Brick, brik, bourek—you’ll see them with these various spellings on most menus serving Moroccan, Tunisian, and Algerian cuisine and they are a classic snack in any Mahgrebian household.
My “belle” belle-mère (my “beautiful mother-in-law”) as I like to call her made this for me years ago for the first time. I was curious about what was found and sold in these greenish plastic wrapped bags for I had seen them in the local supermarkets but I never knew what was inside the packaging. The minute she plopped the bag down on my table top from her grocery shopping I asked her what was in it and she said “c’est un vrai délice, tu vas voir.” This usually means I get to sit back and to be fed something I’ve never had which will be really delicious!
So I finally discoverd the brick sheets that were hidden inside the packaging and all the various fillings that would be wrapped in them.
In the same vein as a potsticker, samosa, and egg rolls there are so many different fillings (meat, poultry, cheese, vegetables, etc) to be had in this classic snack. So if you can get your hands on some brick sheets you can have a lot of fun making your own fillings and creating your own concoctions with various spices.
Personally I prefer to bake mine but I believe traditionally it is pan-fried.
Tuna Filled Bricks—A Mahgrebian Classic
• 10 sheets brique sheets
• 1 tin tuna (140 grams), drained
• 2 eggs, hard boiled and diced
• 1 medium size potato, boiled and cut into small chunks
• 1 small onion, diced and sautéed
• 50 grams green olives, pitted and sliced
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon of spice ( ex: harissa, chili pepper powder, paprika, or cumin)
• 2-3 sprigs of flat parsley, chopped finely
• Salt and pepper, adjust accordingly
• 2 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
In a medium size mixing bowl combine the tuna, eggs, potato, onions, green olives and mix well.
Then stir in the lemon juice, harissa, and the parsley.
On flat working surface, lay your brick sheet flat in front of you. Cut it n half. They are usually round so you will end up with half a circle laid out in front of you.
With the straight edge topside fold up the bottom round bit so that the edge comes near the top of the straight edge. Press down to flatten.
Start at the far left end of the brick sheet and place about a tablespoon of filling, then take the top corner of the sheet and fold it down to meet the opposite end of the bottom edge to form a triangle.
Pat the filling in place. Then take the left bottom corner and fold it directly over along the bottom straight edge. Continue to fold following the shape of the triangle. Towards the end tuck in the end of the brick sheet between the folds.
Two ways to cook:
Pre heat your oven to 200° C or 390° F.
Line up your folded bricks on a baking tray and lightly brush some olive oil on each side.
Place it in the oven and bake it for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
In a large skillet on medium-high heat up a tablespoon of vegetable oil.
Place the folded bricks in the skillet when the oil is hot. Pan fry each side until golden.
There are other ways to fold and to present bricks. You can also add more filling and make a square shape brick. Using an entire sheet, add and flatten 2-3 tablespoons of the filling a third up from the bottom. Just bring the two ends (left and right side) of the brick sheet to meet in the middle and fold up from the bottom along the filling and repeat until you have a square. This presents nicely as a main meal with a salad on the side.