Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tuna Melts and Oven Fries

It’s not that I am in a bad mood, I am just annoyed. Annoyed with the kids, annoyed with the drivers on the road, annoyed with the mess that the kids left me to clean up while they went to school. Oh but wait, they had to go to school. So ha! But the joke is really on me because the Little Ballplayer has a half day. Back to being annoyed. I was only a little annoyed until I went to Wal-Mart and then I was thrown into a full throttle pissed off, annoyed to the max. Why is it that a store can do that to a person? Does saving fifty cents on shampoo really equate to my family having to put up with my bad mood for the rest of the day. Correction, I said I was not in a bad mood, just annoyed. I’m a woman, I can change my mind like that.

The Fireman is back on duty. It is days like this that I try to make dishes that I wouldn’t serve to him. Not that he would complain. Remember he ate cold soup out of a can while we were dating. But I do try to give him wholesome meals when he is home considering he does put his life on the line while working. Plus it is a chance to torture him with my cooking. (Remember I am annoyed today so my humor is off.)

Tonight’s dinner is Tuna Melts with oven fries. The Fireman doesn’t like Tuna Melts. He has a problem with his Tuna being warmed up. The Little Ballplayer has a problem with cheese and Tuna touching each other so he will pick one or the other. Sometimes he picks half of each. I’m a short order cook after all so I aim to please! I have a love of good cheese. I love cheep cheese too. So don’t think I am snubbing my nose to Velveta (which is overpriced) or American cheese. But with Fontina and Muenster cheese, why even pull American out of the bin. Fontina and Muenster melts so nicely that it makes me feel like I am in some fancy restaurant that serves a sandwich with fancy fabric napkins and San Pellegrino water in water flutes. Maybe that make my mood better. Nah!

I am not the only one in the family that appreciates my making tuna. Our Boxer, Emma (remember I said she is a Boxer...a dog) loves Tuna and will wake from the deepest sleep when the tuna can is opened. It always amazes me that she knows the sound of a tuna can over the sound of a can of soup. She will sit, loyally in the kitchen, licking her chops, hoping to get a spoonful or the bowl to lick. If we have been away from her all day or on vacation, I will make her up her own serving (she doesn’t get it all at once, I don’t want a sick dog.) I haven’t praised her in my blog yet. They kids are used to me telling her that she is my favorite child. It is true. She doesn’t talk back and doesn’t ask to take the car or my favorite pair of shoes. She also is always happy to see me and doesn’t care what I have to say as long as I am talking to her. So tonight she will most definitely get the bowl to clean. Loyalty is big in my book. I wont preach to you the perfect tuna salad recipe because let's be honest, everyone likes their own. You may like pickle relish or chopped eggs in it. Do it to your preference. Just make sure you like it.

Making Tuna Melts really is an art. You can screw it up. Especially in my 1970 circa kitchen. (Yes I am dissing my kitchen. But that is another post.) I like to use a griddle pan. I have used a sauté pan when it is just one sandwich but when there is more than one the griddle pan works best. I like to butter the outside of the bread. Some melt butter in the pan but that doesn’t work for me. I also start with just one of the sides of the bread (cheese first) in the pan. Like an open sandwich.

And I don’t rush it by cooking it on a high heat. It isn’t a race to the end of the line. I want the cheese to melt and bread to toast just perfectly. Then I add the next layer, the other open face layer which is the tuna side. I don’t start it as early as the cheese side.

Now I’m a good Irish girl. I love my potatoes. I rate them up there pretty high. I pick them over rice, over any other vegetable. Potatoes are supreme in my book. I am also not getting any younger (yes I am) so I do need to watch the excess fat. Frying them in the oven in a tad of Olive Oil definitely helps. Taking them off the carb list would help more. I start with scrubbing the potato because dirt is really the only flaw the potato has. And then I proceed to cut them into perfect strips (skins on because I need the vitamins.) Now I like to spray the cookie sheet with cooking spray but only because Costco lied when I bought my cookie sheets and the food sticks. Then I like to drizzle a little, ok a lot of Olive oil over them, turning each one over, making sure that each potato is covered with oil. Next, seasoning. This depends on my mood. Tonight, I’m a little spicy so I sprinkled a little Lemon Pepper (ok a lot) and some garlic salt. But Season Salt and Pepper would have been nice too. And into a 450 degree oven for 25 minutes or less if your oven was built before the depression (mine wasn’t!)

Dinner! Well at least for for the Tortured Teenager and myself!

Grilled Cheese for The Little Ballplayer


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