Thursday, January 20, 2011

Comfort Food: Tuna Melts

One of the things I'd like to do this year is dive into some difficult recipes, I'd like to really test my culinary know-how and make some dishes I haven't tried yet. I even went so far as to make a list... the classic French dish Coq au Vin is on it, along with moussaka and anything from the French Laundry Cookbook. But so far, I've been busy in the kitchen trying to clean out the pantry and use up the beans, lentils and grains that have been around too long. I've had some success - I've used up all the split peas and couscous. And today, I used the last box of solid light tuna in olive oil.

This evening I made a very easy dinner, which was no test to my culinary skills. Tuna melts. They are a quintessential comfort food, and high in protein. In fact, tuna is a complete protein. My favorite kind is solid light tuna in olive oil and you can find this in any Italian deli. The Italian-style tuna in olive oil is moist and has lots of flavour.But don't just take my word for it, try it out yourself.

This recipe is a variation on the Joy of Cooking recipe. It's classic, tastes great and is a good launching pad for experimenting with the ingredients and making this dish your own. Leave a comment and let me know if you have any favorite ways of making tuna melts.

Tuna Melt

1 tin of solid light tuna in olive oil (111 g), drained
2 tablespoons mayonnaise, or to taste
1 tablespoon drained capers, chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

old white cheddar cheese, grated
Panini buns

Combine the first six ingredients in a bowl. Spread a thin layer of mustard onto sliced Panini buns. Top with the tuna salad.

Sprinkle grated cheddar cheese on top and broil the open faced sandwich in a shallow dish until cheese is melted and golden, about two minutes. Serve hot.

*Use fontina, Monterey Jack or Provolone cheese instead of Cheddar.
*Add a teaspoon of pureed chipotle peppers to the tuna salad.
*Instead of capers and cilantro, add fresh dill and a finely chopped shallot.


Heather Anne said...

Tuna melts are awesome. Yum. I like chopping up apple and putting it in my tuna mix or adding a bit of either ground mustard or curry powder. So delicious.

Erin said...

Which Italian do you recommend here in Victoria?

Melody Wey said...

Hi Erin,

In Victoria, some of my favorite deli's to find Italian foods are Italian Food Import (1114 Blanshard St), Ambrosio Markets & Deli in Cook Street Village (1075 Pendergast), Ottavio in Oak Bay (2272 Oak Bay Avenue) and Lakehill Grocery (Quadra and Reynolds Street).

In addition to Middle Eastern food, Lakehill Grocery has a decent selection of Italian canned tomatoes, olive oil and tuna and has good prices.