We’re not sure this is a classic Danish open faced sandwich in the sense that the toppings are a bit untraditional. Fried sage and Dukkah? That’s not what you would typically see in a Danish sandwich shop. But the concept is very typical: Meatball sandwiches are seen everywhere and classic toppings includes sweet pickles, lettuce and mushrooms. We just improvised on the theme, adding a bit of San Diego flair…
Unlike many of my American friends who were tormented by liver as children, I actually do like liver. Well, I do if either my mother or I made the dish. Oh… and I shouldn’t forget that liver breakfast served by the Pegasus hotel in Jamaica. At least, they used to when I frequented that place about 10 years ago. Liver just happens to be one of those dishes that can so easily cross the very thin line between sumptuous and sickening, light and leathery. This is especially true of cow’s liver, which I have been unfortunate enough to dive it only to find myself masticating like a cow! For that reason, I prefer to eat liver only from people whose cooking abilities I can entrust my liver eating palate only to – those who have consistently demonstrated the ability to respect that line of demarcation. Until I discovered liver pate, I thought that was a realm occupied only by myself and the chef at Pegasus. Liver pate is one of those dishes that are remarkably forgiving of overcooking. I’ve never made liver pate myself but have been happily eating it since Anders introduced me to it on my first trip to Denmark a few years back. It is the key part of one of his favorite smørrebrød items.
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.
If you are following our musing on this blog, you know by now that Anders looooves mashed potato sandwiches and we both love roasted garlics. So it should come as no surprise that we at some point had to mix the two. Of course, we also enjoy cheese, so this sandwich was inevitable. In a moment of pure inspiration (we’re very modest), Anders decided to cut up a piece of Teriyaki Beef Jerky into really fine pieces, very much like little bacon pieces, and sprinkle on top. The result was great. After you finish chewing through the first layer, you end up with little pieces of jerky at the end of each bite. Very cool.
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.
The classic Danish cheese sandwich is extravagent to say the least. This one, from the restaurant Peter Liep, represents the extreme amount of cheese that is needed. In fact, we couldn’t even see the bread when it was served.
“Dyrlægens natmad” as it is called in Denmark is an old sandwich like your mom used to make them. In English, it’s translated as “The veterenarians midnight snack”. It consists of liver pate on rye bread, topped with corned beef (or other salted meat), aspic, and onion rings. In this version, we start our assembly by adding lettuce at the base.
This pickled herring sandwich is served on rye bread with red onions, capers and parsley. There are many variations of pickled herring and if you have an Ikea nearby, there is a big chance you might be able to find an jar of pickled herring there. Most open faced sandwich feasts in Denmark starts with fish, usually herring such as this. They are usually served with the local schnapps (Snaps), cooled in the freezer, which you are expected to drink in one fell swoop as a shot. The schnapps really brings out the flavor of the herring, and should not be missed.