Monday, August 29, 2011

In the Kitchen: Banh For Mi!

Farm Cart Menu Board

Living in Athens, we have tons of amazing restaurant options. One of my favorites is The Farm Cart (lunch off-shoot of Farm 255). Mr. Fonty, Fonty Dog and I can be found on their patio most Mondays and Fridays around noon. I'm completely addicted to their Veggie Banh Mi.

A Banh Mi is a Vietnamese sandwich that has taken on a myriad of variations, but at the heart of a Banh Mi is always vegetables - pickled carrots, cabbage, daikon radishes, cilantro, and spicy mayonnaise. These sandwiches are delicious with marinated pork, sausage, or last night's leftovers.
Farm Cart's masterful creation
Visions of Banh Mi dance in my head...
Great, soft bread is the foundation of any good sandwich, and the Farm Cart gets their baguettes around the corner at Big City Bread. But the real secret to their veggie version of this sandwich is the perfectly hard-boiled eggs. I spent some time with Martha and Good Food Fast to master the art of hard boiling. I'm going to spend my summer eating this delightful sandwich.

Vegetarian Banh Mi
(makes 2)
1 Fresh baguette - cut in half and sliced lengthwise
1 Carrot shredded
Shredded cabbage
1/2 Purple onion
4 Hard boiled egg sliced (see instructions on prefect eggs below)
Handful of Arugula
1 tsp. Siracha
2 tbsp. Mayonnaise
Salt & Pepper
(optional items if you want to pickle your vegetables)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup distilled vinegar
Coarse Kosher salt
(Optional) Pickle your vegetables - Combine pickling liquids, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cool mixture and add shredded carrots, daikons, and onions. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or up to overnight.
Mix mayonnaise & Siracha.
Spread chili mayonnaise on both sides of the baguette, and bake at 450 until bread warmed. Stack the ingredients, starting with the eggs and finishing with the arugula & cilantro. Eat with excitement and vigor.
Here's another great looking recipe for a Pork Meatball Banh Mi from Bon Appetit.

Tips to Hard Boiling (From Good Food Fast)
It was within the last year that I realized the eggs I have been eating my entire life - the super dry, greenish yolk kind - were completely over cooked! No wonder I've been throwing the yolk away. This new technique makes eggs fool proof.
Put 4 eggs in a saucepan and cover with water 1 inch above the eggs. Cook on high heat until the water simmers. Once the water simmers. Remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 12 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Unpeeled eggs can be kept refrigerated for one week.
Simmer, simmer

Perfect eggs!

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