Category Archives: Butter

Maria’s Liver Pâté Sandwich

When I was a kid, every other weekend I would spend with my dad and my step-mom. They lived in an old house in a residential neighborhood outside Copenhagen, with a great big yard with lots of plants and flowers and tables tucked away in corners. We always ate lunch outside when the weather was good, and I remember at the time I didn’t like it that much because of the bees, but it really was an amazing place to enjoy a good meal.

When I came visiting, often the first thing that greeted me was the smell of baked liver Pâté. My step-mom made the best liver Pâté I’ve ever had, and while it baked the whole house would take on the flavor and everyone would start gathering in the kitchen when we knew it was just about time to remove it from the oven. Ten minutes before, we would start toasting some dark rye bread and setup lunch outside. We would all gather the plates, cutlery and work together as a team, knowing that the reward was just around the corner.

The sound of the old timer’s bell chiming was the most wonderful thing you’ll ever hear. As we sat outside in the sun, making our warm liver pâté sandwiches, a silence fell as we enjoyed that first bite.

Perhaps I make it sound overly romantic, but that’s my own experience with this pate. My step-mom’s secret ingredient was curry, and she never gave it away. A few years ago cancer overcame her, and we thought her recipe was lost forever. However, a couple of months ago while I was visiting Denmark, I asked my sister again if she had found the recipe, and to my surprise she had. Tucked away in a pile of papers that had gone unnoticed for years, there it was.

So now, for the first time in maybe 15 years, this pâté which I have named Maria’s Liver Pâté after my step-mom, has finally seen the light of day again.

And once more, the house smells like childhood and summer and bees and flowers, and everything is as it should be.

Maria's Liver Paté Sandwich with pickles and fried onions
Maria's Liver Pâté Sandwich with pickles and fried onions

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Breakfast Sandwich with Tomato, Egg and Salami

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.

Tomato Egg Salami Sandwich
Tomato Egg Salami Sandwich

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Ham and Liver Pate Sandwich with Roasted Garlic and Dill Pickles

I consider this a variation on the veterinarians midnight snack, a classic Danish sandwich (In Danish: ‘Dyrlægens natmad‘. Try saying that one!).  The bones of Anders’ Viking ancestors will rattle in their graves to protest me saying this, but in this variant,  the  inclusion of the roasted garlic and the removal of the aspic is a HUGE improvement. Together, those simple actions make this sandwhich palatable for me, a non-Dane.   Anders thinks this presentation is a bit more playful, looking a bit like a rib cage or something medieval. I suppose, it’s his attempt at appeasing the spirits 🙂  It consists of liver pate on home-baked rye bread with butter, with a rolled up slice of ham. This is topped with half-moon slices of onion rings, roasted garlic and a couple of dill pickles. Fennel seeds and ground black pepper spices it up a bit.

Liver Pate sandwich with ham, onions, roasted garlic, sweet pickles, and pepper
Liver Pate sandwich with ham, onions, roasted garlic, sweet pickles, and pepper

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Spicy Spare Rib Sandwich with Mushrooms and Roasted Garlic

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.

Smoked pork spareribs sandwich with sauteed mushrooms and onions
Smoked Pork Spare Ribs Sandwich with Sauteed Mushrooms and Onions

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Potato Sandwich with Remoulade, Pumpkin Seeds, Roasted Garlic and Tomatoes

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.

Potato ciabatta roll with pumpkin seeds and grape tomatoes
Potato on Ciabatta Roll with Pumpkin Seeds and Grape Tomatoes

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Smoked Cream Cheese Chicken Sandwich with Cucumber and Tomato

Perfect for those chicken leftovers in your fridge, and a great sandwich for the outdoors. This specimen was consumed on a sailing trip to Flakfortet (see also “The Flakfortet” potato sandwich). It is a spinach roll, with smoked cream cheese, roasted chicken from the night before, fresh heirloom tomatoes. and mini-cucumber slices. Sprinkle generously with dukkah and olives on the side, of course.

