Smørrebrød - Danish Open Sandwiches
Mmmm, Danish food.
This Easter Sunday we made Smørrebrød - Danish Open Sandwiches. I love Denmark, and I’ve eaten some of the best meals of my life there. Everything is so fresh and full of warm Scandinavian flavours, plus you get to wash it down with a nice glass of hoppy beer, if you frequent the right places.
We’ve made Smørrebrød before, but this time we decided to do it right, with the help of this super brilliant blog, www.danishsandwich.com, which is completely devoted to the fine art of Danish Open Sandwiches.
We started with the bread. Smørrebrød needs to be on Rye, and whilst you can easily buy rye bread in most supermarkets, we really wanted to have a crack at making our own. @topfife took charge on this one, and used this smashing Rugbrød recipe, though he substituted the white flour for buckwheat flour to keep everything wheat-free. It’s a long process, and you’ll need to start your first batch about a week before you plan to eat it - but it’s really worth it. The loaf we ended up with was dense and sour and all good things a Scandinavian loaf should be.
We then got to work on what we wanted our toppings to be. I had this lovely meat-free platter of Smørrebrød at Aamanns when I went for lunch in 2012, which gave me lots of inspiration for what I could make at home.
After a bit of thought and a fruitless search for a ripe avocado, I settled on my final selections for toppings
Soft boiled egg, pea shoots, remoulade, gherkins and dill
Potato, spinach, remoulade, chives, crispy onions (potato Smørrebrød is called kartoffelmad, which is my new favourite word)
Smoked cheese, radish, cucumber, swiss chard, chives (this topping is called sommersalat and I based mine on this recipe)
These were the results:
Anything with pickles tastes good in my opinion, but these Smørrebrød had it all - crunchy, sour, salt, fresh and creamy, all in one place. I cannot recommend making them enough, especially if you’re avoiding wheat, but you’ve got a hankering for a totally awesome sandwich.
Here are a few tips to make good Smørrebrød:
1. Make sure there’s a good slather of butter on your thinly sliced Rye bread. The Smørre in Smørrebrød means butter, so that should give a good idea about how important it is to the dish.
2. Pile the toppings high There should be no bread showing in between your ingredients, and there’s always room for an extra pickle or a sprinkling of dill.
3. Add crispy onions to everything. We mandolined some shallots, dusted them in Rye flour and fried them in some grapeseed oil. They were amazing, so make loads.
4. Have a poke around www.danishsandwich.com and you’ll be a pro in no time. The recipe for Remoulade is spot on.
Seriously, crispy onions