It’s that time of year in our local farmers’ markets. Our longer than average spring has given way to summer and with it has come one of the fruits that I only started eating when I moved to California – figs, glorious figs. There are some fruits whose appearance and tastes you can describe by comparing it to another. But a fig… Nothing tastes like a fig. It just is. Figs are popping up all over and once again, I am beginning to flirt with the idea of adding a tree to my garden. Until then though, I have kind friends who help satisfy my cravings by sharing from the bounty of their own gardens. This sandwich is the result of one such gift – a basket of black mission pigs.
While there are many ways to add figs to your diet, this is by far my favorite. The saltiness of the prosciutto, creaminess of the Cambazola (a soft ripened triple cream blue cheese) and the nuttiness of arugula – what at taste sensation. If ever a sandwich could be described as sensual, then this is it.
Well our kitchen remodel is under way now, and today our old kitchen was reduced to rubble, and placed in a giant container outside the house. We are very excited to get the new one in about 4-6 weeks, and before the demilition began we had the sanity to make a few sandwiches and pizzas to keep things interesting while we await perfection. This weekend we shall attempt some sandwiches made entirely on our BBQ, and look forward to being creating. Until then, this is a little gem we made last week, falafel (great for sandwiches), with a nice homemade yogurt dressing. We hope you enjoy it.
OK, you have a point. This is perhaps not quite amazing enough to be on “amazing sandwiches”… But we liked it. This is a simple, plain garden variety burger, and sometimes that’s all you need to bring you back from a long day at work doing the man’s bidding. Yes, you know what we mean; cubicle work!
We recently discovered a great food store in Little Italy in San Diego. It should be noted that Little Italy is very aptly named, since it’s basically just one street. You blink, you miss it. If you are of Italian descent, please move to San Diego so we can add a couple more streets. In Little Italy, we found Assenti’s Pasta, a wonderful little delicatessen shop where you can get fresh pasta of all shapes and forms. Arriving there at 5:59pm we were simply happy traffic had not delayed us more, and positively exuberant that Assenti let us in. Yes, we had a rushed 5 minute shopping spree, but it was great. Here we found muffaletta and tuscan bean spread as well as fresh pasta (which weren’t really for sandwiches, although Anders tried and failed).
This sandwich is our first using the muffaletta, is was delicious. It fell a bit apart due to the iceberg lettuce, which became very slippery with the oil from the muffaletta and the melted cheese. We had to add toothpicks to hold it all together long enough to take pictures.
Living in San Diego means being influenced by Mexican cooking. Each street corner seems to sport a Mexican fast-food joint. Our cooking regularly employs cilantro and salsa, bothView Post of which can be tasty new ingredients to familiar meals. In this sandwich, we use both, and with the French bread, this becomes an international affair. Danish meatballs (frikadeller), Italian mozzarella, cilantro and salsa, made by a Dane and a Jamaican living in the US. It is a small world these days.
The story of this sandwich is as much a tale of the bread as it is the sandwich. Although we are somewhat ‘accomplished novices’ in making sourdough breads, this was our first attempt at making a baguette. This deceptively simple bread was anything but. Several things went wrong: after the final rise the baguettes looked amazing, big and puffy and we were congratulating ourselves on being such good students of Peter Reinhart. However, we had not done the final proofing on the baking sheet and, in transferring them, ended up loosing about 30 percent of their size. As a result, they are very solid inside, and not soft and airy like real baguettes. We also managed to somehow get the crust too crunchy. It should be mentioned that our oven is terribly old and very unreliable, which turns all our baking into exercises in patience and surprises. The taste was decent however, and although not the stuff of Boulangerie Pierre & Patisserie legend, the baguettes performed creditably in a number of sandwiches, such as this one with salami and cheese.
We eat a lot of salmon in our house; smoked salmon, grilled salmon, and last night seared salmon. So we had to try and see if we could turn some of the leftovers into a delicious second-day sandwich (It’s what we do after all). In this case, we have a piece of seared salmon with black sesame seeds, fennel seeds, and spices. Since salmon is ‘light’, we decided to add a few grilled vegetables, a bit of cheese, and some thinly sliced pear. Of course, we used roasted garlic as a smear. This combination does hide the salmon taste a bit, but it brings out all the lovely nuances of the grilled veggies, and we were very pleased with the final outcome. Judge for yourself, try it, and let us know what you think in the comment section.
After making Parmesan crisps a few days ago, I had a visions of sandwiches all somehow incorporating the crisps. Well, some turned our better than other, and here we stick to what we think are the amazing ones. This one is with a favorite ingredient, mashed potatoes, topped with a bit of sun dried tomato pesto we threw together (recipe to come), green onions, a few leaves of sweet basil from the garden, and of course the Parmesan to top it off.
By the way, if you have read a lot of our recipes, you’ll notice quite a few are on ‘rustic white bread’. For us, this means homemade bread made from more than 90% white flour. It may have extras, such as olives, cumin seeds, blue cheese, etc, but it’s essentially a white bread. What makes it rustic is that it looks, well, rustic. We’ll post a recipe later, but it’s quite involved and usually takes between 1-3 days to make, including sometimes pate fermente, biga or levain.
This sandwich we have named “Bambi” because she seems to be strutting her stuff all over the place, hoping to get picked up.
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.
Excited about the prospect of making paninis, and after holding out for a few weeks, we finally decided to get a panini press (well, Anders decided :-)). So down to the nearest Target and what do they have? Shelves up and down stacked with George Foreman grills. Now I didn’t grow up in the US so I don’t really know George Foreman, but he is certainly a very prolific grill maker. So, without a choice, we got a George Foreman grill which we put up next to Alessi wine bottle opener and the Georg Jensen beer bottle opener. After all, if you can’t name your kitchen equipment by name, how will you tell them apart?
Well, the grill is clearly no panini press. The bread barely got any of those distinctive grill stripes, despite a very long grilling session. It did taste great however, so we decided to add it to our growing sandwich collection anyway. You can’t argue with good food. However, we also decided it’s a borderline panini, hence the name.
Growing up, I believe I had ham and cheese sandwiches maybe three times. My mom had found a recipe in a cookbook, and one day she announced she was going to make me a Hawaiian sandwich (The recipe included a piece of slices pineapple from a can, thus Hawaii). It was great, but once you open a can of pineapples you are committed to doing something with the remaining 9 slices, so my mom quickly stopped making the sandwich. A couple of weeks ago I had a dream about it (the dream also involved Jay Leno having purchased a personal Nuclear Missile painted bright red with warning signs, which was bolted down in his back yard with chains. Don’t ask, it was a dream). As you can imagine, it got stuck in my subconsciousness. I know, dreaming of sandwiches probably means we’re spending too much time writing this blog. Anyway, here is my variation of a Ham and Cheese Sandwich, without the pineapple.
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.
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.
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.
It was Tuesday, and I want to write it was raining cats and dogs, but I live in San Diego so the weather was really very nice, just like the last 6 months or so. In any case, I got a crazy craving for Danish meatballs, and on my way home from work I had to stop to get some ground beef and pork. Danish Meatballs are called “Frikadeller” (singular form is frikadelle), and they can be made from many types and blends of meats, but this is a classic.
The sandwich itself is a ciabatta roll with ducks fat and roasted garlic smear. Two meatballs are heated and cut in half, and topped with stone ground mustard. A bit of sea-salt is sprinkled on, and it’s decorated with blueberries and a pickle. Fantastic sandwich. The blueberries jumped out of my pantry at me, and I thought I would give it a go.