As one of our guests said when I won the weekly pizz-off pizza dinner with this pizza: “It’s not fair, no one can loose with seared tuna!” To be fair I have to concede the point I suppose, as even breakfast cereal with seared tuna would probably be awesome (someone try and let us know). The dough was new for us as our friends at Rossi Pasta sent us a few samples to cook with (Thanks guys). Probably one of our best tasting pizza’s ever.
One of the wonderful thing of making scones for a living (We run The Scone Company), is that sometimes we have to experiment with new flavors. This sandwich includes a savory scone we made as an experiment, which has goat cheese, chives and cracked pepper and salt on top. It was delicious and although the goat cheese melted too much, it still left a nice flavor in the scone. This is one of our test-sandwiches – a seared ahi tuna sandwich with Mr. Stripey tomatoes, a bit of garlic mayo and a smidgen of pesto.
Potatoes are probably the national vegetable of Denmark. In fact, every year every Dane consumes on average 73 Kg potatoes (160 pounds). Potatoes au Gratin is one of our favorite ways of cooking potatoes, and one of the few ways that Wendie actually likes. It is of course a rather creamy affair, so we don’t do it very often. Recently we indulged ourselves, which left us with a bit of leftovers. Undaunted by the scornful look from Wendie, I went ahead and created this little beaut, a potato au gratin sandwich. What’s not to love when it comes to starch on starch?
‘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.
We’ve found lately that mascarpone cheese is excellent for making all sorts of delicious mixes. Mascarpone pesto for example we used on a turkey sandwich a few weeks ago. This time we are taking it a notch up, and are making a mascarpone melt with Spanish valdeon cheese and black sesame seeds plus roasted garlic. We use this as a spread for the bread and a topping for the pastrami after melting it in the microwave. Great food !
Since his birthday lunch of seared tuna at Blue Water Seafood Market and Grill, Anders has been dreaming about making a tuna sandwich. But the price of fresh tuna and our relative inexperience with cooking it has served as a big deterrence. You don’t want to ruin a $14/lb tuna steak! Anyway, this weekend he could not be stopped. We finally succumbed and bought a ginormous ahi tuna steak at Costco. This was one fantastic looking steak – probably big enough for 4-5 tuna rolls. So the plan was to sear the tuna, and, borrowing inspiration from Blue Water Seafood, serve it on a soft bun, rather than the artesan-style breads and rolls we typically use.
With a game plan in mind, the search was on for an acceptable roll. Anders just happened to be shopping at Lucky Supermarket – one of the 6 supermarkets that we just had to visit this weekend to satisfy our finicky grocery needs – when he happened upon: Pandesal rolls. Slightly sweet Filipino bread rolls which are very soft. Getting home with the unexpected find, it was time for the searing. A quick Google search, and a plan were laid to do one steak with sesame seeds, and one with a spice rub. From this point on we basically improvised the recipes below based on the content of our pantry, and the rest was… well see for yourselves.
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.