This sandwich is literally a result of a quick raid of our refrigerator. We found some shrimp and olives, the last of our sun dried tomato hummus, and a bit of blue cheese. So, we made a sandwich (of course). You may recognize the cilantro-lime shrimp from earlier sandwiches, as they constitute a quarterly craving. Moving from Denmark to San Diego, one of the things I thoroughly enjoy are the large shrimp. Every shrimp I ate growing up (not many) were tiny, no more than an inch long, and thin to. We did shrimp in numbers, and adding those to a sandwich like this would have taken maybe 25 to 30. It’s such a joy to bite into the larger more succulent shrimp and really taste the meat, although the danish ones are by no means bad at all.
The breakfast sandwich is one sandwich that doesn’t get enough mention on this blog. Perhaps that’s because I’ve considered my breakfast sandwich choices to be too uninspired for this blog. Some people’s idea of a breakfast sandwich is bacon, eggs, sausage, cheese or some combination thereof. Mine is much simpler – just an egg (either soft boiled or scrambled) that gets enjoyed on a weekend morning (typically Saturdays). For me, Saturday mornings are rife with possibilities. It is the beginning of two uninterrupted days of freedom when I can indulge some of the little personal pleasures that are bypassed in the hustle and bustle of the work week. One of these is the breakfast. On workdays, breakfast is a grab-and-go cup of coffee or tea and whatever fruit happens to be available at the moment, both of which gets consumed during my commute to the office. If I’m particularly hungry, a boiled egg gets tossed into the mix, to be eaten when I arrive at work. I look forward to the slower pace of the weekend breakfast. There I have a leisurely meal that serves as punctuation between my work week and weekend of freedom. For the most part, the basic ingredients remain the same as the work week breakfast; what differs is the preparation and presentation. The coffee/tea is served in a mug/teacup rather than my travel thermos; the single fruit is exchanged for a bowl of homemade fresh fruit salad; and the egg is served either scrambled or soft boiled, with or without a slice of toast. Better yet is that I get to enjoy this sitting on my favorite garden bench (weather permitting). It’s a breakfast that is a sort of culinary exhalation – as if to say, “Aaah.. it’s weekend and this is my time.”
A few months ago, we posted about our ongoing quest to ensure that our reformed vegetarian friend S. doesn’t abandon his recent embrace of the omnivore diet. To wit, that meant introducing him to foods that showcase the diversity of his new diet. That is no mean feat. You see he is fortunate enough to be from a country that has enjoyed thousands of years of history of making vegetarian food. So for him, American vegetarian food is definitely lacking in options. He still bemoans the fact that vegetarian food at most restaurants consists of some steamed or sautéed veggies with pasta and a sauce with a unidimensional flavor. That just does not work for him – he is used to a cornucopia of flavors of incredible intensity and variety. He assumed that when he switched diets, he would have more variety (read; flavor), but has since found that to him it is just ‘more texture, but same lack of flavor’. In other words, Bleh!
So it is Anders’ and my responsibility to be good evangelists of all things omnivore. We take this very seriously. Last time he was here we made this little sandwich to showcase some of the flavors we love about meat. And by we, I mean Anders:-). Unlike Anders who (nearly) salivates at the very prospect of eating meat, I am not much of a meat lover myself. I feel about meat the way I feel about bacon – aphathetic. So I figured that if I could make a sandwich for S. that I was in love with, then he was sure to love it as well. This is a simple sandwich with really great ingredients that unite superbly- grilled steak (medium rare); mushrooms sautéed with garlic and thyme (my favorite way to make mushrooms); Cambozola cheese (a combination of French soft ripened triple cream cheese and Italian gorgonzola, and a staple in the kitchen); and to crown this all…a drizzle of balsamic reduction as benediction. I humbly submit that there is no greater steak sandwich than this. OK… maybe next time I could add a slice of avocado 🙂
A fantastic sandwich, using the highly undervalued leek. That’s right. When is the last time YOU cooked with leeks? That’s what we thought. We made the rolls specifically for this sandwich, they have a center (which you can’t see on the photos) of pesto-infused dough. It was a grand experiment, but in reality they didn’t rise quite as expected. This was our best specimen of the lot.
