This is a one-bite sandwich with two thing slices of baguette bread. A bit of pesto, some farmers market salami, tomato from the garden and a touch of green onions. It is great as an appetizer or a very small mid-day snack (Which is how we enjoyed this sandwich).
Sometimes little things can really show the differences in culture. I was visiting Denmark recently, buying the roll below at the local baker. As I was about to leave the bakery, I saw a woman coming to the door through the glass window. I opened the door to hold it for her, but instead of coming inside, she looked at me and stepped aside to let me out. In Denmark, chivalry is dead if it ever existed, and this woman realized that I got to the door first, and so I should use it first. She did not for one second consider I was holding the door for her. Being Danish, and hungry, I left the baker letting the door fall shut behind me. Perhaps this is the price of equality between the sexes, 50 years of hard struggle in Denmark. No man should hold the door for a woman, because “Don’t they think we can do it ourselves?” Danish women often think that men being chivalrous are a sign from the men that they feel superior. I guess you can argue both ways, but a glimpse into my old culture that could perhaps use an upgrade. My sister loves it when I hold the doors, so there is still hope.
This is a simple to make appetizer that looks great and taste even better. We used architokelemon pesto (Trader Joe’s), but regular pesto would make an equally good sandwich. We just like to mix things up a bit… that and use the multitude of spreads we have from our over exuberant grocery shopping. The Genoa salami is from a deli in Little Italy, but could be substituted for your own local variations.
This is quite similar to a pepperoni pizza, the favorite pizza of the US. We changed it up a bit and used a local organic sausage from the local Poway farmer’s market. We also added blue cheese and onion to give the mouth a kick to the teeth. It works brilliantly, and is one of our favorite foods.
During a recent weekend getaway to San Francisco, we ran into the very nice Cowgirl Creamery, which is an actual real cheese shop. These are a rarity these days, as the business of cheese has been largely delegated to supermarkets, and somehow the rather bland cheddar has been the victim of a marketing blitz turning it in to the star of California cheeses. Not that we don’t enjoy a good cheddar, but there are soooo many more fantastic cheeses that the general populous are missing out on. At the Cowgirl Creamery, we found the Red Hawk, “… a triple-cream, washed-rind, fully-flavored cheese made from organic cow’s milk from the Straus Family Dairy. Aged six weeks and washed with a brine solution that promotes the growth of a bacteria that tints the rind a sunset red-orange…” Indeed, this little gem is very tasty, and forms the base of the taste experience with this simple sandwich. A warm gently toasted baguette, Tuscan bean paste, Red Hawk and Genoa salami. That’s it.
The story of this sandwich is as much a tale of the bread as it is the sandwich. Although we are somewhat ‘accomplished novices’ in making sourdough breads, this was our first attempt at making a baguette. This deceptively simple bread was anything but. Several things went wrong: after the final rise the baguettes looked amazing, big and puffy and we were congratulating ourselves on being such good students of Peter Reinhart. However, we had not done the final proofing on the baking sheet and, in transferring them, ended up loosing about 30 percent of their size. As a result, they are very solid inside, and not soft and airy like real baguettes. We also managed to somehow get the crust too crunchy. It should be mentioned that our oven is terribly old and very unreliable, which turns all our baking into exercises in patience and surprises. The taste was decent however, and although not the stuff of Boulangerie Pierre & Patisserie legend, the baguettes performed creditably in a number of sandwiches, such as this one with salami and cheese.
Contrary to what you might believe from reading the rest of this blog, sometimes we do enjoy the simple sandwiches. This one is about as simple as it gets: Bread and butter, salami and cheese. The only trick is to get good quality ingredients, freshly made bread, Italian salami with a great taste, and a fantastic cheese such as this Danish one called “Helge”. Yes, in Denmark cheeses have people-names. Go figure. Don’t even attempt this one if your bread is not fresh by the way, it will ruin your day.
I loooove Saturdays. They are rife with possibilities. After a long work week devoted to other people’s pursuits (namely those of my job), I look forward to enjoying the simple things that bring me pleasure. Chief among them is lazily meandering through one of the many farmers’ markets that dot the San Diego landscape. Last weekend, it was time to revist my local market in Poway. For me, the market is all about the fresh fruits and veggies… and the Thai coconut pancakes – conveniently sized to be just about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, I can pop them in my mouth and eat them whole. Yum, that’s the way to start a weekend. For Anders, the market is most pleasurable when it involves the pursuit or serendipitous discovery of meat. This week, he found some salami made from locally farmed pork. Nothing like supporting the local farmers…makes me feel connected not just to my food, but also to my community. So in a complete diversion from my normal breakfast fruit bowl, Sunday morning’s breakfast was a tomato and hard boiled egg sandwich topped with salami slices.
When you need to awake from the schlump that is Thursday night after work, a spicy kick to your system can be just what you need. This sandwich does just that. With a strong danish cumin cheese, sweet (but hot) chili sauce, and a strong organic and local salami from Poway Farmer’s market, this one will wake you up. Just for kicks, I added one tsp of fennel seeds on the bread and cheese while in the toaster oven. It added a very nice flavor that went really well with the cheese and ham.