Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sommerlykke - a July sandwich snapshot

Delicious, and easy to make. Scandinavian open sandwiches are like tapas, you move from the traditional to new and intriguing toppings on different kinds of bread. July 2nd I and Enjoy Food & Travel co-writer Susanne Koch enjoyed an open sandwich jam session in my kitchen. She sent me a small poster yesterday to sum up our delicious summer meal on my terrace.
Susanne and I met after work, and did some grocery shopping and placed artisan bread, cured ham, eggs, fresh prawns, artichoke hearts, ruccola and Hellmann's mayonnaise in our trolley. Then we headed home to drink some wine and make some serious grub.

Open sandwich with prawns, artichoke hearts and ruccola

Peeled fresh prawns caught in Norwegian waters are a delicacy. Due to its quantities, prawns are relatively inexpensive in Norway. You can get one kilo (around 2 lb's) fresh prawns from 16 USD (12 EUR), and large frozen ones from as low as 4 USD (EUR 2,50).

We bought enough prawns for two open sandwiches, i.e. around 1/2 kilo or a little more than a pound. We toasted one focaccia each, allowed some Kviteseid butter to melt into it, topped the bread with peeled prawns and a large dollop of Hellmann's mayonnaise.

For greens we used ruccola leaves and one marinated artichoke heart each. Two ingredients very different from each other, the first spicy and peppery, the second mild and slightly bitter in taste.

Shrimp salad from Vesterålen - read story here 

Open sandwich with poached egg and Spanish serrano ham 

Susanne has told how she explored and finally mastered the art of poaching eggs earlier on Enjoy Food & Travel. That evening she initiated me into the secrets of this process. I was very happy that she did, as I am a fan of poached eggs, particularly when served as toast Benedict.

She told me that there are two basic secrets on how to poach an egg.

Secret number one: Boil up water in a casserole, then add 1-2 tbsp vinegar to the water.

Secret number two: Create a swirl or a malstrom in the casserole, crack the egg open and pour it into the centre of the malstrom.

Susanne performed the two steps of the ritual, waived her magic wand and presto - she had two delicious shivering white poached eggs ready with the most deliciouscrumptious yellow runny eggyolks. Yum-Yum!

Then we toasted and buttered the second half of the foccacia, placed two generous slices of Spanish serrano ham, topping it with the poached eggs.

Let us make it a good egg - read story here

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