Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Grilled Eggplant Bahn Mi Sandwich

This is just a whole bunch of awesome! Each component of this classic Vietnamese sandwich adds plenty of depth and character, so the dish as a whole is complex and amazing. 

One of our secrets here is adding a little cocoa powder to the Shiitake Mushroom Paté. My friend Tuyen, a Vietnamese chef, urged me to try it, and I've made my paté with cocoa ever since. It's strange how savory cocoa powder is without a bunch of sugar mixed with it. Somehow it's super meaty-tasting.

We make this same sandwich with fried eggs or pan-seared tofu in place of the eggplant, so don't feel tied to the idea of eggplant if you aren't a fan. The bright pickles, crunchy cucumber, herbaceous cilantro, savory paté, and rich sriracha mayo will play a brilliant supporting role to anything you want to throw in there.

Grilled Eggplant Bahn Mi Sandwich

Do Chua (recipe follows)
Shiitake Mushroom Paté (recipe follows)
Grilled Eggplant (recipe follows)
2 12-inch crispy baguettes
1/4 cup mayonaise
1 tablespoon sriracha
1 cucumber (sliced)
1 serrano or jalapeño (thinly sliced)
2 green onions (sliced)
cilantro leaves (to garnish)
2 medium limes (quartered)
sea salt (to taste)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Make the Do Choa, Shiitake Mushroom Paté, and Grilled Eggplant according to the recipes. In a 350-degree oven, warm the baguettes so the outside of them is nice and crispy. Split the baguette down one side and leave the other side intact (like a hinge). In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and sriracha to make sriracha mayo. Start assembling the sandwiches by spreading the sriracha mayo on the top and the paté on the bottom. Continue by adding eggplant, cucumber, hot pepper slices, sliced green onion, Do Chua, and garnish with cilantro leaves. Add sea salt to taste. 
Cut each sandwich in half and serve with lime wedges. (Makes 4 servings.)

Do Chua (pickled carrots and radish)

1 medium carrot
4 medium radish
1/4 cup water

1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 teaspoon honey

Thinly slice carrots and radishes using a mandolin or sharp knife. Place vegetables into a 1/2-pint mason jar. In a small pan over high heat, bring the water, vinegar, salt, and honey to a boil. Remove from heat and carefully pour over the vegetable in the jar. Place the lid on the jar and place in the fridge until ready to serve. (Makes 1/2 pint.) 

Shiitake Mushroom Paté

1 tablespoon olive oil or unsalted butter
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 cups sliced shiitake (about 10 ounces, stems and all)
1 large shallot, sliced (1/2 cup)

1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
Cracked black pepper (to taste)

In a large frying  pan over high heat, add the olive and sesame oil. Once the oil starts to shimmer, add the shiitake mushrooms and shallots. Allow mushrooms and shallots to pick up plenty of color from the pan before stirring; this gives your paté a deep flavor. Cook mushrooms for a total of 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup water and transfer the contents of the pan to your food processor. 

Add the soy sauce, cocoa powder, and cracked black pepper. Blend until very smooth. Place pâté in a bowl and in the fridge until ready to serve. (Makes about 1 cup.)

Grilled Eggplant

1 medium eggplant
1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
Cracked black pepper (to taste)

Preheat your outdoor grill to high -- or if a grill isn't available, use a cast-iron grill pan. Using a vegetable peeler, remove 1/2 of the eggplant skin in long strips. Slice eggplant into 1/2-inch rounds and place onto a rimmed baking sheet. In a small mason jar or bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar and shake it up to emulsify. Brush both sides of each eggplant slice with the mixture and add cracked black pepper to taste. 

Grill eggplant slices for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until well-marked by the grill grates. Remove and wrap slices in aluminum foil until ready to serve. (Makes 4 servings.)


Rahana's Cuisines said...

Quick and easy Curried Corn
This is a great instant side dish that goes well to accompany any meat dishes!
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
8-9 curry leaves
3 cups corn
2 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 lime juiced
1 tsp lemon pepper
citric acid per your taste (optional)
1 tsp aam chur powder (mango powder)
1 tsp dried parsley flakes (optional)
salt to taste
green chutney per your taste (optional)
Heat the olive oil and add the mustard seeds, once they pop add the curry leaves and tomato paste, let the mixture cook until it becomes fragrant and becomes darker in color, next go ahead and add the salt, citric acid, mango powder, lemon pepper, green chutney, and corn. Mix it well make sure all the ingredients are incorporated well, add the dried parsley flakes for adding a little color to it, make sure and not cook the corn too much you want it to be crispy. Lastly drizzle the lime juice and cilantro on it. Enjoy!

Rahana's Cuisines said...

Super Crunchy and Sweet Tortilla BitesCrispy tortillas fried and dipped in chasni or sugar syrup for a heavenly treat with a cup of black coffee or chai!
6 to 8 Tortillas
Canola oil for frying
Sugar Syrup or Chasni (Please refer to a video on how to make on You Tube)
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 thread sugar syrup
Sprinkles for garnish
Cut the tortillas according to the shape and size you want and start frying them on med heat and let become golden brown let cool down a bit lastly dip it in the chasni or sugar syrup and garnish with sprinkles and enjoy!!

Rahana's Cuisines said...

Quick and Delicious Coconut BarsDelicious Coconut Bars
3 1/2 cups desiccated un sweetened coconut
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
pinch of color of your choice
pinch of cardamom (optional)
pinch of rose essence (optional)
Melt the butter and add the condensed milk as soon as the milk starts bubbling just a little bit go ahead and add the color as this will help incorporate the color completely in the milk and if you are adding cardamom or essence add it at this time than go ahead and add the coconut mix well let cook for a while until softened. Set the mixture in a pyrex dish and let cool for about 20 to 25 min than cut with a plastic knife and garnish with nuts or plain desiccated coconut. For thick pieces I was able to get 25 pieces our of this measurement.... Enjoy