Friday, August 23, 2013

Tuna Melt O' My Heart!

What is it about tuna melts?  They are so comforting and delicious, but I rarely make them. Maybe I just sort of forget about them, until I need something for dinner when I haven't planned anything else.  Tuna melts to the rescue! And please don't get on me about the dry mini-carrots. I told you, I didn't have much else, so we had to do with what we had. Deal, people.  My life is not picture perfect.  :-)

I don't usually have English muffins on hand, so that was really the only thing I had to buy specifically for this recipe. If you don't have actual English muffins, you could do this just on regular bread, too.  Same technique will work for both.

Surprisingly, even my picky eater ate two of these, so you might want to try it with your kids (they even at those dry carrots).  Make sure they wait a little for the cheese to cool, otherwise they might burn the tops of their mouths.  Happens to me almost every time!  :-)

For a non-dairy variation, I broiled one without cheese, then added sliced avocado after I took them out of the oven.  It was delicious, and I didn't miss the cheese (much) at all!

And, in case you don't have either of these tools, you really need to get them if you like to eat tuna salad.  The Pampered Chef can opener and can strainer are fabulous!!

Tuna Melts, My Way

2 cans white albacore tuna, packed in water, drained
two big spoonfuls of mayonnaise (approx. 1/3 cup)
1 stalk celery, small (1/4 inch) dice
2 green onions, chopped fine
1 heaping Tbsp sweet relish, or about 5-6 sweet midget gherkins, diced small
a squirt of fresh lemon juice
Salt, pepper (to taste)
3 English muffins, split
6 slices of cheese (I use American because it melts smoother)

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl (or you can just use your own favorite tuna salad recipe). Stir together to completely incorporate (you might have to smash through some of the larger chunks of tuna).

Turn on broiler.  Place English muffins on a rimmed baking sheet.  Butter lightly (you can skip this part and just toast them dry if you want).  Toast muffins under broiler (pan should be about 4-6 inches away from the heat), about 1-2 minutes.  You just want a little color on them so the middle doesn't get too soggy when you put the tuna on it.  Pull the muffins out of the oven.

Top the muffins with the tuna salad, then top with slices of cheese. I cut the squares down a little smaller, because I don't like having the cheese melt over the sides, dripping down and then burning on my pan, but that's just my Type-A quirkiness shining through.

Put the tuna melts back under the broiler for about 2 minutes, but keep an eye on them. You don't want the cheese to burn, just melt (hence the name of the dish).  :-) When the cheese starts to brown and bubble, pull the tuna melts out and serve.

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