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 😉
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.
While we do enjoy making falafels from scratch, it is a lot easier to buy them pre-made. So after an on-the-spur-of-the-moment shopping spree in the local grocery store, we found ourselves with a packet of falafels. They are quite acceptable in taste, a little wet in consistency (it’s not easy to preserve crunchiness after freezing), and overall a good experience. If you have fresh ones, by all means do use them, but for a Thursday sandwich without too much work involved, just get something like these. We find that falafel can be quite a nice change to a lot of dishes, such as salads or on sandwiches (like here).
This sandwich is one of the many that can be created almost entirely from Costco. No, they don’t sponsor us. We just like a lot of their foods (psst, Costco, if you read this, get in touch!!). We particularly love it when they feature cheeses on the tasting floors. In fact, we get practically giddy like children in a candy store. This past weekend, we walked in and were greeted with the sign announcing “Cheese Tour”. Now, this always puts us in a quandary as we struggle to justify the purchase of yet more cheese. At any given time, our refrigerator is home to at least four different varieties of cheeses. After this weekend’s purchase, we now have 7. We are such cheese maniacs that we purchased Parmesan Reggiano even though we had a big block at home. There is something just more intense about the flavors and textures of a freshly cut cheese. The cheese guy was kind enough to yield to Wendie’s pleading that he cut her only the teeniest of pieces since this was to be eaten right away. If you are familiar with the family (nay, restaurant) sized packages at Costco, you know how absolutely sweet it was of him to oblige her.
So it was home to make the most elemental of sandwiches – potato rosemary bread with freshly cut Parmesan Regianno cheese. Yum. That was the appetizer which was quickly followed by another made with cilantro-lime shrimp, another Costco food that we have grown to love and find multiple applications for.
Large and succulent, they don’t need much else, so we try to limit the extras. On this particular sandwich, the most significant other ingredient is a small amount of mustard, so be very careful to measure that exactly, or it will completely overpower the taste of the shrimp.
Well, we bought one can of cod roe on our last visit to Denmark. That means you, dear reader, have to read about 3 different cod roe sandwich recipes as we munch our way through it. Luckily, it tastes pretty good. This second installment is cod roe with mayonnaise, sun dried tomatoes red bell peppers, and absolutely drenched in lime. Add a bit of onion for the unavoidable ‘crunch’ of course. Very nice. If you can find cod roe at a fishmonger, get it fresh instead of in a can. Cod roe by the way is a very common sandwich in Denmark, and probably comparable to the ‘spam’ phenomenon in the US. I imagine Americans may find a cod roe sandwich a bit weird, much as I as a Dane find anything with spam a bit weird. Let us know in your comments what you think.
While this particular sandwich was made with cod roe from a can, we recommend you convince your local fishmonger to get you some fresh roe (especially if you can get it smoked). However this was all we had to work with. The sandwich is simple, yet classically Danish. A toasted piece of bread is smeared with roasted garlic. Add cod roe and squeeze lime on top. Top with remoulade, capers, fried onions and ground green pepper. Very good, and an upgrade from the sandwiches schoolchildren get to take to school in their backpacks. A reminder of my childhood school lunches.. but much improved.
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.
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.