For years now I’ve been told I do three things exceptionally well. #1 is making tuna melts. #2 I can’t mention here because my mother-in-law reads this. And #3 is cunnilingus. Today, I will share my technique for making tuna melts.
When my sister and I were kids we’d spend weekends with our dad. We always had a good time but suffered nutritionally. Our dad’s entire cooking repertoire consisted of scrambled eggs and Steak-Umms.
Given that our country’s divorce rate has climbed since the ’70s, I’m guessing there are many more dads looking for cooking that is delicious, nutritious, and expeditious.
Many dudes are stopped cold by recipes with confusing terms, like, “brine your giblets overnight, then chill to 271º Kelvin. Using a flat whisk, emulsify the marrow into a roux, reserving the pectin for deglazing. Meanwile, coddle the cuttlefish in a simmering milk bath, remove to a half-sheet, then cut on the bias.”
So while I am a versatile, celebrated cook, I will relay this recipe in layman’s terms. But make no mistake: my tuna melts satisfy simple and sophisticated palates alike. After the first bite, most people scowl in disbelief, viscerally confounded by the unexpected scrumptiousness.
For the basic recipe (3-4 sandwiches), you will need the following ingredients:
Sliced bread, preferably whole wheat or multi-grain. Give the ingredients a read; disregard any brand that uses corn syrup, which has no place in bread.
12 oz. can of tuna – albacore in water, drained. Urban legend holds that fancy albacore is the only way to insure your tuna is truly dolphin-safe.
Mayonnaise – use one small dollop. I use the mayo more to bind the tuna salad than for taste. Because mayonnaise is philosphically kind of gross.
Onion – About half an onion should do it, diced.
Carrot – mostly for color. A little goes a long way. Shred some carrot or, failing that, use a vegetable peeler you bachelor you.
Cheese – I always slice some extra-sharp cheddar. You may prefer Swiss.
The beauty of this recipe is that nothing needs to be measured too carefully. Just eyeball everything as you go along.
- In a bowl combine the tuna and mayonnaisse and give a good stir. Toss in the onion and carrot. Maybe give a quick grind of salt and pepper, because it looks very professional.
- Place a pan on the stove over medium-ish heat (6 on a scale of 10). Assemble your sandwiches with tuna salad, cheese slices and bread. Be sure and smush them down a bit so they hold together.
- Put a couple of thin pats of butter on the top slice of bread. Place sandwich (butter-side down) in the pan. I use a spatula to brace the sandwich because I can’t stand the feel of butter on my hands. No way, you too? We should hang out.
- Slide the sandwich around a bit to spread the butter. Use the spatula to squish the sandwich a bit more. While it’s heating, spread some butter on the top, uncooked side. After a few minutes, flip that bad boy. When both sides are browned, you, mutherfucker, are done.
And now for the secret. The following info is what makes my tuna melts rule above all others. It’s caused countless Atkins dieters to renounce their vows. It makes vegans tremble in anticipation of the coming rapture. There is even conjecture that the Large Hadron Collider at CERN is really a multinational attempt to reverse engineer my recipe. If only they had simply asked…
When making your tuna salad, add one or more of the following ingredients. Not only will they make your melts unreasonably mouthwatering, it’s a good way to clean out your fridge.
Peas – a disarming ingredient, to be sure. They are magical. Throw in a handful after all other ingredients are combined, since peas can be fragile — like your feelings, you ass-worm.
Avacado – diced. Totally yummy. Also best mixed in at the end.
Alfalfa sprouts – or whatever sprouts you have handy. My wife abhors these, and claims they have the mouth-feel of hair. But they’re wonderful. They also help hold everything together.
Scallions or chives – finely chopped, in place of onion, naturally.
Cucumber – diced. Peel the skin then cut the cuke widthwise and lengthwise, so you have four pieces. Next take a spoon and scrape it across the belly of the cucumber to scoop out the watery, seeded part. Dice up what’s left and toss some into your tuna salad. Righteous.
Tarragon or thyme – just a pinch or, if you groove on herb, maybe a dash.
That’s it. I always cut my sandwiches in half on a slight diagonal, for aesthetics. Plan to make 1½ tuna melts per person. Serve with a bowl of butternut squash soup or maybe a Caesar salad. You’re on your own for those.