By Leslie Kelly

When it comes to sandwiches, it's all about what's stuffed in between slices of bread or a bun, the more outrageous, the better the food porn. That approach leaves a whole lot of empty real estate on the outside. Lately, I've been obsessed with trying to make good use of that surface by embedding chips onto it. Let's turn up the noise.

Potato chips on the outside take this tuna melt to the next level. Photo by Leslie Kelly

I first tried this experiment on a Monte Cristo, which was good, but a little too complicated with the dipping in the egg mixture. Frying in butter turned the chips golden, but made the sandwich over-the-top rich.

Next fail was when I tried it on a grilled cheese. Just too salty. Hmmm, what next? I wasn't ready to give up. After much deliberation, inspiration came from a potato chip-loving friend who's also a big fan of the classic tuna melt. Mary Pat loves the potato chips she grew up eating in Pennsylvania, she sent me a massive box of them. Like many people, she's fond of shoving a few chips inside her sandwiches, so I was thinking she'd get a kick out of changing things up.

First, there was the challenge of getting the chips to stick on the bare bread. I spread some mayo on the outside and pressed the sandwich into the pile of crushed chips. Gently crushed chips, not smashed to potato chip dust. Success!

Now, how to toast this Tuna Melt without using gobs of extra fat? Hello, George Foreman! This Lean, Mean Grilling Machine was a Christmas gift from my nephews many years ago, and it's been an absolute workhorse, turning out perfect burritos, quesadillas, even slabs of toast with just the right texture. I stuck the sandwiches on the grill and 5 minutes later, Mary Pat's Tuna Melt emerged. You could use a pannini grill or a dry pan over medium heat to get the same results.

Of course, I didn't neglect what was on the inside, adding chopped half sour fermented pickles and red onions mixed with mayo and a little dollop of Dijon to the olive oil-packed tuna. Random aside, but my sister once had a guy dump her because she wouldn't tell him her tuna salad secret ingredient. It's the mustard, chump, and she's way better off without the likes of you!

Photo by Leslie Kelly

Watch this sandwich get built in this quick video:

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