Comfort food is big at my house. Simple is better. In fact, SO simple, that I sometimes despair at ever being able to make “fancy” food again. So when my older daughter came home from babysitting and told me that she had a tuna melt, and it was good, I was overjoyed! Something new I could start to make without complaints from my lovely family. And it falls into the comfort food category, of which I am very fond.
Okay, tuna melts are not fancy, but I can get excited about them if they are on croissants. For now, they are on store bought croissants – – really good ones from Whole Foods bakery. Also, when I was a kid, my mom used to put Worcestershire sauce in her tuna salad. It was so good! So that is the secret ingredient. I really don’t like tuna salad without it. It adds a zing. I was curious, so I started looking around on the internet, and sure enough, Worcestershire sauce in tuna salad is a thing. So this may not be news to you, but if it is, you must try it!
Oh, if you have cats, put them outside now so they won’t bother you while you are making this. And don’t ask me how those splash marks got on the glass doors. I have no idea. I have children and cats. Preheat your oven to 375°.
Okay, I use three small (5 oz) cans of tuna – albacore packed in water. I like the tuna with salt added; that’s just me. Drain it, but save the water for your cats. They will love you. Orange boy LOVES tuna juice.
I don’t really have exact measurements for this, but just put the tuna in a bowl, and throw in some mayonnaise. Just regular mayonnaise please. I don’t like tuna salad that is too mayonnaise-y, so I just put a couple of dollops in.
Mix it lightly, but not so much that you can no longer see the flakes of tuna. I don’t like a mushy tuna salad.
Now add the Worcestershire sauce. Like I said, I don’t have measurements, but if I did, it might be a tablespoon? I just douse the tuna with it and mix it in.
Now chop up your celery (one stalk or so) into cute little tiny cubes. I cut the stalk in half. Then cut each half into four long strips, then chop. This may seem obvious, but really, it’s more fun to have teeny tiny cubes of celery than to have large chunks.
Then mix in that celery. Now cut your croissants in half and place the halves on a cookie sheet with parchment paper (that makes the bottoms get nice and crispy, and makes for easy clean up). Top with the tuna salad. Okay, so I have some picky eaters at my house. One only wants the croissant :), one doesn’t like celery… Hey!!! If you have leftover tuna salad, put it in a smaller container and refrigerate it, but DON’T rinse the bowl that you mixed the tuna salad in. Just set it aside; and no, you are not saving it for the cat.
Now top with small slices of your favorite cheddar cheese. Or another cheese if you prefer.
Put it all in your preheated 375° oven until the cheese melts. This usually takes less than five minutes, but make sure it melts. Dear husband complained one time that the cheese wasn’t melty enough… If it’s easy to do so, switch to broil for the last minute or so to make sure the cheese melts. Here is what I like: crispy bottom, melted cheesy top, but the tuna is still slightly cool in the middle.
Now, I like to serve this with a green salad. I get some mixed greens and put them in the bowl that had the tuna salad in it.
Dress your salad with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and then turn your salad around in the bowl to make sure the tuna salad leftover bits get mixed in. By the way, in France, they don’t toss their salad, they turn it. Aller, vas tourner la salade!
Serve and enjoy!
And by the way, my younger daughter requested that I learn how to make croissants… now that really would be a fancy tuna melt! So stay tuned.