I suppose the best place to start is with my absolute favorite (of those we’ve made at home) breakfast item.
A while back, my partner-in-food (PIF) and I went to the The Publican for brunch and ordered the tuna melt, which was a hybrid of tuna melt and an…dare I say it…Egg McMuffin. It essentially is a perfectly runny egg, atop a piece of cheddar cheese and a mound of the best tuna salad I have ever had, all between an English muffin. And it is delicious.
One day PIF surprised me with brunch of a homemade Publican Tuna Melt. This was our first ever at home adaptation of a restaurant favorite and since then, we’ve developed it into our most beloved weekend breakfast.
The Tuna Melt
Inspired by The Publican (Chicago)
Cook time: approximately 30 minutes
- Put olive oil in a skillet and bring the skillet to medium-high heat.
- When oil is hot, add mushrooms and red onion and sauté until soft.
- Add Sriracha, cumin, and garlic powder to taste (I use about 1/2 tsp of each and 2-3 Tbsp of Sriracha)
- Add tuna, reduce heat to medium-low, cover.
- In the meantime, mash avocado with some more garlic powder (~1/4 tsp) and put another skillet or flat pan on high heat (about an 8/10).
- Add spinach to the tuna mixture and stir so it is evenly distributed throughout. (Note: this will add moisture, so it may not be as crispy as without spinach. All about personal preference!)
- When tuna mixture is very soft and slightly crispy (this sounds like an oxymoron but you’ll see what I mean), make a mound of it in the center of the pan, cover with the slice of cheese, and turn off heat.
- Put a few swipes of butter or olive oil spray on the empty hot skillet and crack an egg.
- Pop that English muffin in the toaster (or, if you don’t have a toaster, put it in the hot oven face up–plan ahead for this!)
- Cook egg to your liking, but try to only flip it once. If you like harder eggs like me (I know, I’m a disgrace to the culinary world…), I do about 2-3 minutes each side, which keeps the yolk bright yellow but cooked through.
- When English muffin is toasted, smear your mashed avocado on one side, use a spatula to put your tuna mixture on the other side, and top with the egg.
*Pouches or tuna in water are better because the fish won’t be overcooked due to the canning process (for more info, read scene 4 of this Good Eats episode). In case bagged tuna is not available, canned tuna in water is fine.