Monday, March 01, 2010

Mar 1st - Curried Parmesan Tuna Melt and Tomato Basil Soup

Tonight was all about comfort food. No. I need an additional refinement on that. It was all about lazy comfort food. I have had an unsated tuna craving for a few weeks now. It's come and gone and morphed from regular sandwich to a casserole and back. D does not like tinned tuna. He goes into this diatribe about the unecofriendly nature of most tinned tuna. Also, for many people, it dances on the border of junkfood. Not for me. I did not grow up with tuna sandwiches or tuna casseroles or tuna salad. It was what I used to call 'white' food. I had my first tuna sandwich well into high school and I was hooked. That's why Spain was a great place to live for me. They love their tinned or jarred tuna. It's on their pizza and it is their 'standard' table salad. YUMMO!

Actually, one of my favourite pizzas has tuna and is a staple in the UK but not in Canada. I speak of the Tuna and Sweetcorn pizza. It's awesome and much better than it sounds. Tuna on pizza in Spain is rather cooked down with red sauce but still tastey. The Tuna and Sweetcorn is brighter and fresher. It is a red sauce pizza with tuna, cheese corn niblets and white onion. YUMMO!

How did I get on Pizza? Oh right, Tuna. The otherside of this dish is the curry mayo. I became hooked on curried mayo or flavoured mayos in general whilst living in Montreal. There was a Belgian Fry place that served freshly cut french fries in a paper cone with a variety of flavoured mayos. I loved it so much that when I would buy a jar of mayo, I would just add the curry powder directly to the jar and keep it in the fridge that way. UM, it does not work for low fat mayo. Please do not waste your low fat mayo in this way. It is fine when you do it a la minute when you're going to eat it right away but not if you're going to store it. Whatever 'stuff' is used to stabilise low fat, 'fake' mayo, does not like the hydroscopic nature of curry powder and it falls apart if you let it sit too long. It becomes watery and lumpy. It made me sad. You can whisk it to recover but it was still sad.

The combination of these two guilty pleasures was a logical evolution of comfort food. One I wouldn't inflict upon D so I indulge if I'm eating on my own. It is delicious.

Curried Parmesan Tuna Melt

1 tin tuna, drained
1/4 c mayo
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t chili flakes
1/4 t ground ginger
1/2 T curry powder
fresh ground pepper
NO salt if you're using tuna in brine.

1 pumpernickel bagel sliced in half
1/4 c freshly grated Parmesan, real!!!!

Mix all the ingredients above the bagel and let sit for at least an hour. You don't have to but when you're using dried spices, you should let them come out. Aromatics do penetrate better in fats so mix in the mayo and let it turn on while you do the rest.

Heap on top of your bagel halves on an oven safe, not necessarily oven proof, plate. Sprinkle your grated cheese on top or grate right on top. Place under a high broiler for 5-7 minutes. Serve hot.

I also sliced up some bell pepper for some freshness and I had forgotten to get a tomato.

The Tomato Basil Soup was out of a can. It was from the Wolfgang Puck series. They used to be limited to specialty shops but now you can buy them just about everywhere. We have several different types stocked for tired nights like this. I didn't need a hearty one to go with my melt though. Funny how tomato soup can have such a range but this is not your Campbell's!! It has a complexity of flavour. Interesting soft, velvety mouth feel. There were also chunks of tomato as well. Really nice.

I married the whole comfort meal with a Burrowing Owl Pinot Gris 2007. It is bigger than other pinot gris. It is less acidic as well. It had an interesting structure. It was nice and paired well with the spicy, rich tuna.

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