I’ve been in the middle of a book for some days now (Pagan in Exile), and admittedly, I’ve been losing interest in it. So tonight I decided to “cleanse the palate” with a cookbook, my first cookbook review for the year :)
Book #44 for 2009: Grilled Cheese: 50 Recipes to Make you Melt by Marlena Spieler, from one of my favorite publishers, Chronicle Books. This book caught my eye at the National Bookstore Book-sak Presyo sale last December at Market! Market! because I looooove cheese. All sorts of cheese (no, processed cheese isn’t counted), and the stinkier, the better.
Because it’s Lent, I decided to try the recipe for spiced up tuna melt (Tuna Melt with Spanish Flavors), and it’s great because I had all the ingredients — tuna, Monterey Jack cheese, bell peppers (that I roasted in the oven toaster), paprika, half an onion, mayo, olive oil, and some salt and pepper to taste.
Aside from the long time it took me to peel the bell pepper (note: next time, canned pimientos!), it was pretty easy, just like making normal tuna spread except with more ingredients. I had fun using the mezzaluna knife (a la Nigella) that my mom bought at Crate and Barrel (comes with its own chopping board!) for the fine chopping.
And then I grilled the sandwich (brushed with olive oil on the surface) on a non-stick pan, using a clean saucer to weigh down the bread (my battery was conking out, so no photo of the saucer).
When the bread was nicely browned, I sliced it down the middle and yum — cheese came oozing out! :) It was yummy — the paprika and the bell peppers gave the tuna spread some zip, and some smokiness. The Monterey jack was nicely melted; I got cheesy strings stretching out as I bit into the sandwich. Sigh… it was perfect!
My yummy tuna melt!
My goal is to try out all the recipes in this book within my lifetime, and maybe invent some of my own. I need to collect more cheese “specimens” (not a wide variety available in this country, and expensive, too!) to experiment with the different combinations of grilled cheese sandwiches in the book… Meanwhile, just flipping through the pages makes my mouth water.
I think I’ll go make another tuna melt! :D
My copy: paperback, bought for P50
My rating: book 5/5 stars, tuna melt 5/5 stars