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.
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 😉
I fell in love with Swiss chard at first sight. I first spied this vegetable at the local farmers market while I lived in Illinois. And there is a specificity to my infatuation – they must be of the rainbow variety. Large shiny radiant green leaves pillared by a red stalk and multiple veins throughout. What’s not to love? Two years ago, I took my infatuation to the next level and started a garden flirtation with this nutrient-dense veggie. I dedicated a 4 by 1 ft section of our tomato garden to their cultivation. Unfortunately, I waited too long to harvest and by then they had an earthy flavor that was most disappointing. Still, I just loved the way they looked in the garden and so allowed them to grow to near Jurassic proportions. Last year, in my second attempt, our nutrient depleted soil resulted in a single plant which I was loathe to cut. Enter this year and Anders’ threat that if we are giving up much-prized tomato real estate for this vegetable, then we had better have something to taste for it. Thus warned, I embarked on a mission of soil amendment research and implementation that an agronomist would approve of.
The loveliness of Denmark is much reduced by the frequent rains, but infinitely improved by the bakery on every block. This sandwich revolves around the ‘horn’, a roll shaped a little like a horn, and covered in puppy seeds (‘birkes’ we call them in Denmark). The crayfish tail salad is from the local fish-monger, and tasted delicious.
Sometimes little things can really show the differences in culture. I was visiting Denmark recently, buying the roll below at the local baker. As I was about to leave the bakery, I saw a woman coming to the door through the glass window. I opened the door to hold it for her, but instead of coming inside, she looked at me and stepped aside to let me out. In Denmark, chivalry is dead if it ever existed, and this woman realized that I got to the door first, and so I should use it first. She did not for one second consider I was holding the door for her. Being Danish, and hungry, I left the baker letting the door fall shut behind me. Perhaps this is the price of equality between the sexes, 50 years of hard struggle in Denmark. No man should hold the door for a woman, because “Don’t they think we can do it ourselves?” Danish women often think that men being chivalrous are a sign from the men that they feel superior. I guess you can argue both ways, but a glimpse into my old culture that could perhaps use an upgrade. My sister loves it when I hold the doors, so there is still hope.
While driving home from an exhausting day shopping for a new kitchen (who knew there were so many options for beveling), we passed Miami Grille. Well, we passed were it used to be before it went out of business. I guess Poway wasn’t the right place for a $15 sandwich place after all (and let’s not forget tax and tips!). Anyway, this gave us a sudden craving for a Cuban sandwiches, which as we neared our home faded into a craving for ‘something Cuban inspired.’
So, browsing the web for a couple of base sauces, we read them, ignored most, and invented our own. We made both a marinade and a dipping sauce, marinated the meat overnight, and put together this sandwich the next day. It was moist, tender, and awesomely garlicky. Love it.
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.
‘Twas the eve before Christmas and all through the house, the smell of Jamaican Christmas ham was tempting my nose. Okay.. a poor attempt at a rhyme, but you get the message. We were starving and still had a few hours before the traditional Scandinavian Christmas (Eve) dinner. Scandinavian countries celebrate Christmas on the 24th while Jamaicans (like Americans) reserve our celebration for the 25th. To satisfy each of our cultural programming, we have two celebrations in our home- in effect, two Christmases. We spend Scandinavian Christmas with some dear friends with whom Anders is able to reconnect with his childhood memories and reserve Jamaican Christmas for the two of us. A necessary component of any Jamaican Christmas dinner is a slowly baked ham infused with the combined flavors of cloves, pineapple and brown sugar. It was a hit at last years Scandinavian dinner (go figure) so this year we decided to make it a staple. Yeah to cultural crossovers!
In the midst of the baking of the ham, we got hungry. So to satisfy the empty stomach, but not sacrifice too much space for the barrage of food that is Christmas dinner, we created this sandwich. A fresh ciabatta from Bread and Cie in Hillcrest forms the base, and is lightly warmed until the Spanish Valdeon cheese starts melting. We are always stacked up on smoked salmon from Costco. The sandwich turned truly international when we decided to add a hint of sweetness with a spoonful of tomato relish from Meyer’s (in Denmark). The combination of ingredients may seem surprising, but it was absolutely sublime. Hunger abated, we could now wait until dinner time.
After Thanksgiving, it’s time for the leftover turkey to reign supreme. Truth be told, we celebrated thanksgiving with friends, and forgot to bring home leftovers, so, undeterred, we cooked another turkey the next day. Just for sandwiches. Is that dedication or what !?
What do you do when life gives you fried chicken? Well, our answer is to make fried chicken sandwiches of course (What else would you expect from this blog). This is a great ‘leftover’ sandwich for the day after, and as you can see we added a little bit of everything (including pasta, which we can consider optional, but we had to try). If you wonder why the cheese is melting up, it’s because we toasted the bread opened, and then put the top on :-). This is also one of those sandwiches that require an extra hour on the treadmill afterwards, so proceed at your own risk.
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.
This sandwich blog is getting to me. For almost a week I’ve been anticipating a convenient time to make my famous (20 years ago in college at least) tuna salad. Each time I was about to make it, some other sandwich had to take priority (since we’re on a budget, we can’t just keep making new stuff without first eating all of the old). So, today I finally got to make it and what a blast. I got to use it on 3 different style sandwiches in just one day, and I still can’t get enough of it.
This one is a tuna salad sandwich with chili-lime shrimp and fresh lettuce and cucumber. Topped with a few cuts of green onion and 2 grape tomatoes cut in half. A bit of stone ground mustard adds the zing to the zong to the ramalamadingdong.
This spicy roast beef cheese sandwich has hot (but sweet) chili sauce inside, and is made with a strong pungent cheese as well, both adding to the spicy flavor. It’s made on a toasted ciabatta roll, and has plenty of crunch from the sprouts. Adding a few fresh basil leaves brings it to a whole new level.
Perfect for those chicken leftovers in your fridge, and a great sandwich for the outdoors. This specimen was consumed on a sailing trip to Flakfortet (see also “The Flakfortet” potato sandwich). It is a spinach roll, with smoked cream cheese, roasted chicken from the night before, fresh heirloom tomatoes. and mini-cucumber slices. Sprinkle generously with dukkah and olives on the side, of course.
I know, I know.. you’re thinking “Potato sandwhich! More starch as a topping for bread?”. That was my first impression when I first heard of this one. However, as with all things culinary, the adventurous are often generously rewarded. This adaptation was inspired while on a sailing trip to the Danish island “Flakfortet” (hence the name of the sandwich). It was constructed from what was available on the boat, and it turned out to be a passenger favorite. The subtle taste of the Smoked Cream Cheese (A Danish delicacy from Fyn), blends perfectly with the potato and radishes.