One sandwich I have never gotten around to liking is the chicken salad sandwich. Perhaps it’s because I was introduced to it at a deli counter. The mayonnaise was so plentiful that I could hardly taste the chicken. Since then I’ve stayed away from all chicken salads, and supermarket deli counter foods for that matter. Still searching for a quick meal last night I decided to attempt to make my own and thereby kill two birds with a single chicken breast: rescue the chicken salad from mayonnaise hell and make a week night meal in time for Anders and I to enjoy a date night (go see the movie Unstoppable). Both were handily accomplished.
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?).
For the past two months, we’ve been hosting weekly pizza parties. Well, truth be told, they have been competitive throw downs where our friends are invited to say goodbye to the week that was and bring their best recipes to battle it out for the pizza crown. We’ve had some pretty fantastic creations. After 8 weeks though, inspiration begins to wane. So we were quite excited to hear of the tastespotting.com Johnsonville Italian Sausage competition. Inspiration, the chance to get our pizza on our favorite food porn site AND the likelihood (albeit remote) of winning a food making competition. How could we not be excited?
Anders had this one on his mind for a whole week and came up with this creation: Johnsonville Italian Sausage Pizza with roasted garlic, Portobello mushrooms and topped with parmesan crisps and toasted pine nuts. Does it get any crazier than this? We hope you like it, and if you do please vote for us when the time comes.
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.
For the past few weeks I have been berating Anders that he has abandoned his sandwich making craft. Berating is a bit strong – more like a strongly nudging. He has been focusing on taking photos while I make the sandwiches. This week, he heard me and made this tasty sandwich that proves even more than his passport and birth certificate, that he is indeed from the land where smorrebrod was born. It was one of those evenings when I just got home from work and crashed with no thought as to dinner. I was in the middle of one of those marathon phone conversations with one of my girlfriends when Anders came through the door, smiled and nodded in my direction and headed to the kitchen. He was a man on a mission. 15 minutes later, his mission became clear. He returned to the living room with this dinner sandwich that was so good to look at that I felt guilty eating it. Not too guilty though. Costco membership that made purchasing the crabcakes possible: $60/year and worth every penny and more. Having a husband with smorrebrod making in his DNA: priceless!
The last of the nine pizzas we made for Wendie’s birthday. That was quite an evening. This pizza was another one with an odd shape, but we have learned to ignore the shape, and just enjoy the taste. The smoked paprika is fantastic on pizza where it really shines through after the baking.
This is what we call a ‘lazy’ sandwich. After a long day at work, we were too tired to cut the bread, so two sandwiches became one. On the left some smoked mackerel imported from Denmark. Danes are very good at smoking fish, and have quite a reputation for smoked herring, smoked cod roe and smoked mackerel. On the right, a simple smoked salmon with avocado sandwich. Quick dinner, simple to make, and very good. The bread is a pane siciliano that we made over the weekend, and which turned out unexpectedly flat (although well tasting). Perhaps not our most exciting sandwich, but still… good.
Last summer we went on vacation to Greece, to the island of Lesvos. We were prepared to taste amazing foods, local delicacies and great tasting salads. Our friends have told us enough stories about the Greek islands that we were rather excited to taste the cuisine. Honestly though, it was a bit of a letdown. The island seems to have gotten a bit ‘touristy’, and the food was usually bland. It wasn’t bad per se, it was just not very interesting. After two weeks eating all over the island, we did find a restaurant on the last day of our trip which was actually great, but that was the exception. Given the less-than-satisfying culinary experiences, we did find one simple dish we kept returning to; The greek salad. It is a salad with a simple dressing, topped with a gigantic block of feta cheese. We decided to combine this a little with the pan seared feta dish called saganaki. We roasted a slice of feta in the oven, and placed it on top of a simple salad on toast. The result was amazing, and here is the recipe.
Recently we discovered the joy of smoked salmon on pizzas, and decided to try another one. This is our second pizza from Wendie’s surprise birthday party (of nine total), and also a very popular one amongst our friends. It’s simple in its ingredients, with very subtle tastes. The Sautéed mushroom worked great on the pizza (We used it a few times that night), and on this the avocado brings a coolness to the hot pizza that almost melts with the salmon.
This burger looks quite simple, but the onions make it very moist and delicious while the roasted garlic gives it a great taste. This is definitely one of our favorite burgers so far. In the next few weeks our kitchen is being renovated, and we’re not sure how we can keep up our frantic sandwich making pace. We will have access to an outdoor BBQ with a side stove, and… restaurants. Idea for BBQ sandwiches/burgers that can be easily prepared with no kitchen would be highly appreciated 🙂
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!
Combining something sweet with something spicy is an old tradition that has come back into fashion. It is no longer uncommon to see chili-infused chocolate in grocery stores, and the reason is of course that it works. We bought some amazing honey in Jamaica, which brings the best out in this great cheese, the Rembrandt extra aged Gouda. The smoked paprika takes it up a notch. The simple life.
Potatoes Au Gratin Recipe
- 1 pound of potatoes
- 1/2 onion, cut into slices
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Optionally: Add 3 tsp butter, spread out on top before baking.
Slice the potatoes into 1/4 inch thick slices. Lay them out in a casserole. Mix everything else together and pour over the potatoes. If the cheese stays on top then mix it in. Place casserole in the middle of a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. If the potatoes starts getting burned, turn oven down to 450, and cover with aluminum foil. Leave them an additional 10 minutes in that case. We have a very bad oven, we know.
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.