Our friends Shelley and Jens have a thing for stuff that is deep fried. Being from the south, Shelley grew up frying fowl, but Jens is Danish and just developed a taste for it after meeting Shelley (we think). In any case, their love is strong so for Jens’ birthday last month, they had a ‘bring stuff to deep-fry’ party. We had deep fried chicken legs and thighs and wings, battered deep fried shrimp, deep fried Twinkies (Better than un-fried I might add, although still disgusting), and of course we brought; Sandwiches. We were a bit shocked to discover this, but of course someone has done this before, and there is a famous sandwich called the Monte Cristo with turkey, ham and cheese, and served with sugar and jam on top; a sweet, possible dessert, sandwich. So, we made it (and it was good, but fattening like a neutron bomb in your belly). This was an evening party and we forgot our good camera, so please excuse the photo quality…
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.
This pizza makes for an excellent dinner if you are having a few friends over to share a nice bottle of Barolo. The black forest ham is great on sandwiches, and excellent on pizza. It’s not overly salty and thus goes really well with the veggies. As always, enjoy making pizza, have some fun, and don’t be afraid to experiment a little. Pizzas are the Chef’s playground, they are very hard to mess up, and everyone always enjoys fresh-baked bread. Just buy decent ingredients, and kick loose. We made this pizza on the spur of the moment, with ingredients we mostly ‘found’ in the kitchen. Adding Peperino seeds was purely because we had some. Black forest ham? We had some. Green bell pepper? Yup, we had some. That’s how we make pizzas, and the best ones go on the blog for you guys. So go crazy tonight. Make your own pizza, or try this one.
“A Winter’s Sandwich”. Granted, in San Diego, winter is when the temperature drops to 50 degrees, and a storm is when we get 2 inches of rain and traffic slows down to 63 mph. We have it easy. This is a sandwich we made mostly from leftovers, some ham, some prosciutto, and half an avocado. We have pretty good leftovers I guess. It was an excellent afternoon in the low winter sun, with a warm sandwich and a glass of red wine in the swing. Life’s good.
Saturday: Wake up. Shower. Get Dressed. Breakfast now, NO, kitchen remodel. Drink milk, drive to Escondido. Get mulch and rosebushes, look at avocado tree. Back, unload, Costco. Gas, Bank, Home. Hungry, NO, kitchen remodel! What to do? This. Simple, good, easy, fast, out the door again…
One of our crazy experiments finally paid off. The addition of the salad dressing to this bread takes this simple sandwich to a whole new level. The bread, after toasting, is moist but yet crunchy. The dressing adds a ‘zing‘ to the ham. This sandwich reminds us of Woodstock: a mixed bag of nuts making sweet music together. Feel the love, add the dressing!
The Little Pizza That Could!
This is a pizza made from leftovers in all aspects. The dough is actually from our lavash crackers, so it’s a little bit sweet from the Jamaican honey. The Italian Salsa Verde is from a tasting we did with a caterer for our upcoming wedding. The ham is the last of our Jamaican pineapple Christmas ham. Basically we got one of those inexplicable pizza-cravings while making lavash crackers and quickly improvised the little pizza that could.
A simple ham sandwich on dark rye bread, with melted cheese, onion and corn. The mustard gives it all a kick, and in retrospect perhaps we should have added a bit of freshly grated horseradish. If anyone tries that, let us know how it works out in the comments. This sandwich is highly dependent on the quality of the ham, so don’t be stingy. This here is our Jamaican Christmas ham, which is cooked traditionally with pineapples and lots of cloves, and works brilliantly for sandwiches and pizzas. Since we come from Jamaica and Denmark, this sandwich could be considered a cultural merger.
