Persephone’s Deli | Salmon on Rye

When I worked in South Orange, New Jersey, there was a little tiny delicatessen (the Town Hall Deli) that claimed to have invented the sloppy joe.  This is not a manwich (i.e., can o’ sauce over ground round).  This is a serious sandwich with usually a couple of types of meat (the original had slices of tongue), cheese, coleslaw and housemade russian, all on rye.  Good stuff.  Those sandwiches could feed a small classroom of fourth graders.  They were huge

Tonight I continued with a Hanukkah theme.  I made the PK version, and wisely made them smaller.  A single slice of toasted rye was slathered with homemade Russian dressing, topped with slices of caraway gouda from Oakvale Farmstead, and piled with celeriac remoulade and pan-seared salmon.

South Orange Salmon Sloppy Joe

For the remoulade and dressing

2 egg yolks

1 peeled garlic clove, minced

1/2 t salt

1 c olive oil

1/2 pound celeriac, peeled and shredded using a box grater or a shred blade on a food processor  PK tip: halve or quarter a celeriac, then lay it flat side down on a cutting board and peel with a vegetable peeler to remove all the tough outer skin.  Rinse under cool water.  Dress quickly, since celeriac has a tendency to brown.

1 heaping tablespoon of Chinese chili paste, further minced

2 or 3 cornichons, minced

4 splashes of worcestershire

2 slices of rye bread, toasted

1/2 pound salmon filet (or two quarter pound), seasoned with salt, pepper and a tiny drizzle of olive oil just before you cook it

Several slices of Oakvale Caraway Gouda

Whisk together the egg yolks, minced garlic and salt.  Add in a couple of drops of the olive oil, whisk throughly to incorporate.  Add in more oil, a tablespoon at a time, taking care to really whisk well between additions.  This will make a thick mayonnaise.  Not a thin dressing.  If it’s thin, it’s split and you’ll need to start by pouring the mixture back with the olive oil.  Add a new egg yolk to the bowl and whisk hard to incorporate, then begin adding back the oil and egg in tiny additions.  Take your time.  You’ll give your arms a good workout.  Nice and thick?  Congratulations.  It’s garlic aioli.  You’ll have a bit leftover for sandwiches.   Woot.

Add three to four heaping tablespoons of the mayonnaise to the shredded celeriac, stir to combine.  Refrigerate until it’s time to assemble the sandwich.

In a small bowl, mix two tablespoons of the mayonnaise along with the chili paste, cornichons and worcestershire.  Set aside.

Pan sear the salmon, divide in two (if necessary).

To assemble:

Slather each piece of toast with half the Russian dressing.  Layer pieces of caraway gouda, then pile on a bit of the celeriac remoulade.  Top with the salmon.

Tonight’s dinner was enjoyed with a San Simone Friuli DOC Grave, available locally at Weiland’s.  This was an extremely good pairing, and this is a wine well worth seeking out.  Not only was it perfect with dinner, it was perfect for sipping while washing up.

Playlist included For Nancy (‘Cos It Already Is), by Pete Yorn.


2 thoughts on “Persephone’s Deli | Salmon on Rye

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