In between writing about The Good and The Ugly, there has not been as much of The Bread as I planned for, and I have been trying to figure out why because I love good food. Eating it, not cooking it that is. I can if I have to, but cooking for one gets old real fast, so it is mostly down to delicious finger food and lots of take out. Nothing post-worthy, I assure you. But during the big pre-spring clean up, I came across this fantastic old book from the vintage book market on how to make the traditional Danish smørrebrød, also know as "open faced sandwiches" (haha).
It could just be that I don't hang out at big traditional family dinners anymore, but I feel like smørrebrød is not so much a part of the picture as it once was. At any given café they are more likely to serve you a burger or a BLT than a festive slice of rye, and going through this book I am beginning to realize how this is a lost art. My grandparents had family dinners like this, with all kinds of different herring and what not, so you could stack your own piece of smørrebrød. They actually competed to have the biggest selection, and I am pretty sure that not even this book would have been able to teach my grandmother anything.
It's funny, but I have this feeling that smørrebrød is going to make a huge comeback in the next couple of years. Besides being cool, it comes with its own history (nothing sells like tradition) and as a concept it is open for new interpretations. Although I love the pictures below (or is it really detailed illustrations? I can't tell), they are a bit too raw meat/white bread/mayonnaisey for me. I'll take mine with sliced avocado, a squeeze of lemon and rosemary flavored salt on pitch dark rye, thank you. Mmmmm.
(note the adoring language of the chef, this is love)
The early stages of a salami dish; the salami itself is bend inwards on the bread.
The finished piece: in the center a nest of finely shaved pepper root and a raw egg yolk sprinkled with chopped chives. This is a delicious piece of smørrebrød.
Tartar on rye, a story in four parts:
The beginning of a piece of tartar: the raw meat is chopped with the knife, shaped and ready to go on the buttered bread.
Here you see how the buttered bread is placed buttered side down on the raw meat, and you see how the meat is cut from the board and flipped.
Now a small dent have been made in the meat, framed by a heavy, raw slice of onion with a raw egg yolk in the middle.
The finished piece of tartar with a tomato fan, finely shaved pepper root, chopped raw onions, chopped chives and caper. (end of tartar lesson)
A plate of smørrebrød with real home made toppings. The pieces must not be placed too closely together. A serving like this is colorful, inviting and made with an absence of fancy effects.
Velbekomme / Enjoy / Bon appetit