I'm taking a blog break from waxing poetic and wistfully recalling our trip to Scandinavia in order to...share a Swedish recipe with you. I can't help it, people. The food there was *amazing* - beautiful colors, fabulous combinations of textures, liberal use of fresh herbs. Let's not even get started about the potatoes - I've never had so many perfectly cooked potatoes. Heck, the food there was so compelling that it got me to eat fresh dill, one of my most loathed flavors.
My first run-in with räksmörgas was at Barista in Stockholm - a coffee shop that houses an indie movie theater. Their display cases were chock full of some of the most interesting and abundant sandwiches I've ever seen. I also have to say...I had the best latté of my life there. The open-faced shrimp sandwich spoke to me that day...and the 175,254 other times I saw some version of it on my trip. It's everywhere - in one form or another.
Two weeks after returning from our trip, my cravings for one of these bad boys just hadn't gone away. Since getting one of these in the States at somewhere other than IKEA was unlikely, I had to take matters into my own hands. What you put on your räksmörgas is really up to you. Traditionally, the essentials are hard-boiled egg, toasted bread, mayonnaise (Kewpie mayo worked really well here) and shrimp. Other than that, you can gussy it up however you'd like. For my version, I threw on some thinly sliced tomatoes and cucumber, as well as some lemon to squeeze on for acid. Some sandwiches I saw in Sweden had green leaf lettuce on it. I thought that might get a little unwieldy with everything going on the bread. Instead, a simple dill garnish added to the top for a little color and freshness - I think some fennel fronds might be lovely, too.
Räksmörgas - makes 2 fluffy, filling open-faced sandwiches
- 2 slices good quality, hearty bread - whole wheat or rye would be great here. I used a onion Pumpernickel bread I got at a local farmers market
- 2 hard boiled eggs, cut into thin slices
- 4 tablespoons good quality mayonnaise - I think thinner mayo works best here - use Kewpie or homemade
- 1/2 pound small shrimp (51-60 or 61-70), cooked/de-shelled/de-veined/chilled - I used fresh Gulf shrimp here
- 1 tomato, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced or cut into wedges
- fresh dill or fennel fronds, for garnish