Monday, February 8, 2010

invite me over

Have you ever had banh mi? It's a delicious Vietnamese sandwich made with some combination of ground pork, grilled pork, pate, pickled vegetables, cilantro, chili peppers, sriracha hot sauce and mayonnaise on a baguette, and it's officially my favorite food that doesn't come out of my mother's kitchen.

I used to think banh mi was something you could only get at a restaurant, like chocolate lava cake and risotto (now two of my favorite things to cook). That all changed with the January issue of Bon Appetit. All I can say is...make this now. And then invite me over for dinner.

Pork Meatball Banh Mi
adapted from Bon Appetit, January 2010

Chili mayo:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 Tbs. hot chili sauce, like sriracha

Pickled vegetables:
3 carrots, cut into matchsticks
2 cucumbers, cut into matchsticks
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
3 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt

1 lb. ground pork
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 Tbs. fish sauce
1 Tbs. hot chili sauce, like sriracha
1 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt

4 10-inch individual baguettes or 4 10-inch-long pieces of baguette

Chili mayo: Stir all ingredients in small bowl. Season with salt. Cover and chill.

Pickled vegetables: Toss all ingredients in medium bowl; set aside.

Meatballs: Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Using moistened hands, roll meat mixture into 1-inch meatballs, about 1 scant Tbs. each. Saute meatballs in oil until brown and cooked through, turning often and lowering heat if browning too quickly, about 15 min.

Sandwiches: In medium bowl, toss carrots, cucumbers, rice vinegar, sugar and salt; set aside. Cut each baguette or baguette pieces horizontally in half. Pull out excess squishy bread. Spread with chili mayo. Arrange cilantro, meatballs and pickled vegetables on bread. Devour.