My care is like my shadow
Laid bare beneath the sun
It follows me at all times
And flies when I pursue it
I freeze and yet am always burned
Since from myself again I turn
I love and yet am forced to hate
I seem stark mute; inside I prate
Some gentler love doth ease itself
Into my heart and mind
For I am soft and made of snow
Love, be more cruel or so be kind
I’m sure that many of us can, on some level, relate to the struggle of having to hide a deep and perhaps unacceptable love. I don’t wish to sully by comparison but this is pretty much how I feel about how various items of food. This sandwich, for example, probably fills some of you with horror because of the very fact of its existence. That’s fine. Personally, I’m quite fond of how the strength of the smoked mackerel and cheese is balanced by the slight sweetness of the roasted chilli paste. There’s also the contrast in textures: crisp bread, melted cheese, silky smoked fish. I like it with a crisp apple on the side.
P.S. If like many people on the internet you enjoy Tom Hardy, you’ll probably enjoy ‘The Virgin Queen.’ For me Anne-Marie Duff is the main attraction. I will not comment on the historical accuracy for various reasons, but I will say that some of the smaller details, e.g. use of miniature portraits, were interesting.
SMOKED MACKEREL, CHEDDAR CHEESE AND NAM PRIK PAO TOASTED SANDWICH (Inspired by Leela’s post on Nam Prik Pao)
2 slices white bread, not too thick.
1 piece smoked mackerel, not too salty.
About 50g medium-strength cheddar cheese – as much as you can pile onto each slice of bread, basically.
About 2 tablespoons nam prik pao
Butter, soft and spreadable, if pan-frying
You can assemble these sandwiches according to the equipment you have. I have given the two methods I’ve used here.
Overhead grill: Toast the bread on both sides to your liking. Remove from the heat and generously spread nam prik pao on one side of each slice. You want to completely cover the bread to the edges in an opaque layer. Flake the fish into large pieces and arrange on one slice of bread. Heap the cheese onto the other slice of bread.
Grill on a low heat about 6 inches away from the element just until everything is heated through and the cheese has melted – keep an eye on everything so it doesn’t burn/dry out. Carefully sandwich the two slices together and serve immediately.
Pan/skillet: Set a pan or skillet on a low heat. Assemble the sandwich as it heats up. Generously spread nam prik pao on one side of each bread slice, right to the edges in an opaque layer. Flake the fish into large pieces and arrange on one slice of bread, then top with the cheese and close the sandwich.
Spread the outside of this top bread slice with butter. Lower the sandwich buttered-side down into the waiting pan. Butter the exposed side of the sandwich. Cook for a couple of minutes on either side until the outside is well browned and the cheese has melted. Keep the heat fairly low and do not move the sandwich around too much. Flip the sandwich onto the first side to re-heat it a little at the end. Eat right away.