This is a very simple sandwich, which basically is a great piece of Naan bread from Trader Joe’s, a slice of salmon, and a touch of tarragon mustard. I’m sure any Indian would cringe his or her toes considering the bread to be actual Naan, but whatever it is we get it every few months. It is a very soft and thick bread that almost melts in your mouth.
We used the very last of our leftovers from our April wedding (where we were lucky enough to have Phil’s BBQ cater) to make this sandwich. And… It’s magnificent! I’ve been trying for weeks now to get my workplace to order Phil’s BBQ for lunch, but they’re “saving it for a special occasion.” Oh those fools, don’t they know that every time you eat at Phil’s, it’s a special occasion? OK, enough with the ranting, I never knew I would become such a fan of BBQ, but there you have it.
In this sandwich the ‘crunch’ comes from the radish and the micro-greens, and the spice from the cayenne garlic spread we get at the local farmers market. I would like nothing more than to be able to make that darn delicious garlic spread myself, but after having run the food processor for 30 minutes straight, I realized it’s impossible to get the fluffy goodness needed (as well as getting rid of the strong taste of garlic). An industrial blender or puree machine is needed to it, so; farmer’s market is our only solution.
When I was a kid I hated fish. My mother would cook cod and herring a lot, and I remember they were full of bones. Small tiny bones that just made it very uncomfortable to eat. In desperation, my mother promised to remove the bones, and offered me the equivalent of 10 cent for every bone I could find. She intended of course to make me believe her and eat the fish happily; knowing she would never offer such a prize unless she was absolutely certain there was no bones to be found. Instead, I started eating ever slower, trying to locate any bones I could. As it turns out, herring and cod has a lot of very small bones the likes and sheer numbers my mother would never have imagined. What followed were the inevitable negotiations over what constitutes a bone, what size a bone has, and so on. I believe my mother thought for a few years after that I would turn into a banker or a lawyer, because I ended up with quite a bit of extra pocket money before the rules was abruptly terminated and fish not served on my plate for a long time. I think I was pretty spoiled, but we always did have fun!
I still am not very fond of neither herring nor cod, but salmon and tuna are fantastic fish. In this sandwich creation, the freshness of the grapes brings out a tiny bit of crunch and a delicious moisture that enhance the taste of the smoked salmon. Dill seems to be made for the occasion, and the sauce is a mustard sauce you may be able to get in your local IKEA.
While we do enjoy making falafels from scratch, it is a lot easier to buy them pre-made. So after an on-the-spur-of-the-moment shopping spree in the local grocery store, we found ourselves with a packet of falafels. They are quite acceptable in taste, a little wet in consistency (it’s not easy to preserve crunchiness after freezing), and overall a good experience. If you have fresh ones, by all means do use them, but for a Thursday sandwich without too much work involved, just get something like these. We find that falafel can be quite a nice change to a lot of dishes, such as salads or on sandwiches (like here).
‘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.
This sandwich is one of the many that can be created almost entirely from Costco. No, they don’t sponsor us. We just like a lot of their foods (psst, Costco, if you read this, get in touch!!). We particularly love it when they feature cheeses on the tasting floors. In fact, we get practically giddy like children in a candy store. This past weekend, we walked in and were greeted with the sign announcing “Cheese Tour”. Now, this always puts us in a quandary as we struggle to justify the purchase of yet more cheese. At any given time, our refrigerator is home to at least four different varieties of cheeses. After this weekend’s purchase, we now have 7. We are such cheese maniacs that we purchased Parmesan Reggiano even though we had a big block at home. There is something just more intense about the flavors and textures of a freshly cut cheese. The cheese guy was kind enough to yield to Wendie’s pleading that he cut her only the teeniest of pieces since this was to be eaten right away. If you are familiar with the family (nay, restaurant) sized packages at Costco, you know how absolutely sweet it was of him to oblige her.
So it was home to make the most elemental of sandwiches – potato rosemary bread with freshly cut Parmesan Regianno cheese. Yum. That was the appetizer which was quickly followed by another made with cilantro-lime shrimp, another Costco food that we have grown to love and find multiple applications for.
Large and succulent, they don’t need much else, so we try to limit the extras. On this particular sandwich, the most significant other ingredient is a small amount of mustard, so be very careful to measure that exactly, or it will completely overpower the taste of the shrimp.
A fresh little appetizer for parties or just for Wednesday night. It’s so easy to make, there really is no reason not to make everyday food a little more interesting. This is also our first ‘sandwich’ without bread, so we’re now starting to push the envelope of our sandwich blog :-).
Surprise your loved one with appetizers after a long day at work, and you’ll be the star of the evening.
Don’t be intimidated by the length of this lavash cracker recipe, or the ingredient list. The process is a bit involved and definitely requires more time than a sandwich but the effort is well worth it. With a little attention, even novice bakers will be able to make this a staple in their pantries. Add the spices and seeds you like, and make it your own creation.
In Denmark, smoked mackerel was formerly a delicacy reserved for special occasions such as family Christmas luncheons, or fancy dinner parties. Danish smoked mackerel typically comes from Bornholm, which is famous for its many smokehouses. Although made with smoked mackerel, this sandwich would work well with other smoked fish e.g. smoked salmon.
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.