Super simple tasty mid-day treat, whip it up in 5 minutes flat for green happiness.
The quintessential American sandwich is the hamburger. That despite the fact that in nearly a decade of living here, I have yet to see a burger made with ham. Anders and I have very little experience with making burgers but as the owners of this blog, and having adopted America as our home, we have to powerful reasons to address this deficiency. And what better day to do that than on the grilling day of the year – Fourth of July. I know, I know – I am six months late in posting this entry.
We love to roast tomatoes for all kind of sauces and soups, and with our garden currently full of tomatoes, life is good. After roasting they look amazing (see photos), so we thought we would try and make a simple sandwich to show of the colors and tastes of a freshly roasted tomato fresh out of the oven.
This sandwich was really just a quick lunch-snack to keep us going through a long day of yard work. Putting down the gloves after weeding the tomato garden we found a bit of leftover grilled salmon from the night before, some veggies, and voila, a sandwich was born. When I grew up in Denmark, my mother tended to make the same sandwiches day after day. Liver pate sandwich, potato sandwich, Russian salad sandwich, chocolate sandwich (dessert). Rinse, repeat. Now, with this blog, we have made literally hundreds of different sandwiches, and I wonder what my childhood would have been like with that kind of variety. It’s so easy to have fun with sandwiches, so don’t get stuck in the same humdrum, live a little 🙂
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.
Sometimes a man needs to be a man, and that’s when he makes “The Big Bad Wolf Burger“. Oh yeah, 1/2 pound of patty with basil, cilantro, oven roasted garlic and blue cheese chunks. What a great 4th of July celebration that was. Inspired by the moment, I topped it off with crispy hash browns and a jackfruit/avocado rough guacamole. I can’t even begin to tell you how good this burger is, but this is so far the best burger I’ve had in my life. The jackfruit guacamole sweetness perfectly blends with the spicy mayo, the juicy patty, and the crunchy hash browns. These are the times when I think back to all the missed opportunities of my childhood to celebrate with awesome burgers, the food of men 😉
Wendie bought these avocados for a salad, and I couldn’t resist the temptation to toast some bread and make a few avocado appetizers. Some would call them mini sandwiches. They’re dead simple and very refreshing when the weather is hot and you have a Sunday evening on the patio with a glass of red wine and Clapton and Bob playing in the background.
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).
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 favorite bakeries in San Diego is the Hillcrest bakery Bread & Cie. Not only are the breads good, it is also one of the only decent bakeries making rustic breads, ‘rustic’ being one of those words that can mean anything to anyone. To us, rustic means that it does not look like a soggy machine produced block of bread, and that the crust is crunchy, and the crumb tasty. “You know it when you taste it”, we say. With a little help from Costco, we found some more of their great cilantro lime shrimp, and having some leftover homemade Caesar dressing, we took this baby for a spin.
Another day.. another sandwich. I’ve been dreaming of making a salmon patty ever since we started this blog. Today, desire rendezvoused with opportunity. I used Paula Deen’s recipe (of Food Network fame) for the salmon burger and improvised on the cilantro mayonnaise. Actually used miracle whip in place of the mayonnaise. It resulted in a tangier taste than mayonnaise would provide and had the added benefit that it was much healthier (a built in justification for eating that extra sandwich).
Bear in mind that the brevity of the recipe is actually a bit deceptive. All told, it took us about 1 1/2 hours to make this sandwich. It’s probably not an ideal mid week meal but made for a wonderful Friday evening dinner.
Living in San Diego means being influenced by Mexican cooking. Each street corner seems to sport a Mexican fast-food joint. Our cooking regularly employs cilantro and salsa, bothView Post of which can be tasty new ingredients to familiar meals. In this sandwich, we use both, and with the French bread, this becomes an international affair. Danish meatballs (frikadeller), Italian mozzarella, cilantro and salsa, made by a Dane and a Jamaican living in the US. It is a small world these days.
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.
Hungry for a snack, I found some cilantro lime shrimp from Costco in the fridge, along with a bit of smoked salmon. In about 1 minute I had created this little post-lunch cracker, which would also work great as an appetizer for a party. The cracker used here is a water cracker, but I think I would prefer something a little more rustic next time.