Once upon a time ago, I lived with my in-laws. One day during the summer my mother-in-law got a craving for some stuffed mushrooms. I remember this particular day very clearly because it was hot, man. Real hot. We didn’t have AC in the house but the AC in my car worked just fine. So I was more than happy to oblige when she asked me to drive her over to the Northampton Seafood Market for some crab meat to make stuffed mushrooms.
When we got to the market I stayed in the car. Yup, I told her I’d stay out in the parking lot and keep the car running so it wasn’t like an oven set to broil when we came out. I sat there in the icy cold air, making the sacrifice just for her. I was a good daughter-in-law. Anyway, she came out of the market empty-handed because apparently the crab meat was ridiculously over priced. Not that crab meat is cheap to begin with, but the prices that day were excessive. So we drove around town to a few more places that carried crab meat and there must’ve been a shortage of it or something that summer, because the deal was the same everywhere we went.
So we went home and made tuna stuffed mushrooms instead.
Fast forward to the day before yesterday…hubby asked me if I’ve ever had a tuna melt and did I know how to make one? Ummm, yes and yes! 99% of the time the only thing food-related he asks for is steak. Or cheesecake. Or steak. So the fact that he appeared to be branching out was kind of a big deal! I honestly wasn’t too sure if he’d be happy with a tuna melt sandwich though…he’s pretty picky about how tuna salad sandwiches are made and put together. And then I thought about that hot summer day so many years ago, and those tuna stuffed mushrooms, and I thought this was a better way to ease him into his new culinary adventure. Plus he’s trying to do the whole low carb thing, so stuffing the melt in a mushroom makes me feel less guilty about sabotaging his diet with these muahaha! To start, throw all this in a bowl. That’s about half a green bell pepper, some onion, canned tuna, parsley, mayo, and about half a jalapeño. Hubs like jalapeños in errrrrything these days, but you could certainly leave that out if you don’t like a little heat. Add a tablespoon of red wine vinegar to the bowl. And some dijon mustard if you have it. Coarse ground or regular yellow mustard would do just fine if that’s all you’ve got handy. Then add a generous amount of salt… …and some black pepper. Stir to combine. Give it a taste and add more salt and/or pepper if you think it needs some. Now grab some mushrooms. I used these baby portobellos but any kind of mushroom you can stuff will do just fine. Clean ‘em up, remove the stems, and toss the mushrooms in a bowl. Then drizzle them with olive oil and gently toss them with your fingers so they get coated in the oil. Then put them on a sheet pan and get to stuffing! My favorite way to eat an actual tuna melt sandwich is open-faced, with sliced tomatoes on top. So I did that here with a sliced roma tomato. Unfortunately I only had one tomato, so I had to leave a couple of these guys tomato-less. I’ll do better next time! Then just top them off with a little piece or two of cheese, and stick them in the oven at 350 for about 20-25 minutes. And this is what you wind up with. The cheese melts and just starts to crisp up around the edges, the tuna is warmed through and infused with the other flavors, and the ‘shrooms are perfectly browned. Hubby dipped these in ranch dressing…which I really didn’t understand, but it’s whatever. I liked them just the way they were. Try them sometime! I kind of made these on a whim, and just used up things I already had in the pantry/refrigerator. You can certainly use cheddar or another kind of cheese, or use celery instead of bell pepper, swap the red wine vinegar for whatever you have handy, or make any other changes to suit your preferences. Change it up and have fun!
- 3 Tablespoons Red Onion, diced
- ½ cup Green Bell Pepper, diced
- ½ whole Jalapeño, seeded and diced
- ¼ cup Mayonnaise
- 12oz. can Tuna Packed In Water
- Handful Fresh Parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 2 Whole Roma Tomatoes, sliced thin
- 16oz. package Baby Portobello Mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed (or about 16 medium size stuffing mushrooms)
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 4 slices White American Cheese, cut into quarters
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Combine the onion, green pepper, jalapeño, mayonnaise, tuna, parsley, red wine vinegar, and dijon mustard in a medium size bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Gently toss mushrooms in a bowl with olive oil to coat. Lay the mushrooms on a baking sheet and stuff with the tuna mixture.
- Top each mushroom with one slice of tomato and a piece of cheese.
- Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and mushrooms are browned.