Tex-Mex tuna and potato melt: minimum fuss and full of flavour
A delicious and easy family dinner from store cupbord staples
Tex-Mex tuna and potato melt: comforting and bursting with flavour
Tuna is one of those fantastic store cupboard ingredients that can make dinner or lunch into something delicious. It’s a very accessible protein that stores so well and is brilliantly versatile. This time of year, I find myself reaching for tuna more than ever, with Niçoise salad or fish cakes for lunch or dinner in mind. It also features in my favourite pizza topping: thinly sliced red onion, plump black olives and tuna.
Ortiz line-caught tuna is one that I love and is widely available in good delis and specialist stores. Donegal-based Shines Wild Irish tuna is another more local option when choosing which tuna to buy. It’s line-caught and hand-packed in olive oil – fish I’d reserve for Niçoise salad as it’s so beautiful.
Tuna melts usually involve mixing tuna with mayonnaise then spreading that on bread, topping with cheese and melting it all under the grill. It’s a real winner, delicious in its simplicity and pure comfort food. I often add finely diced red onion or gherkin. It’s a really great toasted sandwich filling too.
This week’s recipe is a twist on that classic, adding a little more vegetables, plenty of coriander and jalapenos for family members that love them. Instead of using bread, I make this more of a dinner with a layer of potato wedges.
I always think of Rory O’Connell when I’m making potato wedges as he always stresses the importance of placing each wedge skin side down on the tray. This attention to detail does take a little more time but it ensures that your wedges won’t stick and become fluffy mashed potatoes with crispy bits when you try to move them around the tray.
O’Connell’s wonderful cookbook, Master It, is full of such tips and invaluable information. Lately I’ve been trying to read more from my cookbook collection. I have been looking over older ones that have been sitting on shelves or in boxes as we’ve moved house over the past few years. It’s the perfect opportunity to revisit some classics.
If you’re not a fan of coriander and its addictive citrus zing, then use flat leaf parsley, but something green is nice here for freshness. I’ve used a jar of tomato relish for the sauce but tomato salsa would be equally good if you have it.
For me, this is perfect Friday night fare. Minimum fuss and full of flavour. Add a handful of crushed tortilla chips to the top for crunch, or serve it with sour cream and guacamole for a Tex-Mex feast.
TEX-MEX TUNA AND POTATO MELT
6 large potatoes, scrubbed and cut into wedges
2 tbsp tomato relish or chutney
2 tbsp mayonnaise
¼ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
4 tbsp roughly chopped coriande
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 stick celery, finely diced
2 x 120g tins tuna, drained
120g grated cheddar cheese
8 cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)
1 tbsp jalapenos, diced (optional)
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 Preheat your oven to 220 degrees. Dry the potato wedges with a tea towel and place them on a tray. Drizzle with oil and roast for 20-25 minutes till golden.
2 Mix the mayonnaise, relish, cumin, paprika, celery, two tablespoons of coriander and half of the red onion together in a bowl. Fold the tuna flakes through. 3 Once the potato wedges are cooked pile the tuna mix into the centre, covering most of the wedges. Top with grated cheese and cherry tomatoes then return to the oven for 10 minutes.
4 Once the cheese is melted and the tuna is hot, top with the reserved red onion and diced jalapenos. Scatter with the remaining coriander and serve with wedges of lime.