If you want to make a ‘Sloppy Joe’ style sandwich, you must first make the chili. This is how we make ours! The recipe has evolved over years, since the college days when chili was the preferred antidote to pizzas. Back then, the chili was mostly meat and beans and tomatoes, but today there are a number of different beans and veggies, as well as more advanced tastes going on. We started adding wine last year, which adds a very nice flavor, and 6 months ago we started adding the sugar after we discovered that is the secret ingredient in most BBQ sauces.
The most common sandwich in Denmark is probably the liver pâté Sandwich. Every school kid knows it, and often hates it due to the sometimes bare-bones minimum effort put into making it. This sandwich here we call “The Grey Lady”, and it’s a play on the traditional liver pâté ‘blah’ version – A serious upgrade if you will. It is not the most attractive sandwich, but it taste awesome. One last upgrade we could still add is using goose liver pate, but we couldn’t find any locally so that will have to wait.
“Pizza!” you may be saying with increduility as you wonder at the seeming incongruity of providing pizza recipes on a sandwich blog. Well, please bear with us while we provide this rather plausible and very convincing rationale.
In Scandinavia, there is a long tradition of open-faced sandwiches (or smørrebrød as they are called in Denmark). Open-faced sandwiches are essentially bread, with layered toppings. So it’s not much of a stretch to call a pizza, a sandwich. After all, it is just that: bread with layered toppings. For the pizza purists among the readers, this might seem like too much of a stretch, but we say that pizza by any other name is still an open faced sandwich. Convinced yet?
The day before we made this sandwich, Wendie cooked an amazing pork tenderloin based on an Alton Brown recipe. It is perhaps the best tenderloin I’ve ever had. Having also recently visited a Chinese grocery store, we had a few king mushrooms in our refrigerator, so we thought they would go brilliantly with the pork. We chose the pecorino romano cheese to add a little saltiness, the vinaigrette dressing to make it a bit more moist. And so, one thing led to another, and we ended up with this fantastic sandwich. It’s messy to eat, but it really brings out the best in the leftover pork. Enjoy.
Since his birthday lunch of seared tuna at Blue Water Seafood Market and Grill, Anders has been dreaming about making a tuna sandwich. But the price of fresh tuna and our relative inexperience with cooking it has served as a big deterrence. You don’t want to ruin a $14/lb tuna steak! Anyway, this weekend he could not be stopped. We finally succumbed and bought a ginormous ahi tuna steak at Costco. This was one fantastic looking steak – probably big enough for 4-5 tuna rolls. So the plan was to sear the tuna, and, borrowing inspiration from Blue Water Seafood, serve it on a soft bun, rather than the artesan-style breads and rolls we typically use.
With a game plan in mind, the search was on for an acceptable roll. Anders just happened to be shopping at Lucky Supermarket – one of the 6 supermarkets that we just had to visit this weekend to satisfy our finicky grocery needs – when he happened upon: Pandesal rolls. Slightly sweet Filipino bread rolls which are very soft. Getting home with the unexpected find, it was time for the searing. A quick Google search, and a plan were laid to do one steak with sesame seeds, and one with a spice rub. From this point on we basically improvised the recipes below based on the content of our pantry, and the rest was… well see for yourselves.
Another day.. another sandwich. I’ve been dreaming of making a salmon patty ever since we started this blog. Today, desire rendezvoused with opportunity. I used Paula Deen’s recipe (of Food Network fame) for the salmon burger and improvised on the cilantro mayonnaise. Actually used miracle whip in place of the mayonnaise. It resulted in a tangier taste than mayonnaise would provide and had the added benefit that it was much healthier (a built in justification for eating that extra sandwich).
Bear in mind that the brevity of the recipe is actually a bit deceptive. All told, it took us about 1 1/2 hours to make this sandwich. It’s probably not an ideal mid week meal but made for a wonderful Friday evening dinner.
Roasted tomato pesto, an excellent smear for sandwiches.
Wendie said: “This is the ultimate vegetarian sandwich. I have been threatening to make this for Anders since our recent trip to Denmark inspired us delve more deeply into the world of sandwiches. While I am convinced that Anders’ Y chromosome predisposes him to a love of all things meat, I was convinced that even he would be wooed by the taste of freshly grilled veggies united with homemade tapenade on a lightly toasted roll. What else could you ask for?”
Anders replied: “Meat!”
That’s how our discussions sometimes goes, but Wendie always wins of course. 🙂 This is, however, a great meal. We highly recommend that you take the time to go shopping for tarragon mustard, as it works much better on this sandwich than regular plain mustard. Anders loved this sandwich, so it’s not just for vegetarians.
Somewhere out there, people are making meatballs with no meat, which seems oddly disturbing to me. At least call them something else :-). This sandwich, however, has genuine meaty meatballs (danish Frikadeller), plus no less than two cheeses, and a bit of the brilliantly hot Chinese black bean chili sauce which we have found really useful for sandwiches when used modestly.
Excited about the prospect of making paninis, and after holding out for a few weeks, we finally decided to get a panini press (well, Anders decided :-)). So down to the nearest Target and what do they have? Shelves up and down stacked with George Foreman grills. Now I didn’t grow up in the US so I don’t really know George Foreman, but he is certainly a very prolific grill maker. So, without a choice, we got a George Foreman grill which we put up next to Alessi wine bottle opener and the Georg Jensen beer bottle opener. After all, if you can’t name your kitchen equipment by name, how will you tell them apart?
Well, the grill is clearly no panini press. The bread barely got any of those distinctive grill stripes, despite a very long grilling session. It did taste great however, so we decided to add it to our growing sandwich collection anyway. You can’t argue with good food. However, we also decided it’s a borderline panini, hence the name.
We love grilling on the BBQ, and we love sandwiches (obviously), so this sandwich was bound to come about sooner or later. Neither of us has done a lot of grilling growing up, so we’re discovering the joy of barbecuing together. We frequently use chicken, and have learned (after a few… mishaps) to get it moist and tender. Grilling chicken usually involves a marinade or a rub, since chicken by itself can be a bit bland. This particular recipe calls for teriyaki sauce, which is great for marinades.
I have to admit I was looking forward to this beauty before we even started making the smoked spareribs. In fact, while we passed the Costco food isle, I saw this great spare ribs sale and I couldn’t help thinking of what a fantastic sandwich I could make with the leftovers. So, a couple of days later, after feasting on the ribs I finally got around to making this. I wanted to really bring out the flavor of the pork, while adding some classic ‘steak’ flavors on top. So, sautéed mushrooms and sweet chili sauce plus of course a few onion rings for the crunch factor.
Roasted tomato lends itself to many uses – the base of a soup, roasted tomato pesto, or just as-is for a sandwhich topping. Roasting concentrates the tomato flavors, redeeming even the most lacklustre fruit from a state of blandness to delighful tomato goodness. For this recipe, we used an assortment of heirloom tomatoes from the backyard garden.