Continuing our tradition of declaring pizzas ‘a kind of sandwich,’ we present this shrimp pizza with pesto sauce and smoked paprika. Like the pizzas that went before it, it descends from our 15 week pizz-off Friday end-of-week celebration stint. We’ve come to love these Fridays, and hope to start anew soon albeit with a different theme (Yet to be determined, maybe tapas?).
This past week one of this blogs co-founders celebrated his birthday and was given a party that in true Amazing Sandwich style. Anders was not only born in Denmark but spent most of his life there and it is his and that country’s commitment to the sandwich that served as the inspiration for our blog. Denmark is the world that has transformed this humble meal to gourmet standards. So it was only appropriate that Anders’ birthday be celebrated with an ode to the smørrebrød. So last week saw me scurrying about to purchase the necessary ingredients that would make Ida Davidsen proud. Ida Davidsen is the Grande Dame of Danish smørrebrød and operates a Michelin-starred restaurant devoted solely to this national dish. We planned on three of Anders’ favorite Danish smørrebrød: leverpostej (liver pate), Fiskefilet med remoulade (fillet of fish with remoulade) and frikadeller (meatballs). Today’s entry will be devoted to the fiskefilet. I know you are thinking – what could be so special about a fish fillet? Let me tell you my friend, this is no mere fish on bread. The preparation, construction and… alone took me hours. We had 14 at our party and so in making for your own, you’ll need to adjust the ingredients accordingly.
This sandwich is literally a result of a quick raid of our refrigerator. We found some shrimp and olives, the last of our sun dried tomato hummus, and a bit of blue cheese. So, we made a sandwich (of course). You may recognize the cilantro-lime shrimp from earlier sandwiches, as they constitute a quarterly craving. Moving from Denmark to San Diego, one of the things I thoroughly enjoy are the large shrimp. Every shrimp I ate growing up (not many) were tiny, no more than an inch long, and thin to. We did shrimp in numbers, and adding those to a sandwich like this would have taken maybe 25 to 30. It’s such a joy to bite into the larger more succulent shrimp and really taste the meat, although the danish ones are by no means bad at all.
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.
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.
These shrimp are very versatile on sandwiches. They are chili-lime shrimp from Costco, pre-cooked, and they are very moist and succulent. To really try and savor their taste, we created this sandwich which combines them with mashed potatoes, lime, and a toasted bagel. The bagel gives the inevitable ‘crunch’, while the shrimps can triumph over the subtle taste from the mashed potatoes. A few sprouts just makes it look good. Of course, Anders can’t leave well enough alone, and sprinkled the whole thing with sweet curry. So much for subtlety.
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.
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.
A Danish favorite, we owe this presentation to the restaurant at Sophienholm in Denmark. The fried plaice is a classic in danish sandwich making, and is found on nearly all restaurants. It is usually served as one of the first sandwiches in a meal (One should always start with the fish) right after the pickled herring sandwich. The batter is light, since the fish is the centerpiece in this little gem.