Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Banh Mi Francais

When I heard that the El Floridano foodtruck was going to be a couple blocks away from my job, I decided to go and get a sandwich.  El Floridano gives you a choice of three sandwiches.  The one that caught my attention was the Ho Chi Banh Mi, a Vietnamese sandwich.  Generally, a Banh Mi sandwich has some sort of meat or seafood, with a lot of vegetables and mayonnaise.  El Floridano's Banh Mi had some not-so Vietnamese ingredients, most notably, turkey meatloaf.  That got me thinking, what kind of Banh Mi can I make and how creative could I be?

I decided to make my own Banh Mi.  I decided to use use some French ingredients for this Vietnamese sandwich.  First and foremost, I decided to use Brillat Savarin, a French cheese that is very creamy and very good.  It is somewhat expensive and you can use Brie as a substitute.  I also decided to use oysters, which are also part of French cuisine.  You can substitute any meat for the oysters. With a french baguette and some fresh vegetables, we have the start to a great sandwich that is fairly easy to make.

A Chef Bolek Original 
Serves 2

1 dozen oysters
1 cucumber, sliced into thin strips
1 carrot, sliced in thin strips
1/2 red pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 bunch of cilantro, ripped a few times
1/2 pound of Brillat Savarin cheese (or brie cheese)
1 whole wheat baguette
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 teaspoon of dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 pinch of toasted garlic (optional)
A package of herb salad (or other salad)
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

1.   Melt the butter on low heat and add the thyme, oregano, garlic powder and toasted onion.  Also salt and pepper to taste.

2.  Rinse the oysters.  Fill a pot that has a steam basket about 1/4 of the way.  Turn the heat onto high and cover.  When the steam starts coming out, throw the oysters in to the steam basket. Let steam for about five minutes and check. When the oysters start to open their shell, remove them from the steam, remove the top shell and then remove the oyster.

3.  Saute the oysters in the butter for only a minute or two and remove.

4.  Build the sandwich.  Spread the cheese on the top part of the bread and line the bottom part with some of the herb salad.  Add the carrots, cucumber, pepper and cilantro and then place the oysters on top.



Lauren said...

OHHHH I just love Banh Mis. I make a vegetarian one with spiced tofu and it's phenomenal (IMHO). I love the idea of oysters. It's almost kind of like a vietnamese po'boy.

Keith Bolek said...

Thanks Lauren. As I was making it, I was thinking about the fact that it could be a Vietnamese po'boy. I also love Banh Mis and will definitely be making more of them.

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