Stalking the Waiter

Riffing on foods, flavors and methods, that would be telling.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Dude! Today, for Lunch, I Had an Excellent Cheese Sammie!

Hey, how much more all-American can you get than a version of the tuna melt? This one's good for a meal, a snack, or appetizers.

As you can see, the melted cheese gets pulled down as you cut through the warm sandwich. This is a good thing, and we'll pretend that I did it on purpose. Because, you can really heap the tuna filling up and, when you cut it, and that cheese stretches, it holds it onto the bread! Amazing. Do try this at home, Kiddies.

For my tuna filling, I add a bunch of stuff, depending on what's on hand and what I feel like eating. Here's my choices, but you can pick your own favorites, or leave it plain.
  • Sliced or chopped olives
  • Sliced green onions or diced regular onions
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Mashed up hard boiled eggs
  • Diced pimento/roasted red pepper
  • Chopped pickles of whatever variety
  • Capers
  • Sliced or diced raw peppers
  • Diced or grated carrots
  • Diced celery

As they say, your choices are limited only by your imagination. There is one thing I consider essential, though - the shredded Parm. If you mix that in with the tuna, it will soften and begin to melt as the sandwich cooks, making it mmm-mmm creamy. I put provolone on top this time because that's what I felt like, but you can use cheddar or jack or American, but you want it to be something reasonably firm and that will melt.
  1. Slice a baguette or French/sub roll in half, lengthwise.
  2. Put it on a piece of aluminum foil and bend the foil up around it, but leave some room.
  3. Mound the tuna mixture on the bread and distribute evenly.
  4. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, if desired.
  5. Top with sliced cheese. Try to keep the foil from touching the cheese, or it will be a mess to get apart after the cheese melts.
  6. Cook in a fairly hot oven, 400F degrees until the cheese starts to melt; 5-7 minutes should do it.
  7. Turn on the broiler and leave the oven door open. Stay there and keep an eye on it. It can go from golden to charred in a single moment of distraction.
  8. Remove from the oven and let stand for five minutes.
  9. Serve as is or slice into fingers. This is where the melted cheese pulling down when you cut into it is a good thing.


At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Norah Nick said...

This looks delicious! Can't wait to try it. I've never made one before.


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