Sunday, October 12, 2008

Albacore tuna melt with dill havarti

Today was the first weekend day that Scott and I didn't go out to eat in I don't know how long. Yesterday we failed at our mushroom foray - that's what I get for trying a new spot. Next weekend we'll go to Old Faithful, I guess. Today, though, I decided to make the most of another day of sunshine autumn perfection. I threw open the kitchen windows, put on my old checkered apron and rolled up my sleeves to can all of my tomatoes into sauce (red and yellow tomato sauce and some Bolognese) and green tom pickles, some roasted red bell peppers in olive oil, and 2 gallons of good, rich chicken stock.

All that work makes a girl hungry! But when the kitchen is in a fucking state, all I can usually muster is a tuna sammich. That, however, does not mean I'm gonna eat some mushy "chicken of the sea". Au contraire. I had a fresh loaf of organic French batard, a can of good albacore and the last of my wedge of local dill Havarti. Some chopped capers and the tenderest white celery (I love the center ribs), a swab of mayo and spicy brown mustard and lunch is on.

I love tuna salad. Are you fucking kidding me? It's the best sammich. Well, the tuna melt is the best sammich. But even plain old, cold tuna salad with chopped celery and onion is a great lunch. Scott doesn't like raw onion in anything (I think he might be a supertaster - he also dislikes many crucifers), because it blasts out his palate and he'll taste nowt else. Hot mustard and wasabi do the same to him. They're also crucifers, for what it's worth.

Oh, but a tuna melt. Thick slab of soft bread, adorned with heavy forkfuls of sumptuous tuna salad and grated dill Havarti on top. Into the toaster oven - in the middle rack for three minutes to warm through and get melty, then move it to the bottom for one minute so the bread can get really toasty. It's not in the picture, but in addition to the spicy pickle, serve with salt and vinegar potato chips and a frosty glass of lemonade. Good times.

Then get my ass back to work. Day of rest, my ass!

Edit: I'm sending this over to Amy and Jonny at We Are Never Full for Weekend Herb Blogging. It's finally their turn to host!


Manggy said...

Hmm, checkered apron, toaster oven, tuna melts, potato chips, lemonade... Good times indeed! How very Americain. ;) I did not know wasabi was a crucifer-- I'd never seen the whole plant before, only the funky root.

And thank you so much for bringing Jessica Simpson back into my consciousness :P

Peter G said...

So a weekend in the kitchen being a Stepford wife I see! Love the tuna sammich and am really loving the pics. Enjoying the camera?


That looks like super crusty bread too -- Nice contrast to the tuna and melted cheese. Like a snack cracker on roids!

Tom Aarons said...

Yum. And beautifully reminiscent of that wonderful youtube video where mom and son head out squirrel hunting (with great results) before son jumps on the bus to school and mom heads into the kitchen to start preparing squirrel melts. ;)

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

I need that for my lunch.

kittie said...

It was all sounding a bit Anne of Green Gables... until you got to the bit about the fucking state of your kitchen ;)

Ps. skins - woop! Can you believe they're chucking away the whole cast for series three??!
Pps. I love salt and vinegar crisps

Bellini Valli said...

All that "putting up" deserves a delicious albeit quick meal. This is a turned up a notch version of the classic:D

Núria said...

That sammich looks sinful!!! Mmmmm I could have a couple of those :D.
Nice pics, Heather! Seems that D40 is being nice to you ;D

April in CT said...

We had tuna melts for dinner last night, but they certainly didn't look that good. Such crisp pictures!

I'd never heard the term 'supertaster', but after reading that I can identify with so many of those things. Who knew!

We Are Never Full said...

great plating.

i'd use tonno in oil - drained- mixed w/ some capers and then topped w/ the havarti. damn i love me some havarti! it's been SO long!

omg... i was tourtured to hear jess simpson "singing" the star spangled banner the other night. holy shit! talk about sounding like a dying cow!!!!

glamah16 said...

Now that is tuna melt my friend! It is the best sandwhich ever! In school when we had days to exchange to boxed lunches, I always asked for the tuna sandwhich. I love the June Cleaver image of your doing all the canning. Thats whay you are so fascinating.

Heather said...

Mark - All I need are some rotten kids running around and I'll know what it's like to be my grandmother.

Petah - Hey, I'm no Stepford wife! More like Sabrina from Bewitched, but without all that handy magic.

Traci - Oh, this batard is the best. Perfect crumb, crust doesn't shatter your dental work, perfect.

Tom - OH MY GAH I thought I was the only one who knew about the squirrel melts! You just gained three cool points in my book.

