Thursday, April 23, 2009

moules marinaire

Oh man I made these so long ago I can barely remember how I made them..and now I feel really, really lazy... Ok, well, first you have to soak the mussels in cold water for a bit to get the sand out. Then scrub them, if they're lookin dirty or whatever. Ok, then chop some garlic and shallots. Put a tablespoon or two of olive in a big pot. Saute the garlic and shallots for a minute or two, then dump in the mussels and a cup of white wine, then cover and turn down heat so the mussels steam. Cook them for about, oh I don't know...7 or 8 minutes? Until most of them open up. Then, scoop them out with a slotted spoon and put in a pretty bowl. Then, add to the juices in the pan: a few tablespoons of butter, and a tablespoon or two of dijon mustard, and bring this to a quick boil. Then pour it over the mussels. The end!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Bahn Mi Bonanza!

I didn't really have a Bahn Mi "Bonanza", I just like alliteration.
These are amazing vietnamese sandwiches that bring together the beauty of french baguettes and mayonnaise (which is originally french, right?), with the tangy southeast asian flavors of fish sauce and pickled vegetables. And they are very easy to make. Unless, like me, you go to the Chinese grocery store to look for pickled daikon and carrots, bringing along two small children who spend the whole trip alternating between holding their noses and begging for Pocky. This was very distracting and I never found pickled daikon & carrots, so I had to buy daikon and carrots fresh and pickle them myself. Which wasn't really hard, just a pain in the ass. It would have been easier if I could've gotten the shredding attachment on the food processor to work, and didn't have to julienne two pounds of vegetables myself. I'm not complaining, it's just that I'm a really slow cutter. I need knife lessons.
Here are the ingredients to make the version of Bahn Mi that I made, but bear in mind that Bahn Mi can have all kinds of different things in them, so don't feel limited.
Pickled carrots and daikon
Red onions
Here is the pork recipe:
2 pounds of pork chops, or similar, cut into small slices
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 Tbs fish sauce
4 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs freshly ground black pepper
4Tbs finely chopped onion, or shallot
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp sesame oil
Mix everything except the pork in a ziploc bag. Then add the pork and let it marinate for at least an hour. Heat up a pan fairly hot and fry the pork but good.
I guess you could halve this recipe, but why would you?
Ok, here is the pickled daikon and carrot recipe, if you find yourself needing it:
1/2 pound carrots, shredded or julienned or similar
1/2 pound daikon, cut up like the carrots
3 cups warm water
3 Tbs rice vinegar
3 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs salt
Pack the daikon and carrots into a clean jar. Mix all the other ingredients together until dissolved. Then pour this mixture into the jar. Put this in the fridge and leave for a few days before you use it, ideally. (I had to use it after a few hours, so I had to sprinkle extra vinegar on the sandwich to make up for it)
This recipe, on the other hand, I already halved for you, because I pickled two pounds of vegetables, which turns out to be quite a lot, unless you are going to eat this all the time. But feel free to double it back if you wish.
I doubt that you need instructions on how to assemble a sandwich, but... here you go:
Cut a piece of baguette open, spread mayonnaise on it, add sriracha, layer pork, cilantro, cucumbers, pickled vegetables in whatever ratios you want. Enjoy!