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School of Fish: Tuna Anchovy Puffs


Lure your cocktail party guests to the hors d'oeuvres tray with these cute little cut-out-pastry "fishes" filled with tasty tuna, anchovies, and Parmesan cheese. The "fishes" make a perfect conversation starter, but for ease of preparation, feel free to simply cut the pastry into small squares. I like to serve the tuna puffs as a "school of fish" nestled in baby curly-leaf lettuce (the waves) on a sea-blue platter.

1 small can (about 3 ounces) solid light tuna packed in olive oil, well drained
1 can (2 ounces) anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
One 2-sheet package (about 1 pound) frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Coarsely ground black pepper for garnish (optional)
 

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Mash the tuna with the anchovies, mayonnaise, cayenne, and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl until well combined.

Lay 1 sheet of puff pastry flat on a lightly floured work surface and roll it out to a 14-by-15-inch rectangle.

Repeat with the other pastry sheet.

Brush off the excess flour and spread the tuna mixture over one of the pastry sheets. Cover with the second pastry sheet and use a rolling pin to gently press the sheets together.

Cut out the pastry using a 3- to-4-inch fish-shaped pastry or cookie cutter, or cut it into squares using a pizza cutter or pastry wheel.

Arrange the pastry fish or squares on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush the tops lightly with some of the egg mixture. Make fish "eyes" with a small piece of black pepper, if desired. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until puffed and golden; don't over brown or the pastry will be bitter. Transfer to a serving platter and serve hot.

Makes about 24 tuna puffs


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