Cooking / Mains / Recipe Index / Salads/Soups

Tuna Melt with Brie and Heart of Palm Avocado Salad

Do you remember this Duracell commercial?  It is probably a distant memory since so few devices require batteries nowadays (praise be the iPod!), but I was recently reminded of this creepy tv spot because I really needed to recharge my batteries.  I have been running around for weeks and was starting to feel like the Grandma who passes out in her pasta.  I needed a serious energy boost and with so many friends out of town this weekend, I decided to seize the opportunity to become a recluse for three days.  I talked to no one and spent the time reading, watching movies, and laying out at the park.
Since I was parked on my couch for a large chunk of the weekend, I watched a lot of cooking shows.  By Sunday, I had to make one of the recipes I had seen on TV.  But which lucky Food Network chef would I choose to emulate?   Ding ding!  The winner was Emeril with his tuna melt and salad.
I’m pretty boring when it comes to tuna salad – I just like the tuna fish and mayo and won’t touch it if I see celery so I left out the majority of Emeril’s mix-ins.  I did, however, like one of his additions so I threw some capers in there for a little salt.  Emeril’s best suggestion was the cheese – brie.  After a few minutes in the sauté pan, the brie got extra creamy.  It put the melt in tuna melt and took the American classic into international territory.  But don’t think that this tasted like mush just because there’s creamy cheese on top of a mayonnaise-based tuna.  Thanks to a nice coating of butter, the bread got browned and crispy in the pan, providing a bite along with the creamy middle of the sandwich.
 I also followed Emeril’s lead when it came to the side salad.  I tossed hearts of palm, avocado, and tomatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  It might sound bland with its lack of dressing, but all this needs is good olive oil, salt, and pepper to bring out the natural flavors of the vegetables.  It is the ultimate easy Summer salad. And that’s a good thing; because I plan to have the ultimate summer.

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