This past week one of this blogs co-founders celebrated his birthday and was given a party that in true Amazing Sandwich style. Anders was not only born in Denmark but spent most of his life there and it is his and that country’s commitment to the sandwich that served as the inspiration for our blog. Denmark is the world that has transformed this humble meal to gourmet standards. So it was only appropriate that Anders’ birthday be celebrated with an ode to the smørrebrød. So last week saw me scurrying about to purchase the necessary ingredients that would make Ida Davidsen proud. Ida Davidsen is the Grande Dame of Danish smørrebrød and operates a Michelin-starred restaurant devoted solely to this national dish. We planned on three of Anders’ favorite Danish smørrebrød: leverpostej (liver pate), Fiskefilet med remoulade (fillet of fish with remoulade) and frikadeller (meatballs). Today’s entry will be devoted to the fiskefilet. I know you are thinking – what could be so special about a fish fillet? Let me tell you my friend, this is no mere fish on bread. The preparation, construction and… alone took me hours. We had 14 at our party and so in making for your own, you’ll need to adjust the ingredients accordingly.
Open faced sandwiches can be beautifully stacked creations, but when squeezed into a lunch-bag, carried by 10-year olds biking to school in a backpack and thrown in a community refrigerator, open-faced sandwiches may not be the first choice of lunch.
Not so for my mom. She was a firm believer in open-faced sandwiches and made them as if I was eating at home, except, she wrapped them tight in cellophane wrap before stacking them in my lunch box.
As you might image, the end result was not always… appetizing. Cod roe sandwiches with remoulade and fried onions turned into cud roe salad with wet soggy onions. A once tantalizing potato sandwich with mayonnaise and green onions turned into something wet and soggy, almost like paste.
This sandwich, a cod roe creation, is my own personal rebellion against my childhoods school sandwiches. I reject the cellophane wrap method, and embrace exuberance.
While this particular sandwich was made with cod roe from a can, we recommend you convince your local fishmonger to get you some fresh roe (especially if you can get it smoked). However this was all we had to work with. The sandwich is simple, yet classically Danish. A toasted piece of bread is smeared with roasted garlic. Add cod roe and squeeze lime on top. Top with remoulade, capers, fried onions and ground green pepper. Very good, and an upgrade from the sandwiches schoolchildren get to take to school in their backpacks. A reminder of my childhood school lunches.. but much improved.
I love potatoes and I love bread. This sandwich brings out the best in both of them. Half a ciabatta roll, toasted (for the ‘crunch’) and with a light spread of tarragon mustard. Add potato, pumpkin seeds, tomatoes and a few more things you can read about below, and you got yourself a treat for lunch. Yes, it’s as good as it looks!
I made this after a long day at work, one of those days where you really just want to get home and sleep, but you’re starving… Having a potato handy in the fridge from dinner the night before became my saving grace.
Hungry for a snack, I found some cilantro lime shrimp from Costco in the fridge, along with a bit of smoked salmon. In about 1 minute I had created this little post-lunch cracker, which would also work great as an appetizer for a party. The cracker used here is a water cracker, but I think I would prefer something a little more rustic next time.
This sandwich can be thrown together quickly if you have a little left over smoked mackerel (and don’t we all sometimes). Be careful not to overpower the subtle taste of mackerel.
The roast beef sandwich is yet another classic piece of smørrebrød. Generous layers of roast beef are stacked with remoulade, capers, sweet dill pickles, fried onions, salt and pepper. It comes with a variety of options, such as different smears (duck fat, butter, roasted garlic or mustard like this one). Typically it also has a nice little dash of shredded horseraddish, but I couldn’t find any on the day I made this.
A Danish favorite, we owe this presentation to the restaurant at Sophienholm in Denmark. The fried plaice is a classic in danish sandwich making, and is found on nearly all restaurants. It is usually served as one of the first sandwiches in a meal (One should always start with the fish) right after the pickled herring sandwich. The batter is light, since the fish is the centerpiece in this little gem.