When we go to visit Gary’s parents in Florida, chances are good that you will find us at the pool in their living complex. Next to the pool is an outpost of a deli perfectly named Flakeowitz’s, where you will find eating in our bathing suits alongside all of the other senior citizens hosting their vacationing families. If you think you are picturing this correctly, your probably are.
One of the lunches of choice, Gary’s go-to, is always a tuna melt on rye. While I am virtuously plucking things from the salad bar, I am able to do this this knowing that I will take at least one very large bite of Gary’s sandwich, and also score some fries off of everyone else’s plate. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—one of the top three reasons to have children is that there are often fries with a restaurant meal, and you don’t have to order them yourself—they are just there.
But the tuna melt is also a go-to lunch at home, beloved by all members of my family. I usually do tuna melts on English muffins. I am a braggy, unabashed fan of my own tuna fish recipe, which appears in The Mom 100 Cookbook.
Solid white tuna results in a salad that can be too dry, unless you add an unconscionable amount of mayonnaise, and using all light tuna can be perceived by kids (and adults) as too fishy. The 50/50 combo results in a tuna fish that is nicely in the middle. You might find a different balance to your taste, or just not have both on hand. That’s perfectly fine. I usually use tuna in water, though if you prefer tuna in oil, you can definitely use that. You could also use part tuna in water and some tuna in oil if you want a richer result. I clearly have many thoughts on canned tuna.
The World’s Best Tuna Melt: Start with great tunafish salad, pile it onto a toasted English muffin, top with cheese and broil for one of the best sandwiches ever.Tweet This
You can also play around the the cheeses you use to top your melt. Cheddar—always a good choice. A Mexican blend, or Monterey Jack, also solid choices. One final note—take the extra few minutes to toast your English muffin before you pile on the tunafish and cheese. You’ll be very happy for the crunch of the muffin beneath the rich creaminess of everything else.
The World’s Best Tuna Melt
- 2 English muffins
- 1 6 ½-ounce can solid white tuna fish drained
- 1 6 ½-ounce can light tuna fish drained
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons minced onion
- 2 tablespoons minced celery
- 2 teaspoons sweet relish
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or cheese of your choice
- Preheat a toaster oven or the regular oven to 375°F. Toast the English muffin halves for about 3 minutes until very lightly browned. Remove and leave the oven on.
- Mix the tuna, mayo, onion, celery, relish, mayo, mustard, in a medium-sized bowl. Add the salt and pepper and blend well.
- Divide the tuna over the 4 muffin halves. Top each with 1/4 of the shredded cheese and return to the oven for about 5 minutes until the cheese has melted. Serve warm.
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