2 small-medium egg yolks
1⁄2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup vegetable oil (e.g. canola, safflower, etc.)
1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
1 firmly packed teaspoon saffron threads

1⁄2 lb. skinless salmon filet
2 teaspoons sour cream
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves

eight 1⁄8”slices of good white bread (cut them yourself
from a Pullman loaf)
about 1⁄4 lb. of lightly salted butter, at room temperature
11⁄2 lbs. fine smoked salmon, cut into thin, broad slices
8 full sprigs of very fresh dill (each sprig should be a few
inches long)
32 thin slices of hard-boiled egg, at room temperature
4 ounces of salmon roe (see Salmon Roe Note below)
4 teaspoons very finely minced red onion

1. Make the mayo. Place the yolks in the work bowl of a food processor, along with the mustard, salt and lemon juice. Process for 10 seconds. With the motor running, add the oil, drop by drop at first. After a few tablespoons have been added, start adding oil in a thin stream. Continue until all the oil is added and the mayonnaise has thickened. Warm the white-wine vinegar carefully in a very small saucepan over low heat. As soon as it’s warm, remove it from the heat and add the saffron threads, combining well. Let soak for 10 minutes. Add vinegar and saffron threads to the mayo, blend well, taste for seasoning (you may add additional salt and/or lemon juice). Reserve in refrigerator.

2. Make the salmon tartare. Chop the salmon filet until you have medium-fine pieces. Place them in a bowl, and blend well with sour cream, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and chopped tarragon leaves. Taste for seasoning. reserve in refrigerator.

3. Assemble the smørrebrød. Lay out the 8 slices of bread on the counter. Top each with a schmear of butter (I like to use at least a tablespoon on each slice; some like to use more). Place about 3 ounces of smoked salmon slices on each piece of bread; the slices should be arranged so that they’re evenly distributed over the bread, and so that they’re slightly hanging over the bread’s crust, making the crust invisible on all four sides of each piece.

4. Place a heaping tablespoon of saffron mayonnaise at the center of each smørrebrød; it should be arranged in a long, cylindrical shape, about 2” long and quite narrow. Top the mayo on each sandwich with a long sprig of dill.

5. Immediately to the left of the mayo on each sandwich, place two slices of hard-boiled egg. Do the same immediately to the right of the mayo on each sandwich. The two slices on each side should be placed like the red and green of a traffic light (one above the other), NOT like two eyes (next to each other); they should be flush against the mayonnaise, and well within the border of the crust.

6. Top the hard-boiled egg slices on the left of each sandwich with a heaping tablespoon of salmon roe; arrange the roe centrally on the eggs, or let it spill artistically over them. Top the hard-boiled egg slices on the right of each sandwich with a heaping tablespoon of the salmon tartare; arrange the tartare centrally on the eggs, or let it spill artistically over them.

7. Sprinkle each smørrebrød with a little bit of minced red onion, distributing the onion evenly. Garnish with additional dill, if desired. Serve immediately.

Salmon Roe Note:
Finding salmon roe is pretty easy these days: aside from Japanese shops, most general fancy groceries carry it in small glass jars, right near the smoked salmon section. But I want to alert you to what I seriously believe to be the greatest salmon roe I’ve ever tasted. It is called Yarra Valley Hand-Milked Salmon Caviar, and comes from the state of Victoria, in Australia, in 3.5-ounce tubs (with a 35-day shelf-life under refrigeration). The color is like orange candy—but a paler orange candy than the shade you may be used to in salmon roe. The texture is astonishing: really crunchy, poppy, with a bit of “shell” to chew on as you crush the eggs between your teeth (sort of like the skin of a Concord grape). Extraordinary taste: fresh, clean, intensely briny, but not in the least fishy or bitter. The “purest” salmon egg I’ve ever had, with a little eggy complexity for extra measure. The company claims to be the only freshwater aquaculture farm in the world that uses a “natural” method of harvesting roe: the salmon are put to sleep, and then “hand-milked.” I don’t know if this accounts for the difference—but I can tell you that this amazing stuff is sure different!

Don’t even think of drinking Diet Pepsi or iced tea with your smørrebrød! If you really want to be a Viking, you must drink a glass of frozen akvavit with every big bite, followed by a chaser of icy cold beer. Keep the two at hand, on ice, on the table. My favorite akvavit in the U.S. just happens to be Danish—the one from Aalborg that’s just 40% alcohol (I far prefer it to the hotter, richer Aalborg Jubilauems). It is imported by Absolut Spirits, New York, NY, and costs about $17 for 750 ML. As for beer—any crisp, hoppy lager will do. But for the sake of sentimentality—why not drink Carlsberg, the excellent lager of a company based in Copenhagen? Of course, the Carlsberg beer we get in the U.S. is brewed in Canada.

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