It is really simple to make your own SMØRREBRØD
The following recipes were developed by Chef Michael Larsen for the competition Danskernes Mad in 2014. They were among the eight finalists but did not win the national competition. However, they are a great way to get started making your own smørrebrød.
By Bente D. Knudsen Pictures: Danskernes Mad(Wiking Fotografi)
OPEN-FACED SANDWICH- the English translation does not really cover what smørrebrød means – by now your Danish may be good enough and you know it means buttered bread. If you have not tried out making your own yet – why not have a go this spring. The new potatoes…nye kartofler… small round Danish ones will begin to appear in May. They are a great delicacy and maybe the right ones for your first try at making smørrebrød as the most typical Danish open-faced sandwich is the kartoffelmad (literally potato food).
It is really simple to make. You can use leftover potatoes from the day before, slice them, and add mayonnaise, salt and pepper, and you have a delicious and simple smørrebrød. In this recipe below a few extra ingredients have been added, but ultimately it can be as simple as just described. Potato smørrebrød can be made all year but many Danes prefer the fresh and delicate taste of the nye kartofler.
For this recipe you need (for 4 people)
200g peeled potatoes
½ tsp. of finely chopped lovage (also known as sea parsley)
2 tbsps. cream
¼ tsp. salt
2 tbsps. mayonnaise
½ tray of cress
Additional for the smørrebrød
250g small potatoes with the peel on
2 peeled onions in ½ cm slices
1 tbsp. neutral oil (sunflower oil is good)
Cress for decoration
4 slices of rye bread
Boil the potatoes, the ones you want to use for the sandwich should be taken out while they are still firm whereas the ones for the purée should be boiled until they are really well-done and good to mash. Once they are ready, pour out the water, add 100g butter and mash lightly. Season with salt and pepper, a bit of lovage, add a little cream and leave while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Put the butter and oil in a medium warm frying pan. When the butter has melted completely, add the sliced onions. Fry the onions until they are golden brown and crispy. Remove the onions from the pan and place them on paper towel to remove the excess oil.
Put the mayonnaise and cress in a food processor. Blend until the mayonnaise is green and even in consistency.
When the small potatoes (with the peel on) are cold, slice them into ½ cm slices.
Build up your potato sandwich by first putting a layer of butter purée on the rye bread, add slices of potato and make small rounds of cress mayonnaise with a teaspoon on top of the slices potatoes. Finish off your sandwich with the fried onions on top.
Another famous smørrebrød is the one with cured salmon on white bread, franskbrød, or another kind of surbrød.
Gravad laks is salmon cured with a mixture of sugar, salt, dill (optional) and assorted other spices. You can cure the salmon yourself or buy it ready made from the supermarket. This is another really simple open-faced sandwich. It should not be eaten on rye bread as other open-faced sandwiches are, but instead on a lighter flavoured bread, Danes use surbrød. Gravad laks is wonderful for its fresh and delicate flavour and is served with a traditional rævesauce, a kind of sweet and sour mustard sauce.
In this recipe Michael Larsen has made a cured salmon with rævesauce and pickled green tomatoes on toasted surbrød.
For this recipe you need (for 4 people)
300g cured sliced salmon
4 slices of surbrød
2 thinly sliced pickled green tomatoes
125 g muscovado sugar
1 dl Dijon Mustard
1 dl apple cider
2 dl neutral oil
1 bunch of dill (half “hand-broken” and half finely chopped)
½ tsp. salt
Mix together the muscovado sugar, mustard and apple cider in a bowl. Slowly drizzle the oil into the bowl, beating constantly with a whisk. Basically, you are making an emulsion like mayonnaise. Once combined, stir in the finely chopped dill and season with salt and pepper.
In this recipe it is not just ordinary toasted bread, instead you “toast” it yourself on a frying pan. Put 25g of butter in a medium warm frying pan. When the butter has melted. add the sliced bread. When it is golden brown, turn it and fry it the same way on the other side. If needed you can add more butter when frying the other side of the bread. Leave the bread on a paper towel to absorb any excess butter.
Build your open-faced cured salmon sandwich by adding the thin slices of salmon in a nice high pile on the bread. Decorate with the thin slices of pickled green tomatoes and a spoonful of the rævesauce between the tomatoes. Finish off by adding the hand-broken dill as decoration.