The return of the 2009 Christmas ham is always joyful and filled with good memories. This time we unfroze a few slices for a sandwich, melt style (Meaning, lots of cheese on top). To meat-it-up, we also added some buffalo chicken from the local grocery store. Do you ever go through life, looking at the same thing over and over again, not really thinking about what it is, but still forming an opinion that sometimes turns into solid knowledge? This is the way I feel about Butterball buffalo chicken breast. I have seen it many times at the local grocery store, and never really given it a second glance. I knew, somehow, that this gigantic ball of chicken must be a chicken breast, after all that’s what it said on the package. Last week, I then decide to try it. As soon as I see the meat cut, I realize to my horror that obviously this is not a gigantic 10 pound chicken breast, but rather another conglomerate of pressed meats of unknown origin. I could have kicked myself, but the nice lady had sliced it already, so here it is.
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.
Excited about the prospect of making paninis, and after holding out for a few weeks, we finally decided to get a panini press (well, Anders decided :-)). So down to the nearest Target and what do they have? Shelves up and down stacked with George Foreman grills. Now I didn’t grow up in the US so I don’t really know George Foreman, but he is certainly a very prolific grill maker. So, without a choice, we got a George Foreman grill which we put up next to Alessi wine bottle opener and the Georg Jensen beer bottle opener. After all, if you can’t name your kitchen equipment by name, how will you tell them apart?
Well, the grill is clearly no panini press. The bread barely got any of those distinctive grill stripes, despite a very long grilling session. It did taste great however, so we decided to add it to our growing sandwich collection anyway. You can’t argue with good food. However, we also decided it’s a borderline panini, hence the name.
Growing up, I believe I had ham and cheese sandwiches maybe three times. My mom had found a recipe in a cookbook, and one day she announced she was going to make me a Hawaiian sandwich (The recipe included a piece of slices pineapple from a can, thus Hawaii). It was great, but once you open a can of pineapples you are committed to doing something with the remaining 9 slices, so my mom quickly stopped making the sandwich. A couple of weeks ago I had a dream about it (the dream also involved Jay Leno having purchased a personal Nuclear Missile painted bright red with warning signs, which was bolted down in his back yard with chains. Don’t ask, it was a dream). As you can imagine, it got stuck in my subconsciousness. I know, dreaming of sandwiches probably means we’re spending too much time writing this blog. Anyway, here is my variation of a Ham and Cheese Sandwich, without the pineapple.
I consider this a variation on the veterinarians midnight snack, a classic Danish sandwich (In Danish: ‘Dyrlægens natmad‘. Try saying that one!). The bones of Anders’ Viking ancestors will rattle in their graves to protest me saying this, but in this variant, the inclusion of the roasted garlic and the removal of the aspic is a HUGE improvement. Together, those simple actions make this sandwhich palatable for me, a non-Dane. Anders thinks this presentation is a bit more playful, looking a bit like a rib cage or something medieval. I suppose, it’s his attempt at appeasing the spirits 🙂 It consists of liver pate on home-baked rye bread with butter, with a rolled up slice of ham. This is topped with half-moon slices of onion rings, roasted garlic and a couple of dill pickles. Fennel seeds and ground black pepper spices it up a bit.
For some, if not most, the concept of having a mashed potato sandwich may seem disturbing. However, if you find yourself wondering whether you are loosing your mind, you probably have never tasted one. They are delicious! So overcome your inhibitions, and make a mashed potato sandwich next time you have a little leftover. For this one I felt like adding flax seeds and ham. Since I want the ‘crunch’, I toasted half a ciabatta roll, and added fried onions on top for good measure. For a little hint of sourness, sweet dill pickles always does the trick, and a sprinkled of my newfound love, Dukkah, seals the deal.
When you need to awake from the schlump that is Thursday night after work, a spicy kick to your system can be just what you need. This sandwich does just that. With a strong danish cumin cheese, sweet (but hot) chili sauce, and a strong organic and local salami from Poway Farmer’s market, this one will wake you up. Just for kicks, I added one tsp of fennel seeds on the bread and cheese while in the toaster oven. It added a very nice flavor that went really well with the cheese and ham.