Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Meatball Banh Mi

Recipe #2 from the April 2012 Eating Well magazine. I've been waiting all week long to make this one - I was so excited, and it did not disappoint! While this wasn't as big of a smashing hit with everyone (Nathan said it was good, but not great), Micah and I were bowled over with flavor! (Andy gets his tomorrow.) This is basically a take on a Vietnamese sandwich, and it is delightful. Here's the description in the magazine: "This banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich) is filled with a zingy slaw and meatballs spiked with fresh herbs."

Don't be scared off on some of the ingredients, like fish sauce and chile-garlic sauce (Sriracha). They are both available in the Asian foods aisle, and you don't taste any fishy taste! I promise - I can't stand fish, so my word is valid!! The fish sauce is basically anchovies, which of course, are found in Caesar dressing - same type of flavor here.

Meatball Banh Mi

3 tbs lime juice
2 tsp sugar
1.75 cup shredded carrot
1.75 cup shredded daikon radish (I used regular radishes)
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallion greens
1/4 chopped fresh basil

8 oz ground pork
8 oz ground chicken
1 - 8oz. can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped scallion whites
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp chile-garlic sauce or other Asian hot sauce
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Sandwich Ingredients:
2 - 20-inch baguettes, cut into thirds
1/4 cup olive oil mayo
1-2 tsp chile garlic sauce or other Asian hot sauce
36 thin slices English cucumber
2/3 cup gently packed fresh cilantro

1. To prepare slaw: Whisk lime juice and sugar in a medium bowl. Add carrot, radish, scallion greens and basil and toss to coat. Set aside.

2. To prepare meatballs: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.

3. Gently mix pork, chicken, water chestnuts, scallion whites, garlic, fish sauce, chile-garlic sauce and pepper in a large bowl (do not overmix). Using a generous 2 tbs each, make 18 meatballs. Bake on the prepared baking sheet until just cooked through, 15-20 minutes.

4. To assemble sandwiches: Cut each portion of baguette in half horizontally, then pull out about half of the soft bread in the center of each piece. Combine mayo and chile-garlic sauce to taste in a small bowl. Spread about 1/2 tbs of the mixture on each piece of baguette. Divide the reserved slaw among the sandwiches and top with cucumber and cilantro. Add 3 meatballs to each sandwich. Serve immediately.

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