A shooting star because this is the most famous of the smørrebrød range of Danish open-faced sandwiches.
These are the ingredients for one portion.
3 plaice fillets 6 large shrimp, cooked 30 g sour cream 15 g caviar 1 slice of brown bread/dark rye bread 1 egg, beaten 1 lemon, juice Asparagus piece Breadcrumbs Butter Cayenne, pinch Cucumber slice, twisted Dill, pinch Egg, hard boiled, halved Lemon slice, twisted Lettuce piece Paprika, pinch Salmon slice Sunflower oil Tomato, sliced Salt Pepper
Speed is of the essense with this dish.
Whip a pinch each of cayenne and paprika into sour cream, mix in caviar.
Bring a steamer pot of salted water to the boil, turn heat low and place a fillet in the tray, cover and leave for three minutes. Roll up.
Heat a small piece of butter in a frying pan with a splash of oil.
Break and beat an egg into one dish, put breadcrumbs in a second dish, coat a fillet in the egg, then the breadcrumbs. Fry each side, two minutes each. Repeat with final fillet.
Toast the slice of bread, butter it, place one or two small leaves of lettuce on top, followed by the fish.
Garnish with shrimp, and a large splash of lemon juice.
Spoon cream mixture on top.
Finish with the salmon rolled around the asparagus, tomato slices, twisted cucumber and lemon slices, the egg halves and the dill.
Flæskesteg med Rødkål
Traditionally smørrebrød is made with buttered rye bread.
When each member of the smørrebrød family is presented in an array, they provide a perfect glimpse into Denmark’s culinary traditions, past and present.
Among these are flæskesteg (roast pork) and rødkål (red cabbage). Together on dark rye bread they epitomise Danish food, crispy and crunchy.
This is one of Denmark’s signature dishes – flæskesteg med rødkål og brunede kartofler (roast pork with crispy crackling and red cabbage with caramelised potatoes) – in minature, minus the potatoes.
Flæskesteg med rødkål usually comes topped with cucumber slices, orange slices and halved prunes.
Buttered bread (the literal meaning of smørrebrød) is an inadequate term for these high-topped luncheon enterprises, but one branch of the family sits nicely with the concept of a simple open-faced sandwich.
Butter is lavishly spread on a thick slice of rye bread, followed by a sprinkling of salt and a thick layer of liver paste.
After that the choice of modest toppings is personal. Danes choose a combination of cucumber, fried bacon, fried onions, lemon, lettuce, mushrooms, pickled beetroot, pickled gherkins, red pepper, salted meat, savoury jelly.
Leverpostej was among the first smørrebrød pieces in the late 19th century and it remains popular.
Sun over Gudhjem
One of the most iconic members of the family is Sun Over Gudhjem, after the Bornholm island town where the silvery-white herrings of the Baltic sea are transformed into golden fish by the smoking process, ‘the gold from the sea’.
Sun Over Gudhjem is made with a slice of rye bread, two smoked herrings, chives, radish and a fresh raw egg yolk on top, the aforementioned sun.
But there is only one place to taste this delicious treat and that is on Bornholm. Despite its location midway between Poland and Sweden in the Baltic sea it is relatively easy to get there, two and a half hours by bus from Copenhagen.
The Insider Guide to Smørrebrød by Af Ole Troelsø
Smørrebrød pieces embrace the entire culinary range of Danish foods – fish, meats, vegetables with dressings, seasonings and toppings – and this isn’t the place to list the myriad ingredients or discuss the rapid changes in recent years that have seen the re-emergence of this Danish institution with the emphasis on fresh, local food by imaginative cooks and chefs.
Af Ole Troelsø’s guide is a better place to start.