When I was growing up, I had this thing with my mom where she would wake up around midnight, wake me up, sneak in the kitchen and eat a sandwich. This was undoubtedly quite unhealthy, since she had a weakness for fat-sandwiches… No, I don’t mean ‘sandwiches that are fattening’, I mean literally bread with fat and salt on it. If you have good fat, like duck fat, this can be quite delicious. In any case, I shed the habit many years ago. Last week however I was working late and got hungry and I know my mom would approve; I went and made a sandwich. Thanks mom for all the fun midnight sandwiches and good chats.
This is another of Jamie Oliver’s recipes we decided to make along with the “ Grilled Eggplant Crostini Appetizer” and the “Fava Bean Crostini Appetizer” both from his delicious book “Jamie’s Italy“. It’s basically tomatoes, basil olive oil and a slice of bread. The key is as always to use great ingredients for great results. We tweaked it a little like we always do since we believe in creative liberties.
And today we just launched the free Amazing Sandwiches iPad application. Why do you ask? Well, because we can. Browse all our sandwiches in glamorous high-res – literally sandwiches at your fingertips. It’s not fancy, it’s just… sandwiches. Enjoy. Oh, and you can download it directly from here.
When you live close to the Mexican border, you can’t help but be inspired by the fantastic Mexican cuisine. San Diego has to some extent adapted many of the traditional Mexican dishes and turned them American. The burrito, nowhere to be found in Mexico, is an American invention that pervades the fast-food culture here. That’s not a bad thing by the way, since I happen to love a good burrito (the best in town can be found in Del Mar at the Mucho Gusto joint). Carne asada is truly Mexican, and is usually flank steak, spiced up. The one we used is from a local butcher that makes his own spices, and it’s very very good, oh yes, veeery good.
How many ways can you make a smoked salmon sandwich? It turns out there are many – or so my search on Tastespotting revealed. Tastespotting is pure visual food pornography – some awesome photos of really great food with popularity driven by the online food community. We love it and have had a few of our own creations featured there. Sometimes I am just starved for inspiration. When we first started this ambitious blog, I thought coming up with 100 sandwiches would be itself an epic feat. Now as we approach the 200 sandwich mark, I marvel at some of the creations that we have come up with. Anders’ Big Bad Wolf Burger is one such marvel. As you can imagine, with this many sandwiches behind us, it becomes increasingly difficult to come up with a creative (and postable) sandwich. When those moments happen, I turn to the Internet. Today it was Draganabakes by way of a photo on Tastespotting. That recipe included a shallot mayonnaise. With the abundance of cilantro from my last run to the grocery store, I decided to whip up some cilantro mayonnaise instead.
A few weeks ago, we had a friend visiting for the weekend. He is a recent convert to the omnivore lifestyle – after over 30 years of a purely vegetarian diet. Food is nearly like a religion and each style has its adherents who hold to it with zeal and conviction that borders on fanaticism. So when our friend converted, we were so thrilled that he had chosen to walk the other side that we now consider it our mission to ensure that his forays into the omnivore lifestyle are rewarding enough to cement his place as a member of our growing sect 🙂 “Thou shalt not backslide”. Still, even with this new adventurous palate, his lifetime of preparing only vegetarian cuisine means that he is at a loss as to what to do when confronted with meat or fish. He does well enough when dining out, but at home he needs to prepare vegetarian cuisine if he is to eat at all.
When he visited, he remarked that our blog is woefully lacking in vegetarian style sandwiches that he could create at home. We have been remiss, and so have prepared this little sandwich in his honor. Subu, this one’s for you (more acts of repentance to follow).
Wow, our previous sandwich “The Big Bad Wolf Burger” drew a lot of visitors this week, so thank you everyone for the links and the comments. Clearly we need to make more burgers for the blog. Meanwhile, we made this sandwich over the weekend. It’s simple and easy, but tastes great. The Calvados cheese may be hard to come by, but could be replaced with other aged cheese from your local cheese monger. In the background of the photo’s you can make out our vegetable garden. Most of the greens back there are tomatoes and zucchini’s. Should be a great summer on the barbie.
