New Nordic Open-Faced Sandwiches (Smørrebrød, Smørbrød, Smörgås)

>> Monday, April 1, 2013

Open-Faced Sandwiches (Smørrebrød, Smørbrød, Smörgås)
From top right: Egg/Radish, Gravlax/Asparagus, and Liverwurst/Watercress Smørrebrød

New Nordic cuisine is hot: Scandinavians have been working for nearly a decade to create a fresh take on their traditional recipes. This includes working with locally-sourced, in-season fruits and vegetables that thrive in the special climate of Nordic countries.

While Chicago is much milder than Norway, I took the spirit of New Nordic cooking to heart when I surprised Joe with a smørbrød (smurd-a-bra) platter for brunch. He had been rehearsing with the worship band all week and then led worship for three Easter services, and when he got home Sunday afternoon, I made a pretty spread of open-faced sandwiches for him.

These traditional sandwiches are usually made with rye or pumpernickel bread spread with butter, pig fat, or mayonnaise. Asparagus, watercress, and radishes looked fresh and tasty at the produce store on Saturday, and are also fairly common to these sandwiches. We used a chewy rye bread, but pumpernickel is also traditional. Taking the latest suggestion from Bon Appetit magazine, we cut the vegetables into a variety of shapes to add visual interest to the plate. The following recipes fed two hungry people.

Egg/Radish smørbrød

Chive and garlic butter (1 tbsp snipped chives in 3 tbsp butter)
2 sliced hardboiled eggs
1 slivered hot radish
1 tbsp chopped celery
1/4 cup sliced cucumber or dill pickle
Dash Sriracha sauce or Sriracha salt for each sandwich

Gravlax/Asparagus smørbrød

3 oz. cured salmon
Horseradish cream cheese with parsley (1 tbsp horseradish in 3 oz cream cheese)
1/4 cup sliced cucumber
1/4 cup shaved raw asparagus
2 tbsp slivered carrots
Dash lemon pepper for each sandwich

Liverwurst/Watercress smørbrød

Dijon mayonnaise (1 tbsp Dijon mustard in 2 tbsp mayonnaise)
3 oz. liver pate
1 slivered hot radish
2 tbsp slivered green onions
1/4 cup chopped watercress

Assemble the sandwiches in the order of ingredients.


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