This is a very simple sandwich, which basically is a great piece of Naan bread from Trader Joe’s, a slice of salmon, and a touch of tarragon mustard. I’m sure any Indian would cringe his or her toes considering the bread to be actual Naan, but whatever it is we get it every few months. It is a very soft and thick bread that almost melts in your mouth.
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!
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.
We just got married, and we were very saddened by the Icelandic cloud of ash that kept several of our Danish friends from attending our wedding. But everything can be a blessing in disguise. We didn’t tell our caterer, Phil’s BBQ, so we ended up with extra beef ribs in the freezer. While we miss our friends, at least we have ribs. And as the old saying goes, “if life gives you ribs, make rib sandwiches.” And so here we are, summer just started, and this wonderful panini (thank you Scott and Choo for that wonderful machine!!) is our first and most basic beef rib sandwich. Yum.
We just recently discovered the Spanish Valdeon cheese on an impulse buy from Trader Joe’s, and since then we’ve used it in several of our sandwiches. It’s not an overly strong blue-cheese, but not mild like Roquefort either. It sits comfortably in the middle of the spectrum, making it a great addition to sandwiches because it adds a lot of flavor without overpowering the other ingredients.
This sandwich is on freshly baked Danish rye bread, with our leftover Jamaican Christmas ham (oh soo good). The baked pineapple that’s included was actually baked with the original ham, but you can of course use a fresh one. Enjoy.
We love grilling on the BBQ, and we love sandwiches (obviously), so this sandwich was bound to come about sooner or later. Neither of us has done a lot of grilling growing up, so we’re discovering the joy of barbecuing together. We frequently use chicken, and have learned (after a few… mishaps) to get it moist and tender. Grilling chicken usually involves a marinade or a rub, since chicken by itself can be a bit bland. This particular recipe calls for teriyaki sauce, which is great for marinades.
Nothing is as fun to watch cook as a Cedar Plank Salmon Steak, after all, it’s not often you get to burn stuff and then eat it, much less making any kind of smoked dish. It’s also incredibly easy to do, just make sure you start with a clean BBQ, so you don’t accidentally create any ‘bonus’ fires.