My Take on Banh Mi

Banh Mi with BeefWhile living in Dallas, Texas, I would often frequent the markets on the weekends. Typically the Mexican supermercados as they were in abundance, however, I would also visit quite a few Asian markets. The reason being is that all of their ingredients were much more fresh, and cheaper than the traditional grocery store. During my weekend visits to the Asian markets, which were typically located in Asian districts and embedded in plazas, I would stop in one of the smaller stores that were serving food. I would not call them restaurants because there was lack of seating, however they did serve food from the counter. One of these stores served the Banh Mi. If you have never had a Banh Mi, you have to try one in your lifetime. Banh Mi typically means salad sandwich, served with cucumber, tomato, and carrot on a french bread loaf.
The Vietnamese did this sandwich right, and the variations were typically with pork, either steamed pork, or a barbecued pork. The bbq pork was one that I really loved. The flavors were awesome and had a bit of vinegar and spice that just went well as a sandwich. I have been thinking of this sandwich for some time now, and finally got around to making it, well, making it my way.

Banh Mi with BeefInstead of using pork, I had some nice beef that was marinating in oyster sauce, sesame oil, black pepper, and of course garlic. I cut the steak in thin slices and broiled them, as my grill was not accessible due to the snow. I also served this on a rustic Italian loaf that I made that morning. My wife loved the sandwich so much, I cannot wait to make her one with the pork.

Ingredients:

  • French or Italian Bread
  • Marinated Beef (oyster sauce, garlic, pepper, sesame oil), sliced
  • Cucumber, thinly sliced
  • Cilantro
  • Romaine lettuce, sliced
  • Carrot, shredded
  • 2-3 tbs of rice wine vinegar
  • Splash of soy sauce
  • Splash of sesame oil
  • Black Pepper

Combine the vegetables in a bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, black pepper, sesame oil, and soy sauce to make the dressing. Add the dressing to the bowl of sliced vegetables and toss to coat.

Now that your meat has already been cooked through the broiler, slice your bread, add the steak, and wrap in foil. Add to a preheated 400-degree oven for roughly five minutes, as you only want the bread to warm through. Remove from the oven and add a nice amount of vegetables to the top. Add your top slice of bread, and get ready to rumble. This one is a sandwich you will most likely come back to throughout the year. Enjoy.

Chicken Wing – Round 2

Chicken Wings with garlic and oyster sauceAs you might have noted, I love chicken wings. This recipe is my default when it comes to wings, as I love the slow cooking process, then throwing them on the grill to crisp them up. This one is good all year round.
Ingredients:

  • Chicken Wings
  • Oyster Sauce
  • Garlic, about 1 bulb, chopped
  • 2 tbs of black pepper

Wash your wings and pat dry.

Depending on the amount of wings you are cooking, you will have to adjust your ingredients to match your party. I typically make about 18-24 wings and will let the recipe ride off that.

Keep in mind that you do not want a heavy marinade, just a simple coating.

Add about 10 tablespoons of oyster sauce into a bowl that will allow the chicken to be tossed to marinade. Add the chopped garlic, and black pepper. Coat evenly.

Place your wings in a corning ware dish, and cover with foil and let them marinade for about one hour. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and bake for nearly two hours. Yes, I like my wings cooked, and a bit dry. Why? Because they are a good snack with cold beer.

Once cooked in the oven, let cool. Then fire up the grill and cook on low heat, turning on occasion. The goal is to build a gelatenous texture, dark golden, and crispy.

Try dipping them in the Thai Barbecue Sauce. Trust me, these are worth waiting for.

Coleslaw

Sweet and Spicy Coleslaw with RibsColeslaw is a reason to eat cabbage. It really is. Cabbage, in my opinion is only used in my household for stir-fry, and on St. Patrick’s Day, otherwise, ‘slaw’. I dry rubbed some ribs a couple of days ago with my seasoning, and slow cooked them for about an hour in the oven last night. Tonight’s dinner was ribs, but the ribs needed some friends on the plate. I quickly asked my wife what she thought should go on the plate and her response was rice and salad. She was quickly (and silently denied) as I thought of something more playful, as well as something the kids might enjoy, and came up with coleslaw and french fries.

As stated, we do eat a whole lot of cabbage throughout the year; a potential slaw dish or two in the summer, and a few stir-fry’s throughout the year that might include the cabbage. But something that goes well with barbecue is slaw. This slaw dish is another one that is way too easy to make, and as I would consider, a sweet and spicy slaw.

Dry Ingredients:

  • Purple Cabbage, roughly 3 cups finely chopped
  • Green Cabbage, roughly 4 cups finely chopped
  • One Carrot, shredded
  • One Yellow Onion, finely sliced

Dressing:

  • 1 1/2 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbs of mayonnaise
  • 1 tbs of dijon mustard
  • 2 tbs of white sugar
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • small pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of red cayenne pepper

Sweet and Spicy Coleslaw with RibsIn a mixing bowl, add your sliced vegetables and toss to mix. In a smaller bowl, add the dressing items and mix well. Pour onto the mixed vegetables and mix really well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let set for at least one hour. This slaw comes out with a sweetness and a bit of a, fresh and wonderful bite. Enjoy.

Bagna Calda

Bagna CaldaBagna calda you ask? I thought the same thing when my sister-n-law mentioned how good this was, and was also heavily supported by my brother-n-law. This recipe is made once a year by the Gaughn family, and we all know that if you are going to make a dish once a year, it has got to be good. Well, I finally got around to making bagna calda. I consider this dish a warm bath filled with love. Not only that, but one that is way too simple to make.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 6 anchovie filets
  • 8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Dash of pepper
  • French bread, cut in large cubes
  • Fresh vegetables, I used the following
    • Brocoli
    • Cauliflower
    • Red Bell Pepper
    • Zucchini

Start by cleaning and preparing your vegetables. Trim the cauliflower and broccoli into florets for easy dipping. Take the other and cut them into large quarter slices. Keep in mind that you and your guests will use skewers or toothpicks to dip into the bagna calda.
Bagna Calda with anchovies Once prepared, heat the butter, oil, garlic, and anchovie filets on medium to low heat. Occasionally stir the to melt away the anchovies. Keep the heat on low, and if possible transfer to a fondue plate or some type of warming dish. When you are ready, dip your vegetables, and bread into the bagna calda, and enjoy with a glass of your favorite wine. After having this as an appetizer, I thought that it would also be good drizzled over steamed vegetables later in the week. Remember, it’s all good.