Seafood Pie – Bastyla-

Bastyla is a dish that symbolizes the grandiose Moroccan hospitality. It is served to the most loved guests, and also served in weddings and important celebrations.

This particular Moroccan recipe is one of the fanciest ones. It’s classified as “palace food”, and it’s not hard to guess why! Yes, it’s not the cheapest savory pie to make, but once you taste it, you will find out that it’s worth every penny.

Makes four 9” pies

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Start to finish time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients:

500g Catfish cut into 1” pieces

700g Shrimp, peeled and divided

500g Calamari or baby octopus, cut in rounds/1” cuts

7 Garlic cloves shredded (approximately 35g)

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 ½ Lemon juiced

1 Teaspoon Salt

1 Bouquet of cilantro chopped coarsely (50g)

1 Tablespoon harissa paste or chili sauce

2 Cups shredded mild shedder (140g)

1 ½ Dried black mushroom, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, drained and chopped coarsely (30g)

8 Eggs boiled, peeled and shredded

12g Fresh ginger, peeled and shredded

3 ½ Cups fine rice noodles, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, drained, and chopped coarsely.

1 Teaspoon dried oregano leaves crushed

12 Threads of saffron

1 Teaspoon Turmeric powder

½ Teaspoon hot chili powder

1 Teaspoon pink or black pepper powder

3 Tablespoons soy sauce

2 Tablespoons butter, melted (45g)

1 Package of filo dough #4, or 8 sheets of filo dough #10

You will also need a 9” round cake pan, pastry brush, cookie sheet and parchment paper.

Preparation:

In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the shredded garlic , the cat fish and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook for 1 minute.

Add the lemon juice, the shrimp and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the calamari and cook for another 3 minutes stirring occasionally.

Remove the seafood from the heat and allow it to cool down on the counter.

In a large bowl, combine the chopped cilantro, harissa or chili sauce, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped black mushroom, shredded eggs, shredded fresh ginger, soaked and drained rice noodles, oregano leaves, saffron threads, turmeric powder, chili powder, black pepper and soy sauce. Stir everything together.

Drain the cooked seafood to get rid of any juice (freeze the broth and use it later to cook rice or seafood soup).

Add the drained seafood to the other ingredients and stir everything together.

Set the oven to preheat to 400 degrees, on bake option.

Melt the butter set it by your working surface.

Layer four sheet of filo dough #4 or two sheets of filo #10, over the cake pan; brushing each sheet with butter. Gently push the dough down with your fingers and stuff it with ¼ of the seafood mixture. Fold the filo dough over it while brushing in between the sheets with butter.

If you are making only one large Bastyla, the Moroccan style, you can cook it in the same pan. If you are making four 9” pies, grease a cookie sheet with butter or cover it with parchment paper. Carefully flip the stuffed filo pie over it, keeping one hind on the pie until it touches the cookie sheet, then removing your hand gently.

Repeat the same steps until you have stuffed four Bastyla pies.

Place the pies on the middle shelf, and cook them at 400 degrees, for 30 minutes, or until they look golden and crispy.

Serve the pies garnished with fresh lemon wedges and cilantro springs.

Tips:

  • Do not overcook the calamari or the shrimp, it will get rubbery.
  • It is important that the mixture does not have any excess of juice; otherwise the filo sheets might rip.
  • If you intend to cook the Bastyla in the pan, do brush the pan with butter, otherwise don’t grease the pan because the filo dough will get soft and rips off when you try to flip the pie into the cookie sheet.
  • You can adjust the amount of chili powder and hot sauce to your taste.
  • Filo is rather hard to manage. Don’t worry too much if the filo rips a little, instead, go for a “rustic” look ;)