Breakfast Smörgås – Open-Faced Breakfast Sandwich


I really love a good open-faced sandwich, I suppose it’s my Swedish heritage and the tradition of smörgås. Two slices usually seems like too much bread, unless I use so much filling it’s unwieldy. I also have the Swedish yen for rye bread over all others. WinCo had fresh rye bread on sale for just $1.78 a loaf the other day. Who could resist?

Ingredients

  • 2 slices of rye bread with butter
  • Havarti Cheese sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp of reserved bacon fat
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 oz breakfast sausage
  • 2 TBSP yellow onion
  • 1 mushroom
  • 8 grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
  • red pepper flakes
  • 2 TBSP fresh fennel tops
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice

So, I put 1 tsp of saved bacon fat but you could use butter or olive oil in a small skillet on medium heat and added 2 TBSP of chopped onion, salt, and pepper and cooked until tender.

Meanwhile I removed the casing from 3 breakfast sausage links, but you could just measure out 3 ounces of breakfast sausage if you don’t buy it in links. I added the sausage, breaking it up into small pieces with a fork.

While the sausage was cooking, I sliced one mushroom in very thin slices.

I put a griddle on and started heating it to medium.

I put a small sauce pan on and heated to medium high with 2 tsp of olive oil. I added one clove of garlic (minced), shook in a few red pepper flakes and tossed in 8 whole grape tomatoes. I want the tomatoes to blacken a bit, so I shake them only to keep them from burning.

On the griddle, I laid down two slices of rye bread, buttered on one side and placed buttered side down. I sliced very thin slices of Havarti cheese and placed on both slices to melt while the bread toasted.

I chopped 2 TBSP of fresh fennel fronds and tossed into the sausage and mushrooms.  I cooked some fennel the other night and saved the tops knowing they are a delicious addition to anything with tomatoes.

I cut the top fifth off a fresh lemon and squeezed about 1 TBSP of lemon juice into the tomatoes, stirred and added the tomato sauce to the pan with the sausage, mushrooms and fennel.

Meanwhile, I poached 2 eggs in the microwave, breaking each into a tbsp of water in a plastic egg poacher. Poaching takes about 40 seconds for 2 eggs.

Everything should be ready together. I spread the sausage, mushroom, and tomato blend on top of both slices of bread. Then placed one egg on each slice.

 

Chicken Melt Sandwich & Cuban Bean Salad

Chicken Melt Sandwich and Cuban Bean Salad

This is a slightly modified version of the vegan Cuban Bean Salad I make quite often. First I opened a can of black beans, kidney beans and chickpeas and rinsed and drained them. I then chopped up a yellow onion, two red peppers, three roma tomatoes, three stalks of celery, a bunch of cilantro and about 10 small baby dill pickles and mixed them altogether. In another bowl, I mixed a small can of diced jalapeños (I usually use 2 fresh ones but forgot to buy them when I went grocery shopping) with juice from 3 squeezed lemons, and 1/4 cup of olive oil, 2 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp of oregano and salt and pepper. I mixed all that together and dressed the salad and let marinate for a day before serving.

For the sandwich, I heated 2 tsp of olive oil in a small saute pan. I cut off a 1/4 inch slice from a medium onion and chopped it fine and minced on small garlic clove and sauteed them until brown. I cut off 1/4 of a red pepper and 1/2 of a large crimini mushroom and chopped them up and added them and let them cook until nearly done. Then I added some cold chicken that I had reserved from making chicken soup, chopped into small pieces (about 4 oz) and about 2 oz of pepper jack cheese shredded up. I just heated them long enough for the cheese to melt. Meanwhile I toasted a ciabatta bun and spread it with a little sandwich spread I make ahead that is 2 parts mayo, 1 part, mustard and 1 part chopped dill with a dash of garlic powder, salt and pepper all mixed together.

The sandwich was rich with a hearty umami flavor that was beautifully balanced with heat from the pepper jack and garlic.  The salad is a luscious, fresh tasting mix of tart, spice and veggie freshness.

Lamb Tarragon Wine Sauce, Spinach Pasta and Slow-Roasted Asparagus

Lamb Tarragon Wine Sauce

I started water boiling for the pasta and preheated oven to 450. I cut the dried ends off the asparagus spears and put them in a shallow roasting pan with a bit of olive oil. I rolled them around to get the oil to coat the spears and sprinkled kosher salt on them and put them in the oven. When the water started boiling I added fresh spinach noodles (these are from Pastaworks) and began working on the sauce.

I put a couple teaspoons of olive oil in a skillet, added 2 tbsp of sliced leeds and cooked a couple minutes. I added 1 clove of minced garlic and 2 tsp of dried tarragon and 1 tsp of dry mustard and cooked a bit more. I took 3.5 ounces of lamb sausage and broke it up into the skillet and let it cook. While it cooked I sliced 5 mushrooms and 1 small tomato. I added them after the meat had browned. By then the pasta was done and I strained it into a colander. Putting it back in the pan, I added a bit of my cooking juice and stirred it in so it didn’t get sticky.

Back to the sauce, I added a splash of white wine (about 4 TBSP) and put the lid on a minute. I then plated the pasta, ladled some sauce on and pulled the asparagus out of the oven – perfectly done and added them to the plate.  I squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice on the asparagus. The lamb sauce on the pasta has a lovely savory taste with a bit of heat from the mustard and beautiful freshness from the tarragon. That dash of lemon juice was a perfect complement to the asparagus, offsetting the olive oil and salt splendidly.

The asparagus was not literally slow-roasted. I just forgot to turn the oven on at first.

Oven-Roasted Green Beans, Turkey Cutlets with Mustard Tarragon Sauce

This is a quick and easy meal to make in about 15 minutes and yet rich, flavorful and luxurious. I turned the oven to broil and started with about a cup of fresh green beans that have been snapped. I spread them around the bottom of my paella pan. Seriously, I love my paella pan and probably roast vegetables 100 times for every time I might make paella. I sprayed the green beans lightly with PAM olive oil spray – a great kitchen essential because there’s no way to get as little olive oil as you really need when you pour. You don’t need a teaspoon of olive oil, just a tiny spritz. I sprinkled a pinch of kosher salt on the beans and shoved them in the oven.

Then I pulled out a package of ground turkey. I had bought a family size package and divided it into small storage bags holding 5 ounces of ground turkey. That’s approximate. I divided it into equal portions and then weighed one. Since I wanted to blend some herbs into the ground turkey I left it in the plastic storage bag and added some salt, pepper, garlic powder and a pinch of dry mustard. This is just 5 ounces of meat, so only a pinch of each was needed. I then mixed and squished while it was in the bag. Heating up the skillet and giving it a little spritz of olive oil spray, I made two patties and set them to cooking at medium heat – 6 on my 1 to 10 electric stove.

Then I put about 4 tablespoons of white wine in a sauce pan and began to heat it to cook off the alcohol. I use good white wine and never buy “cooking wine” following the wise advice that if it’s not good enough to drink, it’s not good enough to cook with. I sliced up two crimini mushrooms and about 1 TBSP of leek (green end) and added them to the wine. I added 1 teaspoon of dry tarragon and let it all simmer. And now it was time to turn the turkey patties.

While it was simmering, I missed 1 TBSP of flour and 2 TBSP of half and half and waited until the green beans were done. Letting them continue to brown and caramelized a little longer (the more the tastier), I added the cream and flour mix and stirred. Then I added about 1 teaspoon of mustard and stirred until they were nice and creamy. I took the green beans from the oven, plated them with the turkey cutlets and then poured the mushroom sauce in between to add a bit of tangy and hearty flavor to both the beans and turkey cutlets.