‘Twas the eve before Christmas and all through the house, the smell of Jamaican Christmas ham was tempting my nose. Okay.. a poor attempt at a rhyme, but you get the message. We were starving and still had a few hours before the traditional Scandinavian Christmas (Eve) dinner. Scandinavian countries celebrate Christmas on the 24th while Jamaicans (like Americans) reserve our celebration for the 25th. To satisfy each of our cultural programming, we have two celebrations in our home- in effect, two Christmases. We spend Scandinavian Christmas with some dear friends with whom Anders is able to reconnect with his childhood memories and reserve Jamaican Christmas for the two of us. A necessary component of any Jamaican Christmas dinner is a slowly baked ham infused with the combined flavors of cloves, pineapple and brown sugar. It was a hit at last years Scandinavian dinner (go figure) so this year we decided to make it a staple. Yeah to cultural crossovers!
In the midst of the baking of the ham, we got hungry. So to satisfy the empty stomach, but not sacrifice too much space for the barrage of food that is Christmas dinner, we created this sandwich. A fresh ciabatta from Bread and Cie in Hillcrest forms the base, and is lightly warmed until the Spanish Valdeon cheese starts melting. We are always stacked up on smoked salmon from Costco. The sandwich turned truly international when we decided to add a hint of sweetness with a spoonful of tomato relish from Meyer’s (in Denmark). The combination of ingredients may seem surprising, but it was absolutely sublime. Hunger abated, we could now wait until dinner time.
- 1/2 ciabatta bun (This one comes from Bread & Cie in Hillcrest, San Diego)
- 1 1/2 tsp Valdeon cheese
- 3 slices of smoked salmon
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 1/2 tsp tomato relish (We used Meyers)
- 1 small stem of fresh dill.
Spread the Valdeon cheese on the ciabatta roll, and heat it in a toaster oven until the cheese just starts to melt and the bun is warm. Place the smoked salmon on top, and smear the tomato relish evenly on the salmon. Sprinkle the sesame seeds, and decorate with the dill. Enjoy while warm.