Sunday, August 12, 2012

The sandwich days of summer.

Blackened salmon with caper remoulade and red slaw. © Ryan Schierling

Ah, the salad days of summer. Who can forget those times of carefree frivolity and youthful enthusiasm, of innocence and sweet naiveté?

Back in the moderate month of May, we tackled five cucumber salads in five days. It was the perfect prelude to summer preparation. Now, we're in the thick of it in Austin – 100-plus-degree days, the sun beating down like a white-hot smith's hammer on our garden plots, perspiration aplenty. We spend cooler evening-time hours on the deck drinking aguas frescas and the occasional ice-cold wheat beer mixed with Limonata. Dinners are small, fresh – and while usually thrown together – well-planned for a minimum of ingredients. So we try to let those ingredients shine.

We're on to the sandwich days of summer.

And tonight, the salmon is King, dirtied with a little blackened seasoning and cooked on a ripping hot cast-iron skillet on the grill. Individual baguettes are split and toasted, brushed with a caper and parsley remoulade and adorned with a bright slaw of red cabbage and red onion. This easy summer fish sandwich couldn't ask for anything more.

Fish on bread II

Serves eight.

Blackened salmon

1 pound wild-caught salmon filet, pin bones removed
8 individual baguette rolls or sandwich rolls
blackened seasoning

Remove skin and cut the salmon into eight equal pieces. Sprinkle blackened seasoning generously over the fish and shake off any excess. Place a cast-iron skillet on your grill grate over hot coals. Drizzle a little olive oil onto the skillet. Cook fish, depending on thickness, 3-4 minutes per side, until a there's a nice char on the outside and the internal temperature is 125-degrees. The fish will begin to flake. Remove to a plate and tent with foil.


1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons capers
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, minced

Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until incorporated. Spoon into a bowl and refrigerate until sandwiches are ready to be assembled.


1/2 head of red cabbage, sliced thin
1 small red onion, julienned
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon salt

Slice the cabbage and onion and combine in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and let stand for 1 hour. Combine sugar and vinegar and stir well until the sugar is dissolved. Drizzle over onion and cabbage mixture, mix well and refrigerate at least one hour, or ideally, overnight.

Lightly toast sandwich rolls in the oven. Split and assemble sandwiches. 

For another summer fish sandwich, see Of loaves and fishes from the archives.

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