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Wednesday, October 17

Tuna Mountain Climbers

Tuna Mountain Climbers were one of the popular dishes made in my elementary school. One of my favorites. The lunch ladies made them on left over hamburger buns and used plastic-wrapped cheese, but in my updated recipe, I'm using Texas Toast and CoJack. I don't know where the name came from, they are just tuna melts afterall.
We had 'runzas' in our elementary school, too, until the Runza fast food place got popular enough, that we couldn't use the word 'runza' without their copyright. I am always interested in hearing stories from people about what they had in their elementary school lunch room, some things were very regional from what I can figure.


Tuna Mountain Climber
Originally uploaded by seeshells
Mustardy Tuna Salad

1 cup sweet pickle relish (the kind with mustard seeds)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 cup chopped celery (about 2 long stalks)
1/2 cup onion (about 1/4 medium)
6 6oz cans water packed tuna (the little ones were on sale)
1 cup plain yellow mustard (the only reason to have plain mustard in the fridge)
1/2 cup salad dressing (or mayo if you prefer)

Also needed:
Texas toast
sliced tomatoes
deli sliced colby/jack cheese

Combine pickle relish and mustard seed. The way I see it, the mustard seeds are the best part of the relish and the relish is one of the best parts of the tuna salad, so I added extra. The mustard seed is hard out of the bottle, so combining with the pickle relish will start to soften them up. Do this combination before even starting to chop, to give the seeds a lot of time marinating in the relish.
Chop the onion and celery, add to relish along with tuna. Stir this part together before adding the wetter parts, to get the tuna un-chunked, and get all the ingriedients blended together. Add mustard and mayo and stir well.
Of course, if you're not as big of a mustard fan as I am, you could do more salad dressing and less mustard. 3/4 cup of each would work.

Putting it all together:
Set oven to 300 degrees. Put the Texas Toast, in one layer, on a cookie sheet covered with tinfoil (in case of leakage, you can skip the tinfoil if you want). Toast the toast in the oven for 5-7 minutes on one side, flip, and do again 5-7 minutes on the other side. You're not going for toasted toast, just crisp up the bread. If you weren't too worried about fat and all that, you could coat each side with butter or margarine for a moister toast, but it's not needed.
After toasting both sides, carefully spread one big spoonfull of tuna salad onto the toast, getting it into the corners and making it flat on top. Add one tomato slice on top of each mountain, and top with one slice of colby jack cheese. Bake for 10-13 minutes or tuna is heated through and cheese is melted. If you like crispy, you could broil it at the end.

PS How many does it serve? I dunno. Our servings at our house aren't the same as the ones on the packages. This recipe as is, is probably servings for about 6-8. We served 4 plus about equal in leftovers.

PPSS The Texas Toast is 19 grams of carbs per slice. Which isn't so bad, because they are open faced sandwiches. If you use the tuna salad for regular sandwiches, we use the low carb bread that's about 9 grams of carbs each. About the same difference.

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