Sunday, April 06, 2008

Tuna Melt

Time for me to 'fess up if you don't already know. I'm a foodophile. I love to eat and I love good food. Not just junk, but food made well. I don't eat fast foods and for all the years that I worked at UNM, I usually brought my lunch with me.
I'm getting geared up for a long awaited and much needed kitchen remodel in a few months. I dread the process, but I am starting to get excited about what I'll have. Appliances that I've dreamed of and a good 'working triangle' that any good kitchen has (between the stove, the refirgerator and the sink). And, thinking of all of this makes me think of cooking more, well, really, thinking about food more!
And then I started thinking about how I make the effort to present the food I serve; a habit I picked up from working in restaurants for so many years. Yep, even if it's just dinner at home with my two boys, I plate up and present the food. Which started me thinking about "how come I don't take pictures of that?". Cooking can be a very creative process. I make art much in the same manner that I cook; there are a lot of spontaneous elements in both processes for me. Which can be a dilemma when someone asks me how I made something be it food or art! Particularly if I was very spontaneous at that moment.
So, here you see one of my favorite sandwhiches (it's in the line of comfort food for me). It's MY tuna melt. I have this one down to a science. I use regular chunk tuna packed in water (not the fancy white tuna), a safflower mayonaise (I never use anything made with Canola oil which is a topic for another discussion). I add fresh ground pepper, salt and lots of capers! I love those capers! Then the spread goes onto a multi-grain bread with some swiss cheese (it has to be swiss), some fresh spinach if I have any, and then I grill it. I like to use one of those pans with the ridges and I use a heavy skillet to press it down while it's cooking.
I'll eat it just like this. If I have any cornichons, I'll have those with it too. Potato chips too if I have them.
Gads...I'm getting hungry!


bridgette said...

mmm. that sounds good.

I thought Canola oil was the healthier choice when it comes to oils? I don't use veg oil either. I either use canola or olive oil, sometiems safflower. Curious to what you have to say about Canola!

Paula Scott said...

I was wondering who would ask me about the Canola oil! Here's my take on it: it is made from rapeseed; a plant in the mustard family. Birds don't eat the seed; probably because it contains enough eurcic acid that can cause them harm. For humans, probably inconsequential. I don't like to use it because it does go rancid faster than any other cooking oil (becuase I don't use great quanities, it takes me awhile to get through a bottle of cooking oil). I use mostly olive oil and safflower oil. Or sunflower oil. But, predominantly, olive oil; I only use the other oils when I need to cook at a very high temp. Birds eat sunflower and safflower seeds (ok, they don't eat olives off the trees).
The other reason is that if you were to leave some canola oil on a pan or cookie sheet, over time, it gets very sticky and it nearly impossible to wash off. I don't find this to be true with other cooking oils/fats. So, I think that this cannot be good for our bodies even though it is rich in the omegas. It's that sticky thing that really bothers me; it doesn't behave quite like the other cooking oils.
I think that things like Canola oil and Splenda will prove over the long haul to not be as good as they appear to be. I don't know if they are truly bad things, I just don't think they as good as we are made to believe. Actually, Splenda scares me because at a molecular level, it is not a food substance. It is altered and I can't help but wonder what the long term effect of high usage will have. I think the occasional use is inconsequential.
So, there is my thought on Canola oil!


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