Monday, November 20, 2023

The B.L.A.S.T. with Mock Sourdough Buns

Have you ever craved a sandwich that combines the rich, buttery flavor of salmon, the creamy goodness of avocado, the smoky crunch of bacon, and the fresh burst of tomatoes and lettuce? I've got the perfect recipe for you: The BLAST.

Yes, the avocado on here is sliced too thick.
My mom was the one making this for her, so go wild if that's your thing!

The cold air and barren trees here are a continual reminder that my enjoyable time outside in the sun is nearing it's end. That doesn't mean I can't bring the taste of summer into the kitchen!
This massive sandwich, created by my partner and tweaked just a little, is a perfect meal for two - or use my mock sourdough recipe to make smaller buns and tuck into a single serving. The star of the BLAST is a thick, juicy salmon filet, seasoned to perfection with a blend of paprika and black pepper from the amazing Selefina Spices and grilled or broiled. As to the type of salmon - wild Pacific is our favourite, but we use Atlantic if it's not available or too expensive. Both are delicious! Paired with my homemade yogurt-dill sauce, this alone is a perfect addition to a meal!
Ideally, you want a nice crusty sourdough roll or hearty sourdough bread - something sturdy enough for the weight of the sandwich. My sourdough starter of almost 15 years died due to neglect in March (family emergencies > microbes) but I have a recipe for just-as-tangy mock sourdough that I use in a pinch. You can find it below, and I highly recommend it!
Once your sourdough (or mock sourdough), bacon of choice (we use turkey bacon exclusively here, but regular bacon is perfect too) and your salmon are prepared, A thin layer of yogurt-dill sauce is spread on both halves of the bun (or both slices of bread). Lettuce, tomato, salmon, bacon and avocado layer ontop - and the majority of the time it is quite the balancing act! You definitely want a large plate for this sandwich, since no matter how hard you try you'll get "escapee" bits. Word to the wise - you want thin slices of tomato and avocado here. Shingling the tomato and avocado slices helps keep them together a little better!
Of course, the variations on this are numerous. Here are a few my partner and I came up with:
  • Toast the bread / buns and rub the "inside" parts with a cut clove of garlic
  • Marinate the salmon in a lemon-garlic mixture
  • Grill / broil the salmon on top of lemon slices
  • Turn this into wraps using thick pitas or naan
While summer may be over, there's no reason we can't enjoy these with a perfectly paired drink! Henderson Brewing has both opened a RUSH themed bar in the YYZ airport and brought the RUSH themed beer into the USA, and given that my partner and I are huge RUSH fans I thought why not see what would play well? While the brewery has several RUSH beers that all sound delicious, the first release of Golden Ale with Starman on the front is, in my opinion, the perfect pairing for this sandwich. You can find it in Canada here and in the USA here. This isn't sponsored by the band or the brewery, this is just my love for the band and good beer shining through.

Mock Sourdough Rolls
Adapted from King Arthur Baking
Makes 10

1/2 cup cool water
1 cup whole wheat bread flour
1/8 tsp instant yeast

all of the starter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat bread flour
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp citric acid
1/4 tsp instant yeast

Egg Wash
1 large egg white
1/3 cup cool water
  1. Mix the starter ingredients together until smooth. Cover, and let stand on the counter for 12-18 hours.
  2. Combine all of the dough ingredients with the starter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
  3. Mix on medium speed for 8-10 minutes, until soft and mostly smooth. Dough may be a bit sticky, but this is normal.
  4. Cover and let rise for 3 hours (you'll need less if your kitchen is warm).
  5. Deflate the dough, fold it over a couple times, then place back in the bowl and let rise 1 hour.
  6. Repeat step 5 once more.
  7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface and divide in 10. 
  8. Shape the pieces into balls or long rolls. For buns, make a smooth "skin" by rolling on the counter with cupped hands. For long rolls, flatten the dough into rectangles and roll up tightly, pinching the seam closed.
  9. Place rolls on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover lightly and let rise 1 1/2 hours, until puffy but not doubled.
  10. Place rolls in the fridge for 2 hours (you can skip this step, but the buns will flatten more).  
  11. Heat the oven to 425°F.
  12. Mix together the egg wash ingredients. Brush over the chilled rolls.
  13. Slash down the middle of each long roll, or make an x in the top of each round bun.
  14. Bake 20 - 25 minutes.
  15. Turn off the oven, crack the door and allow the rolls to cool in the oven

Makes 2 single-serving BLASTS
1 (6-oz) filet salmon
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt

  1. Remove the salmon from the fridge and pat dry. Let stand on the counter while you heat the oven and make the rub.
  2. Place the oven rack about 6" below the broiler. Turn the broiler to HI.
  3. Mix the rub ingredients together and sprinkle over the salmon on both sides (if your filet is skinless). you may not need all the rub.
  4. Place the salmon on a greased baking sheet and broil 6-8 minutes, until done to your liking,

Yogurt-Dill Sauce
Makes 1/3 cup
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 tbsp dried dill
1 tsp crushed garlic
1/4 tsp sweet paprika

  1. Mix all ingredients together. Store in the fridge.

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