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.
For the past few weeks I have been berating Anders that he has abandoned his sandwich making craft. Berating is a bit strong – more like a strongly nudging. He has been focusing on taking photos while I make the sandwiches. This week, he heard me and made this tasty sandwich that proves even more than his passport and birth certificate, that he is indeed from the land where smorrebrod was born. It was one of those evenings when I just got home from work and crashed with no thought as to dinner. I was in the middle of one of those marathon phone conversations with one of my girlfriends when Anders came through the door, smiled and nodded in my direction and headed to the kitchen. He was a man on a mission. 15 minutes later, his mission became clear. He returned to the living room with this dinner sandwich that was so good to look at that I felt guilty eating it. Not too guilty though. Costco membership that made purchasing the crabcakes possible: $60/year and worth every penny and more. Having a husband with smorrebrod making in his DNA: priceless!
There are some thinks that don’t translate so well across cultures. Bagels might be one of them. It was a dreary afternoon in Copenhagen, Denmark, when I walked into the Bagels Corner. A bit hungry I could not get myself to settle for a plain cream cheese bagel, so instead I opted for the luxury bagel (Choice of smoked salmon, shrimp, pesto chicken, Mexican chicken, etc). I decided on pesto chicken, and selected a whole-wheat bagel with rolled oats on top. Looked great. Then the lady asked me for what type of cream cheese I wanted. Cream cheese? Whaaaat? I decided to see where this would go, so I picked the herb-cream cheese. She added a generous layer. Then the pesto chicken (lots of it), then lettuce, cucumber, corn, and finally she asked me to pick a dressing. I selected the curry dressing. Again she added a generous layer on top, and closed up the bagel. Oh dear!
When I grew up in Denmark, being a student, one of my favorite meals was take-out pizzas. Each block seemed to have a pizzeria back then, each making essentially the exact same pizzas. They were delivered in cardboard boxes, and inevitably took on the taste of the box. Thus, they were named among students “cardboard-box pizzas,” for their taste, not for their delivery method. On my last trip home, I got a craving for a cardboard pizza. I’ve had the craving before, got the pizza, and regretted it. I guess my taste buds have evolved. This time, I decided to go for a pizza-sandwich from a local shop on Frederiksberg in Copenhagen; Cavallino.
This sandwich is an imprompty improvisation made from ingredients we found around the house. The roast pork is from the night before as is the tabouleh. The Italian Salsa Verde is from our wedding, where is was both served for dinner and given as a gift to the guests. The Swiss chard is from our vegetable garden, and the roasted garlic- well let us just say we make sure never to run out of roasted garlic.
OK, you have a point. This is perhaps not quite amazing enough to be on “amazing sandwiches”… But we liked it. This is a simple, plain garden variety burger, and sometimes that’s all you need to bring you back from a long day at work doing the man’s bidding. Yes, you know what we mean; cubicle work!
Another trip to good old Trader Joe’s on a rainy Friday afternoon yielded some new ingredients for sandwiches that we just had to try. Here is our first go at a chicken truffle mousse Pâté, which almost melts when heated, but tastes quite nice. The scrambled eggs was of course the brainchild of Wendie, who every few weeks has urgent cravings for scrambled eggs. And if you wonder what the letters in the background of the pictures says, this is an old Swedish container called Madam Blue used for soap (sæbe). We got these from Anders’ mother, some of the last memories of his Swedish childhood cottage near Hyltebruk.
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.
Our first creation introducing our Mascarpone Pesto, which turned out to be a brilliant spread for sandwiches and even pizzas. This is one of our leftover turkey sandwiches from Thanksgiving, a fresh creation with a little crunch from the cucumber, and a lot of taste from the pesto.
This sandwich blog is getting to me. For almost a week I’ve been anticipating a convenient time to make my famous (20 years ago in college at least) tuna salad. Each time I was about to make it, some other sandwich had to take priority (since we’re on a budget, we can’t just keep making new stuff without first eating all of the old). So, today I finally got to make it and what a blast. I got to use it on 3 different style sandwiches in just one day, and I still can’t get enough of it.
This one is a tuna salad sandwich with chili-lime shrimp and fresh lettuce and cucumber. Topped with a few cuts of green onion and 2 grape tomatoes cut in half. A bit of stone ground mustard adds the zing to the zong to the ramalamadingdong.
Our tuna salad sandwich saga continues with this fresh summer construction. A toasted bagel (one of those with everything on it), combined with fresh crunchy cucumber slices, tasty grape tomatoes, and green onions, sprinkled with a tsp of sweet curry. When you eat this, the smell of the curry adds to the experience before you even take a bite.
As you can see on the pictures, two sprouts from another sandwich somehow found themselves on this one. When we noticed, the pictures were taken, and the sandwich eaten, so please disregard the misplaced sprouts. They are harmless.
Know your limits… and defy them
Sometimes enough is plenty.. and then there are those days when even plenty is not quite enough. Anders has a tendency towards sandwich superfluity and I often have to protest when I see the layers that one small slice of bread is expected to support. I mean, even after visiting sandwich shops in Denmark and witnessing the architectural marvel that is the smorrebrod, I still think there is a limit. I almost want to offer defense for the poor bread. This was one of those days when I let him win and… we were both happier for it.
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.
This is one of my favorite lunch items in downtown San Diego. It is served, surprisingly, at Ralphs, and is not only a great sandwich, but also very affordable at just $5.99. I particularly enjoy the mesquite wood smoked turkey sandwich on nine grain & seed bread (Toasted), with cajun and horseradish mayo. I usually get all the veggies, lettuce, green pepper, onion, tomato, sweet pickles, olives, etc, and in this case swiss cheese.
While I can’t claim to be the chef, this sandwich was designed by me, so I think I can claim the recipe at least 🙂
The past few weeks have been excessively hot.. even for the normally excessively high summer temperatures in Poway. Case in point – two nights ago at 10:00 pm, I had all the windows and doors open to drop the house temperature to a respectable 8oF. With temperatures like this, there is just no way I was going to do any cooking that required more than 5 minutes over a hot stove. This makes sandwiches an ideal meal. Paired with a side salad, it’s a wonderful way to beat the heat while taking care of nutritional needs.