Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Italian Sausage Banh Mi

I have a real love for Asian fusion food.  I'm obsessed with Korean tacos....add kimchi with corn tacos?  HEAVEN!  I am not exaggerating when I say that when I, or one of my colleagues, see the Korean taco trucks are parked outside of my work, I will jump and get three gut stuffing tacos.  And enjoy them until I can barely move.

But it's not just tacos.  When we were in Napa a couple of months ago, one of the best, simplest and most mouthwatering dish I had was a duck banh mi sandwich at Napa's Kitchen Door at the Oxbow Market.

Bahn mi is Thai sandwich that comes in a million different variations, but includes at least three key ingredients: pork, pickled things, and bread.  But I've come across all sorts of combinations.  In particular, I found this country pâté banh mi from Food & Wine magazine.

I thought it would be great to try.  But then I was reminded by Brett that I had left out some awesome Italian sausage that I had picked up last week from the farmer's market.  So, revisions needed to be made.  While I stuck with some of the sides that F&W had outlined (the tofu spread, pickled jalapenos, cilantro) and added some more things, like sliced jicama, I substituted the pâté with homemade Italian sausage meatballs.  Oh, and nothing is complete without Sriracha.

The sandwich was great.  Brett reflected that it was worth of our favorite sandwich place in DC, SUNdeVICH.  Which...I should note is an enormous compliment, as he was just cursing me for introducing him to SUNdeVICH last week because he is so obsessed.

I promise, you'll enjoy!  And if you want to scale back on the heat, you could do pickles versus pickled jalapenos, and don't need to add the Sriracha.  Although.....it's an awesome amount of heat!

4 hot Italian sausages
2 T chopped fresh basil
1/2 T lime zest
1 t ground pepper
2 ounces silken tofu
1 T Dijon mustard
1/2 T grated fresh lemongrass
1/2 T grated lime zest
1 T fresh lime juice
2 T vegetable oil
1/2 T Sriracha
1 carrot
1 C fresh cilantro
1 C jicama
24 pickled jalapeno slices
4 small french bread baguettes

Preheat the oven to 375°.  Remove the casings from the sausages (it's the skin-like substance on the outside).  Add the chopped fresh basil, lime zest and pepper in a bowl with the sausage.  Combine well with your hands. 

Form about 2 inch flattened meatballs and put on nonstick baking dish, or one lined with aluminum foil.  

Put in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, flipping the sausages once at about 15 minutes. 

Combine the tofu through the Sriracha.

The recipe from F&W suggests combining in a food processor but I decided instead to use my new fancy mortal & pestle. Because, well, I had just gotten it that day and when I get new shiny things I must. play. with.  them.  

Mine didn't really necessarily come out "smooth" or look like it could pass as a fancy mayo, but honestly, it was just as delicious.  I also used light tofu and not silken, which may have been why it turned out chunkier.

Shred the carrot and chop the jicama and cilantro and set aside.  All of the toppings should now be set. 

Cody really wanted some of the meatballs, but looked very rejected when I told him no.

Before the meatballs are done, cut the bread in half.  And then there's a trick we've learned from SUNdeVICH.  Using a spoon, scoop out some of the soft inside of the bread.  This helps lead to a better bread:toppings ratio.

Don't scoop it all out though. 

And now assemble the sandwich, once the meatballs are done.  You can see how I assembled it:

Meatballs and jicama on one side, and then the tofu spread, cilantro, carrots, jalapenos and some Sriracha added on top.  Smoosh together (yes, that is a very high cuisine term) and enjoy!!

1 comment:

  1. John just made these for us tonight. Delicious!