Posted October 14th, 2010 by carls

The classic tuna melt sandwich, first popularized in the 1960s, has been a favorite in North America for decades now and is a staple of any American diner for good fucking reason. We’ve all eaten hundreds upon hundreds of them, or at least I have. When done right, the rich and comforting flavors of a tuna melt are enticing and satisfying with little room for improvement. There are times, however, when you just need to add some spice to your life and/or lunch.

Introducing Carls’ Frank’s Red Hot Salmon Salad Sammy — a delicious (and totally healthier!) alternative to the tuna melt. The salad portion is prepared very similarly, but replaces the canned tuna with canned red salmon, and the mayo with Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce (it sounds weird I know, but bear with me*) It is best with a mild cheese such as mozzarella. Provolone, Muenster, etc are also good. Cheddar is not ideal, but will work. Then again is cheddar ever really bad? No.

For three sandwiches, you will need:
1 15oz can red salmon in water
1/4 cup capers
1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce
fresh ground black pepper
6 slices of bread
3 slices of cheese (nice thick slices, comparable in size to the bread — if your cheese brick is smaller, cut six instead)

First, drain the water from the salmon and empty into a bowl. If you are unfamiliar with canned salmon you may be startled to see some skin and pretty big bones in there. Do not be alarmed, this is perfectly normal! Removing these items (especially the sections of spine) is a needless removal of essential nutrients from your meal. Don’t be a pussy! The bones are volatile and you can easily squish them into nothing with the back of a spoon, should you feel their appearance will be unappetizing to you or your guests. They will be virtually undetectable with just a few light strokes.

Moving on, toast 3 of the slices of bread.

Next, add the Frank’s Red Hot sauce and the capers to the bowl and mix it all together evenly. You should end up with a consistency similar to tuna salad. Divide this mixture 3 ways and spoon onto the 3 toasted slices of bread.

The proper way to cook a tuna melt is to butter both sides of the sandwich and grill it, much like you would a grilled cheese sandwich. While this is undeniably delicious, we are going to take the easier and slightly less gluttonous approach. This is a good time to point out that this distances us even further from the traditional tuna melt. If anyone ever tried to tell you that you use a broiler to make a tuna melt, fuck that person. They are wrong and an idiot. That said, we’re using the broiler here today. Simply set your oven to broil, drop a wee dash of black pepper on each open sandwich, and cover with a slice of cheese. Now set the sandwiches beneath the broiler to melt. Make sure the cheese gets completely melted and the sandwich filling has been warmed, which is best done about 12″ from the broiler element.

Toast the other 3 slices of bread while the cheese is melting, and when finished, place the toasts on top of your melted cheese.

Cut the sandwiches diagonally and serve with a pickle and LEMON PERRIER. The lemon Perrier will really seal the deal, although some sort of wheat beer with a lemon slice would be great too.

That’s it, enjoy!

*yes, I was wasted when I invented this, but most of the important tweaks were made later while mostly sober.

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