There’s nothing better than breakfast seated at an open window, letting the cool early morning breeze caress you while you watch Parakeets, Bulbuls, Sunbirds, Koels and a couple of Eurasian Golden Orioles, squawk, chirp, screech and coo make the most of it before the merciless summer sun comes blazing down on them forcing them to beat a retreat into denser foliage.
Oh! Who am I kidding!
Okay the part about the birds is true, and so is the part about the early morning breeze coming in through my windows. But I’m not so much a breakfast as I am a brunch person. I’ve tried, honestly I have, but I’ve been this way since I was a kid. The only way I ever did eat breakfast was if my mother was sitting right there at the table with me, watching me down my glassful of milk and shovel down my cereal/porridge and eggs with toast or whatever else was on the breakfast menu for the day. My mum was a firm believer in the adage, “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dine like a pauper” and she staunchly follows it till date.
But now that I’m all grown up (or so it says on my driving licence) and no longer live with mum, I get to choose my meal times, which usually consists of coffee, and more coffee with the occasional fruit at breakfast, followed by numerous little meals during the day. Leisurely brunches however remain my favourite and most preferred mealtime, which is where this post is headed. And on the menu today is a favourite, the classic Tuna Melt Sandwich.
Now would you believe it if I told you that I had my first Tuna Melt when I visited Canada on work way back in the early 90’s. Yeah, it was that late, and it was love at first bite. Lusciously creamy, the portion thankfully not all that huge, I definitely went back for seconds.
My first stop on that particular trip started off with Montreal, a city I fell in love with because of its beautiful architecture, not forgetting the delicious escargot I ate at a delightful French restaurant, one of my favourite places on some of those evenings when I had to dine alone, with just a good book for company. It is strange though that I can’t seem to remember the name of the restaurant, though I distinctly recall the face of the sommelier… typical eh?
But before I digress, No… the Tuna Melt wasn’t on the menu at the French restaurant, but was from a deli near my office… packed to go. And it was heavenly!
Here’s my take… spiced up… but of course.
I used a 200gm can of tuna chunks in light olive oil, flaking it with a fork, adding 2 teaspoons of yellow mustard seeds which I lightly pounded, to release their flavour, and about a 3/4 teaspoon of black pepper. To this I added 1 1/2 tablespoon of mayonnaise (try and make your own if possible, but you can also use a good store bought variety), and a heaped tablespoon of butter.
Next chop and add two small spring onions and a green chilli (seeds and all) to the tuna mix, and one medium tomato, from which I removed the inner pithy part including the seeds and chopped it up fine. Season with some salt (according to your taste), 10 – 12 capers roughly chopped, and a good squeeze or two of lime juice. Finishing it off with some chopped flat-leaf parsley… Yum!
p.s. Do not over-mix the tuna, as you want the tuna to be flaky and not turn into a pâté.
Another important aspect of a good tuna melt is the bread selection, and I used my Spinach, Sundried Tomato, Cheddar and Oat loaf for this recipe, slicing the bread quite thin and toasting the slices on both sides, on a pan till they turned crusty and brown.
Let the bread cool a little before piling the tuna mix onto it and top it all with any cheese that melts (I used Mozzarella) as generously as you can. I used about 150gms over four slices, sprinkling on some black pepper and snipped up spring onion greens.
Transfer the toasts onto a parchment lined baking tray and bake them in a preheated oven at 210° C, turning on the grill element for a few minutes, but keeping an eye out because you don’t want those luscious snowy blanketed toasts with their pepper and green onion toppings to get browned and/or burnt.
So I finally sat by my window, with my delicious Tuna Melt Open Sandwiches, juice and coffee on the side, and watched the birds who were still frolicking around since the sun hadn’t yet reached its zenith, and took a nice big bite of stringy Mozarella topped mustardy tuna goodness… Then closed my eyes and thanked God for everything I’ve had the good fortune to experience and enjoy.
And yes before I go, I have to thank the beautiful and extremely talented Dolly at http://allaboutlemon.com/ for nominating me not just for another Versatile Blogger Award but also for a Beautiful Blogger Award which I shall be passing on soon. And then as a special treat Dolly also passed on something she and her daughter designed themselves… a beautiful badge that says “You are Loved” which I’ve posted on my page. Do click on it and it will take you over to Dolly’s blog which many of you may have visited. But if you haven’t… You Must!