While I was in Copenhagen, smørrebrød became an obsession for me. I sought out different places and versions of the open faced sandwich for breakfast, lunch , a snack and occasionally dinner. They were amazing, small bites packed with unique combinations and flavors. Everything from smoked salmon, to pickled herring, ham and vegetarian versions were gobbled up with joy, and a glass of beer to wash them down. These creations changed everything I knew about a sandwich, they went from large sandwiched filled with processed meat and cheese to delicate bites of real flavor and freshness.
A smørrebrød is essentially a slice of really good bread, usually a rye bread, topped with any variety of meats, usually herring, salmon or other smoked fish, or other meats and a condiment or sauce of choice. Newer versions have changed some of the rules, vegetarian versions also taking center stage and local farm-to-tables efforts in Denmark making these creations pieces of art and deliciousness. I do love making canapés, and every time I make one of these I am taken back to the streets of Copenhagen.
This version is rich and decadent. A mix of fresh mushrooms, or button mushrooms if you are on a budget or lack the ability to buy the different varieties, lightly scented with thyme and citrus peel and slow cooked in cream. I usually cook healthy, but I could not stop eating these decadent smørrebrød. They make for the perfect small bite at a party or as a meal with a nice bowl of soup.
This is a small volume that deals exclusively with smørrebrød, in all its variations. From the traditional versions to newer contemporary recipes, these sandwiches are delicious and beautiful. You will see me cook from here agin soon.
For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.
2 lb mushrooms, a mix of cremini, chanterelles, oyster or other, scrubbed clean and sliced
Salt, to taste
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Zest of 1 lemon or 2 limes
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup cream
Bread of choice, sourdough, whole wheat or light rye bread
Heat the oil in a very large pan, you want the mushrooms to be spread out as much as possible, pan and add the mushrooms with the salt and pepper. Cook on medium high heat till the mushrooms have given out their liquid, about 3-4 minutes. Add the thyme and lemon/lime zest and toss well. After the liquids have evaporated and the mushrooms are beginning to brown, add the lime/lemon juice and nutmeg and toss well again. Let the mushrooms brown fairly well and evenly. If not assembling the toasts set the mix aside at this point taking care the mushrooms do not burn as they cool down.
To finish, toast the bread and set aside.
Heat up the mushroom mix and add the cream mixing it in well. Cook for 3-4 minutes till the sauce is thickened and reduced.
Load on the toasts and top with minced parsley. Serve immediately so the toasts do not get soggy.