Comfort food like the humble tuna melt shouldn't be fussy or time consuming. Essentially it should require nothing more than to mix up some stuff you have on hand and throw it in the panini grill (or smush it good with the spatula in a regular pan.) At our house easy doesn't mean plain though, just a few tricks make the ho-hum tuna melt pretty fabulous, and I'll let you in on the secret...banana pepper rings. Easily overlooked, perhaps not in everyone's refrigerator, but they should be - banana pepper rings are tasty and they completely transform this sandwich!
I also put pepperoncini on our sandwiches too, they give them a bit more bite, which honestly, all the mush of tuna and cheese needs that spark. A really great onion, cut not too fine so that it holds a bit of crunch when cooked in the sandwich is also a must. Since a tuna melt should be easy, the recipe below is just a suggestion, not exact measurements (eyeball it), but the onion and peppers are mandatory! Follow these suggestions and I bet your family will elevate the humble tuna melt to "Favorite Sandwich" status just like mine.
3 5 ounce cans Albacore tune in water, drained
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons dill relish
1 Tablespoon sweet relish
1/2 cup onion, chopped
4 slices Sharp American
4 slices Swiss
1/2-3/4 cup pepperoncini/banana pepper rings
1/4-1/2 cup butter
Bread of your choice, enough for 4 sandwiches
- Mix together tuna, mayonnaise, dill and sweet relishes and onion. Be careful not to break up the tuna by over stirring.
- Divide the tuna evenly between 4 slices of bread/rolls/buns, and place the cheese on top. Apply a generous amount of pepper rings and place another piece of bread on top.
- Butter top bread, place a large pat of butter in the pan or the panini to melt and place sandwich in press. The sandwich is done when golden brown and cheese is melty. If using a pan on the stove, cook the sandwich over low heat slowly to develop the best crust, pressing firmly on the sandwich and turning to melt it all together.
- Multiple sandwiches can be kept warm in a 170-degree oven on a wire rack to serve all at once.
- Allow sandwiches to cool 5 minutes on a wire rack before cutting.