Inspired by Jamie Oliver’s book “Jamie’s Italy” this is one of our favorite appetizers so far this year. It also looks beautiful. The crunchy toasted pane siciliano bread and the smoothness of the eggplant (or Aubergine as we call it in Denmark), goes very well together and fills your mouth with flavor and adventure. Eggplant seems to be largely a forgotten vegetable in the US, at least in SoCal (Southern California), and really it’s a wonderful ingredient in many dishes. People, wake up and smell the eggplant!
Living close to Mexico means there is a constant influx of great Mexican cuisine. Carne Asada is one of those things that are very popular in San Diego, and it is essentially a long slice of skirt of flank steak, usually marinated or rubbed, and then grilled. It is fantastic when done right. Wendie got us a couple of these steaks, and of course I had to go make a sandwich out of them. I opted to add some ‘green stuff’ from the local farmers market on the bread. We call it ‘green stuff’ because we don’t really know what it is, but the guy that sells it swears by it. It tastes a bit like spicy tabbouleh without the couscous. In any case, substitute with pesto and all shall be well. The greens on top are called “micro greens’ and are also from the farmers market. These taste very lemony, and I wish we had more precise name for them, but alas, ‘micro greens’ it is.
This is what we call a ‘lazy’ sandwich. After a long day at work, we were too tired to cut the bread, so two sandwiches became one. On the left some smoked mackerel imported from Denmark. Danes are very good at smoking fish, and have quite a reputation for smoked herring, smoked cod roe and smoked mackerel. On the right, a simple smoked salmon with avocado sandwich. Quick dinner, simple to make, and very good. The bread is a pane siciliano that we made over the weekend, and which turned out unexpectedly flat (although well tasting). Perhaps not our most exciting sandwich, but still… good.
Many of the sandwiches on this blog are the result of a specific plan and shopping trip to realize an idea that one or both of us have. I’ll be sitting at work and have an idea that just must be pursued. More often than not, this means I have to make a trip to the grocery store to purchase one of more of the critical component for the dreamed-up sandwich. Other times, a sandwich just sort of emerges from the ingredients on hand- it’s a case of just opening the refrigerator and pantry doors and letting our creativity run wild. In Jamaica, we have a saying for that: “tun yuh han’ an mek fashion”. I won’t bother providing the literal translation, since, as with all languages, much gets lost in that endeavor. I suppose the nearest English equivalent I can find is: ‘necessity is the mother of invention’. Hmm.. even that attempt seems to dilute the essence of this colloquialism.
Anyway, this sandwich was one result of us making fashion by sleight of hand. The ingredients – pugiliese bread, blue cheese and salsa verde left over from the much-mentioned recent wedding @ and zucchini left unused from recent stir fry.
I miss plantains. For those who don’t know, it is the larger cousin of the banana. Unlike the banana it is typically cooked before eaten. I suppose one could just peel and eat it like you would a banana, but that would just be… well, wrong. My favorite way to enjoy a plantain is to fry it and simply eat as a side dish. Unfortunately, along with my strong accent, one of the things I lost in moving to San Diego is the ready availability of plantains.
Two weeks ago, I had a meeting in a neighborhood in San Diego known for it’s “ethnic’ population. Ehem… let me pause here to continue my fight against the application of this terminology. Why is this term reserved for non-Caucasians alone? Are they by some miracle of biology without shared cultural heritage that underpins the term ‘ethnicity’? But I digress, linguistic misapplication aside, I was lucky to be in an area of town with a fair share of Vietnamese and Filipino supermarkets.
As I drove through I remembered a plantain dish I once had in a Filipino restaurant many years ago. “Dare I hope?”, I wondered. I was not disappointed, I came out of the supermarket with a huge green plaintain. It took about one week to ripen, and the cooked fruit was a key ingredient in Anders’ breakfast last week Saturday.
(The other half found its way in a plantain flambé – my take on the banana flambe, something I am unable to make because of my one-woman boycott of the US commercial banana industry).