can make this with almost anything in place of the tuna — sauteed chopped asparagus or broccoli or mushroom duxelles for instance, or chopped ham or bacon or precooked ground meat, or chopped shrimp. Think of them as mini quiches, though a bit firmer and heavier. Yum yum.