Monday, April 16, 2012

The Sandwich that Changed My Life: Shrimp Broodje

Maybe not the sandwich, but the man who fed it to me.

It's been over 20 years since I took that adventurous trip to Club Med, Turks and Caicos Islands. I had just graduated from law school and passed the bar exam, but needed a break before starting my career. My law school sweetheart was anxious to start his, so I went alone. A few rum-laced kisses turned into a long distance relationship with Rob, who lived in the Netherlands, and Mark was history.

During my first visit to Holland, Rob introduced me to a Shrimp Broodje. Our romance eventually fizzled, but the memory of that shrimp broodje lives on. When I received one of the weekly chef recipes from Tasting Table, Dutch Slider - Amsterdam Takes on the Small Bite, I hoped it was a recipe for that Shrimp Broodje I so fondly recall. Almost, but not quite.

Dutch Broodjes (pronounced Bro-chess), are small sandwiches or sliders. They are also the specialty of Amsterdam Bar & Hall, in St. Paul, MN, where chef Thom Lowe creates inventive versions such as beer-braised smoked-pork broodjes and shrimp-and-squid broodjes. I made the shrimp and squid broodjes yesterday, which are flavored with a homemade curry mayonnaise laced with cardamom and Sriracha. Instead of sliders, I used fresh Brioche buns.

Trapper appears quite disinterested here, but I assure you he perked right up when I brought the platter of broodjes out to the patio. I envision a Dutch-themed concert in the park this summer, with all sorts of broodjes.

Shrimp and squid (rings and tentacles) are quickly sauteed in olive oil with minced onions and garlic

The seafood is allowed to cool and then refrigerated for at least an hour
The sauce is easily prepared while the seafood chills.
The seafood is folded into the sauce, with a few chopped scallions, and served on slider rolls or buns.

Curried Shrimp and Calamari Broodje
From Tasting Table (Recipe adapted from Thom Lowe, Amsterdam Bar & Hall, St. Paul, MN)
Yield: 8 broodje (sliders) or 4 full-size sandwiches
Cook Time: 10 minutes plus 1 hour chill time


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ pound (16 to 20) shrimp cut into 1-inch pieces
½ pound squid with tentacles--cleaned, bodies cut into rings and tentacles left whole (or use one pound of either shrimp or squid)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced on a bias
8 small soft rolls or slider buns, or 4 soft sandwich rolls

½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon mild curry powder (I used Madras Hot Curry Powder)
¾ teaspoons ground cardamom
¾ teaspoons Sriracha or sambal chile sauce


1. Make the broodje: In a large skillet, over medium high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the minced onion and garlic and stir often until the onions soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Increase the heat to high. Once the onions just start to brown, add the shrimp and squid. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the seafood is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large plate or shallow bowl and allow cool about 10 minutes before covering with plastic wrap and chilling in the refrigerator, for at least 1 hour.

2. Make the mayonnaise: In a large bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, curry powder, cardamom and chile sauce.

3. Add the chilled seafood mixture and scallions to the mayonnaise and stir to combine. Slice the rolls open, top with the seafood and serve.

1 comment:

Carmen said...

Love, love, love the idea of a broodje challenge. I'd like to try a waterzooi too. Concert season is only four or five weeks away! A beach party at the foodie commune would be nice too!