Chicken with Tomatoes rol
Chicken with Tomato

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Old School Chocolate Sandwich

Quite frankly, this isn’t much of a sandwich, much less amazing. It’s specifically made for children in Denmark, and is a typical sandwich they would take to school. It ranks just one notch above the infamous “sugar sandwich”, which is at the bottom of the sandwich pile. However, if you want to feel like a Danish kid, have one of these, then move on 🙂

Chocolate Sandwich
Chocolate Sandwich

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Roast Beef Sandwich with Capers, Sweet Dill Pickles and Fried Onions

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.

Roastbeef Sandwich
Roastbeef Sandwich

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Classic Danish Cheese Sandwich

The classic Danish cheese sandwich is extravagent to say the least. This one, from the restaurant Peter Liep, represents the extreme amount of cheese that is needed. In fact, we couldn’t even see the bread when it was served.

Classic danish cheese sandwich
Classic danish cheese sandwich

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“The Veterinarians Midnight Snack” – Dyrlægens Natmad

“Dyrlægens natmad” as it is called in Denmark is an old sandwich like your mom used to make them. In English, it’s translated as “The veterenarians midnight snack”. It consists of liver pate on rye bread, topped with corned beef (or other salted meat), aspic, and onion rings. In this version, we start our assembly by adding lettuce at the base.

THe veterinarians nightly snack (Dyrlægens natmad)
THe veterinarians nightly snack (Dyrlægens natmad)

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Egg Sandwich with tomatoes and onions

Classic Egg and Tomato sandwich on Rye bread, served on a lettuce leaf with onions, green onions and mayonaise. Simple, easy, yummy, and a great way to eat an egg.

This sandwich is served at many danish restaurants with a good selection of smørrebrød.

The onions brings out a light ‘crunch’ that most great sandwiches should have, but too much onion can overpower the eggs, so the green onions, milder, adds the last flavor.

Egg sandwiches are often lightly sprinkled with salt, but that is an individual option.

Egg sandwich
Egg sandwich

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Classic Pickled Herring Sandwich

This pickled herring sandwich is served on rye bread with red onions, capers and parsley. There are many variations of pickled herring and if you have an Ikea nearby, there is a big chance you might be able to find an jar of pickled herring there. Most open faced sandwich feasts in Denmark starts with fish, usually herring such as this. They are usually served with the local schnapps (Snaps), cooled in the freezer, which you are expected to drink in one fell swoop as a shot. The schnapps really brings out the flavor of the herring, and should not be missed.

Pickled herring in tomato sandwich
Pickled herring in tomato sandwich

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“Flakfortet” – Smoked Cream Cheese Potato Sandwich

I know, I know.. you’re thinking “Potato sandwhich! More starch as a topping for bread?”. That was my first impression when I first heard of this one. However, as with all things culinary, the adventurous are often generously rewarded.  This adaptation was inspired while on a sailing trip to the Danish island “Flakfortet” (hence the name of the sandwich).  It was constructed from what was available on the boat, and it turned out to be a passenger favorite. The subtle taste of the Smoked Cream Cheese (A Danish delicacy from Fyn), blends perfectly with the potato and radishes.

Smoked cream cheese potato sandwich
Smoked cream cheese potato sandwich

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Tomato Sandwich

Tomatoes on Spinach Ciabatta Roll. For this sandwhich, we recommend heirloom tomatoes at their peak of ripeness. You also want to use the tomatoes at room temperature. The flavors are more intense here. We used Black Krim grown in our backyard garden, and added a pinch of Dukkah to bring home the flavor. This is perhaps the most essential way to make a tomato sandwich, using only tomatoes, and it can really only be pulled off succesfully when they are very fresh and tasty.

Tomato on smoked cream cheese with Dhukka sandwich
Tomato with Dhukka sandwich

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Fried Plaice with Shrimp and Caviar

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.

Fried Plaice with Shrimp and Caviar Sandwich
Fried Plaice with Shrimp and Caviar Sandwich

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