Despite a predominately non-meat diet, I do try to eat fish when I can. Something about Omega-3 fish oils in things like salmon and tuna and mackerel being good for you …
Anyway, this is a recipe originally from Jorge Cruise’s 3-Hour Diet Cookbook – that was one of my first cookbooks and one that I’ve always been a fan of because, being a diet cookbook, the recipes are all quite simple. Of course, I perfected the art of un-healthifying his recipes, which is how my take on his tuna melt came to be …
[Prep: 10min / Cook: 15min-ish]
– 1 can of tuna
– 1/2 cup of cottage cheese
– 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
– 2-3 normal sized pickles or 2 spears
– 1/2 a red onion
– salt and pepper
– sliced swiss cheese
– lots of shredded cheddar
– bread/toast/bun of choice
- Preheat the oven to about 350f/175c.
- In a bowl, combine the tuna, cottage cheese and mayonnaise.
- Dice the pickles and onion and mix them into the tuna mixture with a dash of salt and pepper.
- Lay two slices of bread out on a cookie sheet, layer a couple slices of swiss on top and divide the tuna mixture across it. (There may be extra … it depends how thick you like your tuna melt.) Top with the cheddar and put in the oven for a few minutes along with the remaining slices of bread on the side.
- Once the cheese starts to melt (about 5-10min), squish the remaining slices on top and bake for about 5 more minutes until it’s nice and toasty.
[Serves 2 sandwiches]
- I make this in the oven (obviously). Unless you make this super thin (which I do not like to do), this sandwich is not very conducive to being grilled and flipped. A sandwich press would be the best and most efficient way to make this, but I haven’t owned one in quite some time, so the oven method works for me.
- Worth noting is that the original recipe was for an open-faced sandwich – which is how I prepared it for a long time. Personally, this is a lunch food for me and I just find it easier to take to work in normal sandwich form. However, if you go open-faced, stick with 4 slices of bread, but divide the tuna and cheese across all 4 evenly.
- The original recipe also had a lot more in it – like chopped celery and shredded carrots. That was really good and can bump this sandwich up into a meal of its own. Really the only reason I don’t prepare it that way anymore is because I don’t feel like chopping and shredding any more than I have to.
- As we probably all know, traditional tuna melts can come with all sorts of things in them. A slice of tomato, a bit of lettuce, some avocado … Have a ball. You just might want to be conscious of whether you want your additional toppings toasted in the sandwich, or added separately in the end before you top it off with the bread.
- Ricotta can be used instead of cottage cheese if you prefer. You can also play with other cheeses and combinations, like mozzarella, Parmesan, etc.
- Finally, as a little secret, I like to make this with really nice artisan bread. Particularly bread with olives baked into it (pictured). It just raises the game on what is traditionally a very basic sandwich.