Sketti - It's easy enough to make whilst up to one's elbows in canning!

Kittie - They do?! Gasp! I guess I can see that the characters are all about finished with college. Effie sticks around though, yeah?

Valli - Just because it's fast and simple doesn't mean it can't be delicious, right?

Núria - It's actually quite healthy! The cheese is the only "bad" thing on it, and I didn't use much at all.

April - There's just something about a tuna melt, isn't there? The crisp pictures are thanks to my new camera.

Amy - I have one can of tonno left, but I'm saving it for a lazy pasta night. Jessica Simpson is hot, but god help the crowd that has to hear her sing.

Courtney - I could eat a tuna sammich for breakfast! It's the perfect sammich.

April in CT said...

Heather, have you ever tried them with a tomato slice on top?

Lo said...

That's one fine looking tuna melt. I can feel the crusty bread biting me in the roof of my mouth -- but I LOVE it!!

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Love tuna sandwiches and that one is the king of them all!!! Isn't that funny about Scott being a supertaster. I think my oldest daughter is one. She can taste things and even at 8 pull out somw of the most obscure ingredients!

Pam said...

My tuna sandwich is so boring compared to this beauty. I love the addition of dill havarti and the bread is calling my name.

Brittany said...

Sorry your shroom hunt was a bust : (

I love tunie melts! Yum! Gotsta get in on that dill havarti..I also made chicken stock yesterday. I wonder if we were making it at the EXACT same time. Woah. Crazy.

abadeeba said...

i gotta get me some of those cool white plates that look so pro-feshnul.

Peter M said...

I can see you being all domestic and Mrs. Cleaver like (who was hot).

The sangwich looks f-ing good...almost turducken of the sea!

Emiline said...

Sounds great.
I've never thought about dill havarti before. I'm going to have to try it.

I guess you're all stocked for winter now! In case you get snowed in, like Little House On the Prairie.

canarygirl said...

Oh my God of Gods. Tuna melts are totally my favorite, but with havarti? I think I just dribbled down my chin.

Ken Albala said...

This is perfect. I cannot believe how ingeniously you designed this, a magical combination of flavors. I want it right now.

Heather said...

April - I have, only in diners, though. I would totally have some tom on the side.

Lo - The nice thing about the batard is that the crust doesn't scrape out your soft palate. It's dense and chewy. :)

Judy - That's so cool! Foster it, and in a few years maybe she can be the new gourmet of the house (and do the cooking for you)!

Pam - Tuna sammiches are all good. Except with sweet pickles. Why the hell would anyone do that?

Brittany - You and I, we're like this (I'm doing that thing where my two fingers are going back forth from my eyes toward yours).

Inagottabadeeba, Baby - Cash 'N' Motherfucking Carry. Or you can blow your load in a Japanese store that sells fine china.

Peter the Greek - It was so good, it was like the tuna of the sea! :P

Emmy - I like herb cheese a lot - they add a nice punch of flavor. Dill Havarti was made for tuna melts.

Nikki - Tuna melts are your favorite, too? You and I have so much in common! :D

Ken - Heh, I actually didn't know what else to do with the dill Havarti (except eat it straight from the package).

peter said...

Our shroom hunt was a bust too.

btw, I totally posted a link to the squirrel melt video like forever ago.

Heather said...

Jube - I swear I shoulda just gone straight my good old spot. I hope we get one more nice weekend. The squirrel melt lady is insane. She's tryna run our country!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Tuna sandwiches were never my thing, but I think that's because I'd only been exposed to the cans of chicken droppings of the sea. Yours sounds like a world of difference and is the best damn looking tuna melt I've seen (nice work with the plating, btw). You may have converted a nonbeliever!

MrOrph said...

An apron? Checkered? Nothing under it right?

Who doesn't love a tuna melt, but my dear, you just took it to another level.

Leigh said...

very nice indeed - i love this simple way - melts, toasties, that sort of thing. lovely. quick. easy. Nice presentation, too!!!

cook eat FRET said...

since i know you care
this is my #1 sandwich

tuna salad on a sesame seed bagel with romaine lettuce

Nikki said...

Oh hell. This is my jam. For real. This is like what I ate every day for lunch in high school, when I thought I was sophisticated with dill havarti. Sometimes I'd put hoop cheddar cheese on it and cilantro leaves. And then fuck it all up with some fries, tater tots, or a homemade oatmeal raisin cookie sandwich.

I think I love you.

Kevin said...

That tuna melt looks really tasty!

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