OH it’s so sad to bid farewell to Matt Wilkinson this week, after a stellar month of ‘Sandwich Club’! Today’s final instalment is Matt’s current favourite from the Pope Joan menu – ‘The Smoker’. It’s a simple smoked salmon sandwich, brought to life with the addition of a zingy saffron mayo, and perfectly complemented by the soft, slightly sweet corn bread from Phillippa’s bakery. Big thanks again to Matt for sharing his award-winning sangas with us this month! – Lucy.
‘The Smoker’ smoked salmon sandwich on corn bread, from Matt Wilkinson of Pope Joan / Hams & Bacon. Photo – Sean Fennessy.
There is this famous scene in one of Anthony Bourdain’s TV shows where he is eating a meal at The French Laundry and Mr Thomas Keller sends him out a course that has tobacco in it. I would love to say that the title of this sandwich has a similar story but, well… it doesn’t.
It’s actually a sandwich by my head chef Jason Newton and it is my favourite sandwich at the moment. It takes me back to being in Spain when I’d eat it – I love it when a food can bring back that much memory and emotion by simply putting it in your mouth. It’s something about the beautiful soft, slightly sweet corn bread from Phillippa’s bakery, and salted zucchini with cos lettuce dressed in a saffron mayo (funny because as a rule I dislike saffron, I must have had too many over saffroned bisques and risottos). But the true star is the smoker himself: New Zealand Regal Salmon. We have it for sale in Hams & Bacon and I have been fortunate enough to be flown out to NZ to see the hatchery, sea farm and processing plant, and I all I can say is that it is world class.
The salmon is smoked in using Manuka wood giving it amazing flavour. Their farming methods are second to none, they do not use GM pellets, and the hatchery is some of the cleanest water in the world. The salmon breed they use is the Chinook breed (northern pacific) rather than Atlantic salmon, which I think not only has a better flavour but the omega count and natural oils in the fish are also simply far superior.
I hope you enjoy this sandwich as much as I do, perhaps it’ll also take you back to some other place or fond memory like it does for me.
‘The Smoker’ ingredients. Photo - Sean Fennessy.
For the bulk of the sandwich
200g New Zealand Regal cold smoked Manuka salmon
8 slices of your favourite sandwich bread (we use Phillipa’s corn bread for this recipe)
8 leaves of cos lettuce or whatever crisp leaves may be growing in your garden at the time
Butter to spread
For the salted zucchini
1 small zucchini thinly sliced
½ tbsp table salt
For the saffron mayo
1 cup mayonnaise
1 pinch saffron threads
200 ml verjuice
Juice of ½ a lemon
For the pickled carrots
1 large carrot
100ml white vinegar
50g castor sugar
Method (Serves four)
This sandwich takes just as long to make as it does to eat aka it is super easy and quick to make! To kick things off let’s start with the saffron mayo. Place verjuice and saffron in saucepan and on a low heat simmer until you have approximately 50ml worth of liquid. Cool and fold through mayonnaise with lemon juice, then sit it aside.
Then we thinly slice the zucchini – we are attempting to slice them at a paper thing consistency. Once you’ve sliced your zucchini mix with salt and let it rest for five minutes, then pat dry.
While waiting the zucchini to rest, we’ll pickle the carrots. Take your carrot, peel it, then cut it into small batons julienne style. It is now time to place the remaining ingredients for this pickled carrot component of this recipe including the water, white vinegar and castor sugar into a saucepan over a low heat. Keep these ingredients on the flame until the sugar has dissolved by ensuring you’re continuously stirring the liquid mixture. Once the sugar has dissolved, pour it over your pretty carrot batons and leave to cool.
Okay the hard work is done, now let’s put it between between some bread! Butter your bread and put the salmon on top of it. Now to a small bowl add one tablespoon of saffron mayo, and a good hand of pickled carrot and salted zucchini and mix all the ingredients together so that they are nicely coated in the saffron mayo. Now place this mixed mixture on your bread, topped with some crunchy cos lettuce. The Smoker is now ready to be chomped.
P.S. As it keeps well, you’ll find there’s a bit of mayo and pickled carrot left for tomorrow’s lunch!
Sandwich ingredients being combined. Photo - Sean Fennessy.
MASSIVE thanks to Matt Wilkinson for joining us this month and sharing his impressive sandwich repertoire! If you’d rather leave your sandwich preparation in the hands of the experts, you could always pop in to Pope Joan and/or Hams and Bacon Produce Store at 75-79 Nicholson st in Brunswick East, where you will find this and many more amazing sandwiches on the menu! We’re gonna miss you Matt!