I love egg sandwiches and am always looking for new ways to make them. Here’s a creative version from superstar Seattle chef Tom Douglas. The recipe features lox (thinly sliced cured salmon), cardamom-spiked pickled onions and dilled cream cheese. All I can say is, “WOW!” If you like bagles with lox and cream cheese then you’ll love this recipe!
The best way to tackle the recipe is to make the pickled onions and dilled cream cheese ahead of time (or the day before) which will greatly speed up the sandwich-making process.
The recipe calls for gravlax (Swedish cured salmon) or lox (brined and cold-smoked). Both types of salmon have a delicate texture because they are uncooked, and both come thinly sliced in the package. Do not buy traditional hot-smoked salmon which is dense, flaky and fully cooked in a smoker…this is a totally different type of salmon product and would not work in this recipe.
The “Seattle” Sandwich with Cured Wild Salmon
-recipe from The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook by Tom Douglas
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
Here’s an English muffin sandwich with moist, salty lox, mellow herbed cream cheese, and the sweet- spicy kick of pickled onions. You won’t need all the pickled onions, but the leftover onions can be covered and refrigerated for several days. Drain and add them to salads or sandwiches. Try them on a tuna fish salad sandwich. You can make your own cured wild salmon or just buy lox or lox-style smoked salmon. – The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook
NOTE: CARDAMOM IS AVAILABLE AS PODS OR SEEDS. IF YOU BUY THE PODS (WHICH STAY FRESH A VERY LONG TIME), YOU WILL HAVE TO SMASH THEM WITH A SMALL HEAVY PAN OR THE SIDE OF A HEAVY KNIFE AND EXTRACT THE TINY BLACK SEEDS.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: ELECTRIC MIXER OR FOOD PROCESSOR
1 small to medium red onion (about 7 ounces), thinly sliced
1⁄2 cup red wine vinegar
1⁄2 cup water
1⁄3 cup sugar
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds (see Note above)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Dilled Cream Cheese
4 ounces (1⁄2 cup) cream cheese
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 English muffins, split, toasted, and buttered on top halves only
6 to 8 ounces thinly sliced Gravlax or Lox-style salmon (about 12 slices)
Unsalted butter as needed for cooking the eggs
4 large eggs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black Pepper
1. To make the pickled onions, put the onion in a heatproof bowl and place a fine strainer over the bowl. Put the vinegar, water, sugar, spices, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat and heat to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Pour the pickling liquid through the strainer and over the onions, discarding the spices in the strainer. Allow the onions to sit at room temperature until cool. When the onions are cool, use a slotted spoon to remove as many as you like for your sandwiches and drain them on paper towels. Cover the remaining onions with plastic wrap and reserve them, refrigerated, for another use. They will last for about a week.
2. To make the dilled cream cheese, put the cream cheese and cream in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment and beat until the cream cheese is softened. (Or you can use a food processor.) Add the dill and mix to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper, but use a light hand with the salt because the lox is salty.
3. Put the muffins on 4 plates, cut sides up. Spread a fourth of the dill cream cheese on the bottom (unbuttered) half of each muffin on each plate and top the cream cheese with 3 slices of lox.
4. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, using butter as needed, cook the eggs over easy or over medium to your liking. Season the eggs with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Top the lox on each sandwich with a cooked egg and top the egg with some of the drained pickled onions. Put the other muffin half on top, buttered side down, to make a sandwich. Repeat with the remaining muffins to make 4 sandwiches and serve immediately.