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Coming Soon...
Monday, Mar 18
All Day Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival (Sakura Matsuri)
All Day 26th Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
7:30 PM Book Signing: Susan Meissner
7:30 PM Stage: Spamalot
Tuesday, Mar 19
All Day Free Admission to Japanese Friendship Garden
All Day 26th Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival
All Day Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival (Sakura Matsuri)
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
7:30 PM Stage: Chaps!
7:30 PM Stage: Spamalot
8:00 PM Stage: Blurred at the Edges
Wednesday, Mar 20
All Day 26th Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival
All Day Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival (Sakura Matsuri)
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
2:00 PM Stage: Chaps!
6:00 PM Documentary: Our Lost Years
7:00 PM Stage: Les Misérables School Edition
7:30 PM Stage: Chaps!
8:00 PM Stage: Blurred at the Edges
Thursday, Mar 21
All Day 26th Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival
All Day Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival (Sakura Matsuri)
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
1:00 PM Talk: U.S. Trade Policy Toward China
4:00 PM Talk: The Political Lives of Cows, Rivers, and Mountains in Contemporary India
7:00 PM Stage: Les Misérables School Edition
7:30 PM Stage: Chaps!
8:00 PM Music: Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Friday, Mar 22
All Day 26th Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival
All Day Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival (Sakura Matsuri)
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
6:00 PM The 34th Annual International Expo & Cultural Fashion Show
6:00 PM Japanese Sake
7:00 PM Soccer Match: Mexico vs Chile
7:00 PM Stage: Les Misérables School Edition
7:30 PM Stage: Paul Rodriguez
8:00 PM Music: Puccini's Glorious Mass
8:00 PM Stage: Cabaret
8:00 PM Film: Degas: Passion for Perfection
8:00 PM Stage: Chaps!
9:30 PM Stage: Paul Rodriguez
Saturday, Mar 23
All Day 26th Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival
All Day Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival (Sakura Matsuri)
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
11:00 AM Japanese Brush Painting Exhibition
1:00 PM Talk: Archaeology on the Coronados Islands
4:00 PM Stage: Chaps!
7:00 PM Music: At Home with Bulgarian Music
7:00 PM Stage: Les Misérables School Edition
8:00 PM Stage: Chaps!
8:00 PM Stage: Cabaret
9:00 PM Music: Boogaloo Assassins
Sunday, Mar 24
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
11:00 AM House of Iran Lawn Program
11:00 AM Japanese Brush Painting Exhibition
2:00 PM Stage: Cabaret
2:00 PM Stage: Les Misérables School Edition
2:00 PM Stage: Chaps!
4:00 PM Indian Music: Prasanna
6:00 PM Brasil Jazz Festa
7:00 PM Stage: Paul Rodriguez
7:30 PM Music: Roberto Carlos
Monday, Mar 25
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
Tuesday, Mar 26
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
7:30 PM Stage: Chaps!
8:00 PM Stage: Blurred at the Edges
Wednesday, Mar 27
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
2:00 PM Stage: Chaps!
7:30 PM Stage: Chaps!
8:00 PM Stage: Blurred at the Edges
Thursday, Mar 28
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
7:30 PM Stage: Chaps!
8:00 PM Stage: Cabaret
Friday, Mar 29
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
8:00 PM Music: Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
8:00 PM Stage: Chaps!
8:00 PM Stage: Cabaret
Saturday, Mar 30
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
12:30 PM Hands on Kimchi Workshop & Beer Pairing
1:00 PM Music: Clinton Davis
4:00 PM Stage: Chaps!
8:00 PM Stage: Chaps!
8:00 PM Stage: Cabaret
Sunday, Mar 31
All Day Ongoing and Extended Events
11:00 AM Dance: House of Palestine Lawn Program
2:00 PM Stage: Chaps!
2:00 PM Stage: Cabaret
4:00 PM 16th Annual Festival of World Dances
Danish Smørrebrød
The Participant Observer recipe of the month is for Danish Smørrebrød. These little open-faced sandwiches are indicative of the Danish culinary identity, much like frikadeller (pan-fried meatballs), herring and rødkål (stewed red cabbage). This year-round favorite showcases versatility and tradition in a compact and flavorful package.

