Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tuna Melt Bites

Before the holidays, I found myself with a little bit of time off. And despite my long to do list and ambitious plans of what I’d get done, I did little more than hang out around the house and make cookies. What was most difficult about being home during the week, however, was lunch. I am not normally much of a lunch planner. Either I have a Slimfast shake (when I’m being good) or go out around my office (when I’m not). At home on the weekends, the husband and I usually have a late breakfast and a somewhat early dinner and skip lunch altogether. Thus, our house is not exactly the haven of lunch-type foods. So I stuck my head in our overstuffed pantry to see what I could make and heard the stack of canned tuna calling my name.

I’ve always been a fan of canned tuna, by my aforementioned husband is not. So, a few cans have been sitting, abandoned, in my pantry for awhile now. I pulled one out and decided to make an impromptu tuna salad based on what I had around the kitchen. It turned out really tasty! And since I didn’t want to just eat the tuna salad cold, I decided to use up some ciabatta (my favorite kind of baguette) and make little mini tuna melts. They were so easy, made with on-hand ingredients, and filled me up.

1 can Tuna in water, drained
1 celery stalk, diced small
2 Tbsps red onion, diced small
1 pickle spear, diced small
1 ½ Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tsp Dijon mustard
Pinch of salt
1/8 Tsp cayenne (optional)
1 Tbsp fresh dill (optional
A few slices of Baguette
Sliced cheddar

It’s really simple. Preheat the oven to 400, then just mix the ingredients together. If it seems like it needs a little more mayo to hold everything together, just add it. Taste and add salt (or any other spice) as needed. I tried adding a little Italian spice mix to it once and didn’t like the way it turned out. But dill was great, and even a little lemon juice adds some brightness.

Once you have the salad made, spoon it out onto your slices of baguette. Try to balance the bread and tuna ratio. Top with a slice of cheese. I used cheddar but use any kind you like (pepperjack, maybe?). Then bake for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it. You want the cheese to melt and get a little bubbly without burning, and the bread should get a little crunchy but still soft in the middle. And that’s it! A nice, simple but delicious lunch, even for the most lunch-challenged people among us. 

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