Sunday, September 2, 2012

Tuna Sandwich that aims to Cheese.

Usually when having a sandwich, it might come accompanied by a side such as potato chips, french fries, cole slaw, etc. Then again, since I was a little child, I've always taken my potato chips and put them inside my tuna salad sandwich. The crunch factor was awesome and it just made the two separate items taste so good together. Oh sure, lots of folks add a crunch factor to their salads with chopped up bell peppers, onions or celery, but they can't beat good old fashioned potato chips.

Then there is the grilled cheese sandwich which can be just plain cheese or include any numbers of taste additives such as bacon, ham, or dare I say it....tuna salad. On a diner menu, you would see this item listed as a tuna melt, but who are we kidding, it's a grilled cheese sandwich with tuna salad added in. Simple comfort food goodness! Now a typical side for a grilled cheese is tomato soup, but macaroni and cheese is very welcomed.

Now the point to all this? How about if we took an old fashioned tuna melt and put the macaroni and cheese inside before grilling it? Have I gone nuts? Well I hope so, and so does my family, since they love this goody from the sandwich realm.

Now for the macaroni and cheese, here's a tip: after cooking it up, place it inside a buttered loaf pan and cool it in the refrigerator for a half hour. It will be easier to make slices that fit into the sandwich itself.

Simply put, have your tuna salad and macaroni and cheese made up before hand. My tuna salad is a mixture of albacore white plus chunk light; two (5 ounce) cans of white to one (5 ounce) light; two tablespoons of mayonnaise, 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper and one tablespoon of diced onion. If you're not in the mood to make a homemade macaroni and cheese, a packaged brand like Velveeta works best, since it has the liquid cheese sauce, not a powdered mix.

If you have a square flat top griddle for the stove top, heat it up on medium-high heat and melt a couple of tablespoons of butter on it. While that's heating up, take 4 slices of bread and generously butter one side of each slice. Place them butter side down on the griddle; place a slice of American or cheddar cheese on each slice.

Wait one minute before placing a slice (about one inch thick) of macaroni and cheese on one slice of bread, and a half cup of tuna salad spread out on the opposite slice. When you start to hear sizzling in the pan, time to put the sandwiches together.

With a wide spatula, quickly and gently lift up the macaroni and cheese side of the sandwich onto the tuna side. Use a spatula to press the sandwiches down lightly; you want to make a seal with the cheese, but not squeeze out the insides. Wait 30 seconds and flip the sandwiches over; wait another 30 seconds and remove to a plate. Cut and enjoy!

Mary Cokenour