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.
This was a pizza Anders put together during one of our weekly pizz-off’s, where we wave goodbye to the old week… with a friendly pizza competition amongst friends. The goal is not to win, but to have a great time (and win). Our newfound love for smoked paprika once again manifested itself in a generous sprinkle on top, which has the odd side effect of producing some rather red-tinted photos (for which we apologize). As we were all sitting around the table, sipping red wine like the pro’s, we reminisced about our childhood cardboard-pizzas from the nearby Domino’s or local pizza pusher, and wondered why we didn’t make our own pizzas while in college when it’s really not that hard and so much better.
The last of the nine pizzas we made for Wendie’s birthday. That was quite an evening. This pizza was another one with an odd shape, but we have learned to ignore the shape, and just enjoy the taste. The smoked paprika is fantastic on pizza where it really shines through after the baking.
Last summer we went on vacation to Greece, to the island of Lesvos. We were prepared to taste amazing foods, local delicacies and great tasting salads. Our friends have told us enough stories about the Greek islands that we were rather excited to taste the cuisine. Honestly though, it was a bit of a letdown. The island seems to have gotten a bit ‘touristy’, and the food was usually bland. It wasn’t bad per se, it was just not very interesting. After two weeks eating all over the island, we did find a restaurant on the last day of our trip which was actually great, but that was the exception. Given the less-than-satisfying culinary experiences, we did find one simple dish we kept returning to; The greek salad. It is a salad with a simple dressing, topped with a gigantic block of feta cheese. We decided to combine this a little with the pan seared feta dish called saganaki. We roasted a slice of feta in the oven, and placed it on top of a simple salad on toast. The result was amazing, and here is the recipe.
One of the pizzas from Wendie’s surprise birthday party, this one has some grilled chicken (with a very nice spice blend including smoked paprika), two cheeses, olives, tomatoes, green peppers and onions. The dough is a pizza dough with honey I sort-of invented (based loosely on our Lavash crackers recipe), and the tomato sauce has a wide range of spices, most noticeably a hint of fennel. We had 13 guests and I made a total of 9 pizzas and I was stunned that there were almost no leftovers. I really had expects to fill the freezer too, but at least everyone had a great time. Next time I’ll make more!
It’s easy to buy hummus in a store, but it’s almost as easy to make it, and much more fun. This is a call to action; stop buying hummus!
All it takes to make are chickpeas, lemon juice, olive oil, tahini and garlic. Plus, add sun-dried tomatoes and you have sun dried tomato hummus. We use fresh cilantro or parsley as a topping, with a few roasted pine nuts, and you got yourself a really affordable and amazing appetizer dip. Naturally, we will be using some of this on our upcoming sandwiches :-).
One of our crazy experiments finally paid off. The addition of the salad dressing to this bread takes this simple sandwich to a whole new level. The bread, after toasting, is moist but yet crunchy. The dressing adds a ‘zing‘ to the ham. This sandwich reminds us of Woodstock: a mixed bag of nuts making sweet music together. Feel the love, add the dressing!
Potatoes Au Gratin Recipe
- 1 pound of potatoes
- 1/2 onion, cut into slices
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Optionally: Add 3 tsp butter, spread out on top before baking.
Slice the potatoes into 1/4 inch thick slices. Lay them out in a casserole. Mix everything else together and pour over the potatoes. If the cheese stays on top then mix it in. Place casserole in the middle of a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. If the potatoes starts getting burned, turn oven down to 450, and cover with aluminum foil. Leave them an additional 10 minutes in that case. We have a very bad oven, we know.
Chicken Salad Recipe
- 4 roasted garlic
- 3 tbs Mayo
- 1 tsp fennel seeds (anis)
- 1/4 grated onion
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 grated garlic
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Tarragon Mustard
- 5 oz chicken pieces (picked from roasted chicken)
Mash the roasted garlic to a pulp with a fork, then mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Rejoyce, you are done!
Continue reading Chicken Salad
Well, well, it seems we are to be featured in the upcoming Costco Connection magazine (March), with one of our recipes. We’re very excited of course, so make sure you read the next one carefully :). This was planned back in December, which means we spent Christmas contemplating St. Patrick’s Day inspired sandwiches. This is the one that was not chosen to be in the magazine, but which we really loved. It’s based on corned beef naturally, and it has a little green in it. We hope you enjoy, and check back at the end of February to see which one made the (cold) cut…
While driving home from an exhausting day shopping for a new kitchen (who knew there were so many options for beveling), we passed Miami Grille. Well, we passed were it used to be before it went out of business. I guess Poway wasn’t the right place for a $15 sandwich place after all (and let’s not forget tax and tips!). Anyway, this gave us a sudden craving for a Cuban sandwiches, which as we neared our home faded into a craving for ‘something Cuban inspired.’
So, browsing the web for a couple of base sauces, we read them, ignored most, and invented our own. We made both a marinade and a dipping sauce, marinated the meat overnight, and put together this sandwich the next day. It was moist, tender, and awesomely garlicky. Love it.
We love to make lavash crackers, they are fun, fairly easy, and you can use them for appetizers like this one. This is very simply just two of our own crackers with a falafel, homemade pesto, and sprinkled with smoked paprika. We had this around midnight while watching the episode of Lost where Locke stops the islands time-switches. It was an on-the-spur of the moment little snack we just improvised with what was available, but it turned our really good. In fact, we’re now considering if these may be worth serving at our wedding reception in April (Yeah, we’re getting married). Well done Locke, we salute you with falafel !
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.
You need pizza sauce to make pizza, and this is a simple and good recipe for making your own homemade pizzas.
Pizza Sauce Recipe
- 2 cans of skinned tomatoes
- 1 tbs fennel seeds
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp curry
- optionally: 1 tsp rajma masala
Heat all the ingredients in a pot, stirring until boiling. Turn the heat down, and let it simmer for half an hour simmering on low. If it is too wet to add to a pizza, either remove the extra liquid, or add a teaspoon of corn starch and stir it in, leaving it simmering until the liquid becomes thicker.
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.