Danish Smoked Salmon Smørrebrød
Danish Smoked Salmon Smørrebrød

The term smørrebrød is a composite term. The word comes from "smør og brød," Danish for "butter and bread," and reflects the humble origins of this dish. As the story goes, 19th-century Danish factory workers began eating midday meals at work rather than home, which meant bringing dinner leftovers. These cold items were accompanied by the hearty and ubiquitous rugbrød (rye bread), resulting in filling, open-faced sandwiches that made the most of a household's food. Over the generations, these sandwiches have shrunk to almost bite-sized items featuring sweet, savory and salty toppings.

Using assorted leftovers for smørrebrød allows for significant variations. Toppings, or pålæg, can be comprised of Scandinavian classics like pickled herring (marinerede sild), cured meats, pork-liver pate (leverpostej), smoked fish, pickles, tomato, boiled eggs and a number of other items. These toppings often reflect a sense of seasonality with items like smoked mackerel and cucumber-radish salad being summer favorites and red cabbage and roast pork heralding Christmas. Practically anything can be put atop a piece of rugbrød and labeled smørrebrød.

While the combinations are endless, Danish culinary etiquette plays a role in the manner and sequence that smørrebrød are assembled. Custom dictates that mixing protein types on one bread is taboo, seafood should be followed by meat then cheese (often resulting in different plates and sets of silverware in restaurants), and bulky items should be the last to top the bread.

It is ironic that a dish that allows for considerable freedom in ingredients is highly regimented in its preparation. For those of us without the Danish cultural background, this may not be important, but for Danes the unspoken rules of preparation are as important as the dish itself. In the end, harmony is the ultimate goal and ingredients should complement each other and not overpower. The recipes below seek to achieve this aesthetic.

Key to any traditional smørrebrød is the particular type of rye bread used. It should be a heavy, dense, wholegrain and seeded rye, not the soft deli-style rye common here in the States. Pumpernickel is a good choice. If alternative breads are used, it is best if they are also dense, solid and able to handle the array of toppings. Unlike sandwiches eaten in the U.S., smørrebrød are customarily eaten with a fork and knife rather than hands, and butter is almost always spread on the bread.

Danish Smoked Salmon Smørrebrød:

Smørrebrød Ingredients:
  • 4 slices Danish rye or pumpernickel
  • 8 ounces sliced smoked salmon or gravlax
  • 2 French breakfast radishes, thinly sliced*
  • Dill sprigs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Smørrebrød Assembly
  1. Smear rye bread with a generous layer of horseradish sauce (see below).
  2. Top with salmon.
  3. Add sliced radish and dill.
  4. Season lightly with salt and black pepper.
* French breakfast radishes are similar to common red radishes but they are more oval in shape and milder in taste.

Horseradish Cream:

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh horseradish or 3 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon dill, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chive, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl until smooth.
  2. Season with salt and pepper.

American-Style Roast Beef Smørrebrød:

Ingredients:
  • 2 slices crusty bread (Pumpernickel or Bread & Cie's Country Levain works well)
  • Unsalted butter
  • 4 slices of roast beef, depending on thickness (tri-tip works well)
  • 1 teaspoon Danish remoulade (see recipe below)
  • 3-4 slices Scandinavian pickles (see recipe below)
  • 1 green onion (scallion), cleaned and thinly sliced

Preparation:
  1. Smear butter in a thick layer onto the bread.
  2. Top bread with beef.
  3. Dress with remoulade.
  4. Top with Scandinavian pickles.
  5. Finish with thinly sliced green onion.

Roast Beef Smørrebrød
Roast Beef Smørrebrød

Remoulade (Dressing):

Ingredients:
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Scandinavian pickle, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon capers, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Madras curry powder (optional) or 1/4 teaspoon horseradish (optional)
Preparation:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth.


Simple Scandinavian Pickles (Agurkesalat):

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound hothouse cucumbers
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Brine solution (see below)
Preparation:
  1. Using a knife or a mandoline, slice the cucumbers into very thin (2mm) rounds.
  2. Place the slices into a large non-reactive bowl and add salt, tossing gently to combine.
  3. Let the cucumbers cure for 15 minutes.
  4. Drain excess moisture from the cucumbers by gently pressing the slices down with your hand and pouring off accumulated water.
  5. Transfer the cucumbers to a jar and cover with the brine. Let the mixture sit two hours before eating.
  6. The cucumbers will keep for about a week without losing their texture.
Brine Ingredients:
  • 1 cup white vinegar (5%)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Pickling spices (optional)
Brine Preparation:
  1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and whisk in sugar until dissolved.
  2. If using, add pickling spices to the boiling mixture and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Cut the heat and stir in vinegar to combine.
  4. Cool the solution to at least room temperature before using.
Recipes and Photos by Liam Fox
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