Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Mad Hatter's "To Die For" Tuna Melt

What better topic to begin J.T. Storey's official blog than with a popular recipe from my upcoming cookbook "Gems from the Trailer Park": the Mad Hatter's "To Die For" Tuna Melt!

Ah, come on, we're all going to die from something, so all concerns over toxic elements concentrated at the top of the ocean's food chain should be put to the side. It is that good. "Where goeth thine hatter, goeth I also" is a well-known aphorism among tuna lovers worldwide.

It is worth noting this recipe came in 2nd place at a recent tuna culinary contest behind a very well-presented seared ahi. Very dramatic it was: startling everyone, the chef shouted something that sounded like "aha!", only when he uncovered the dish it came out as "ahi!" Everyone clapped.

On with the recipe:

1 9 ounce can, Chicken of the Sea Albacore Tuna in "Spring Water"
1 hard boiled egg
1 tablespoon, sweet relish (essential, secret ingredient)
1/3 cup Helmann's mayonaise
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced red onions
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
pepper, seasoned to taste

Drain tuna water. Peel hard boiled egg (If you can't hard boil an egg, discontinue recipe at once; degree of difficulty hereafter extremely high). Mix all above in bowl, turning egg and tuna bits into something close to a puree. Okay that's stretching it, but you get the idea. It should look a bit like cat food. Refrigerate at least 2-3 hours.

1 tablespoon butter
2 slices of jack cheese (or whatever you prefer. for more flavor, try a good Havarti)
2 bread slices (a true trailer park aficionado would go for the obvious choice, wonder white, but I know you can do better)
(optional) fresh avocado slices
(optional) fresh tomato slices

Lightly butter outside of bread slices. Position cheese and tuna, or if you want to get crazy, sear the tuna a little in the pan before placing on bread. Take remaining butter and place in pan at medium heat. heat until bread is golden brown, flip, etc. Cover briefly to ensure cheese is melted. Cut in nifty halves and serve. Open face another compelling option.

When toasting bread, butter only ONE SIDE of sandwich. Then, while eating, cleverly position the butter side down, imparting flavor to tongue while simultaneously denying upper palette of the very same. This alone should satisfy any latent guilt regarding the rich flavors embodied in your meal. However, if you remain unconvinced, rest assured that the dry and possibly burned crust of the unbuttered sandwich side will most certainly lacerate the previously-mentioned deprived upper palette, leaving scars on top of mouth lasting several days at a minimum. That should constitute enough self-inflicted torment for even the most stalwart and rigid protestant (which in terms of degree should cover most everyone else), at least enough to enjoy a tuna melt.

So there it is. The next time you feel the need to mull over that famous riddle "Why is a raven like a writing desk?", try one of these.

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