Saturday, October 27, 2012

Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwiches

We spent the day at my oldest daughter's house for their annual Pumpkin Carving day.  Halloween is Val and Jason's favorite holiday (right up there with Christmas) and they decided to start this tradition about 4 years ago.  Everyone brings a pumpkin and they provide the stencils and the tools for carving.  Valerie also makes very fun and spooky Halloween treats and this year asked us each to bring a haunted treat with us.  I brought Mummified Hot Dogs which were hot dog halves stuffed with a sliver of cheddar cheese before being wrapped in strips of seasoned, buttered phyllo dough.  These were very tasty but didn't quite have enough of a mummy look.  It was a wonderful day full of decadent treats and though it was a cool start to the day, it turned out to be a beautiful afternoon.

All the pumpkins

Ethan's pumpkin (aka Woody)

I had already planned these Vietnamese sandwiches for dinner since I knew we would want real food, but not something too heavy and it worked out perfectly.  It was just the right amount of food.  These sandwiches used marinated chicken breasts which were grilled for the meat component instead of slow cooked beef and although they were good, I still want to make a more traditional Banh Mi for Gerry.  He, however, did have no complaints about these sandwiches tonight.

Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwiches
Makes 4 servings

1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 chopped jalapeno
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup hot tap water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 carrots, sliced thin on the bias
2 daikon radishes, sliced thin on the bias
4 soft sub rolls
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 of an English cucumber, sliced thin
1/4 cup cilantro leaves (or mint)
1/2 jalapeno, sliced, for extra heat (optional)

Mix the first six ingredients in a baking dish.  Add chicken breasts to the dish, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  Longer is better!

Stir the hot tap water and sugar in a medium bowl, until the sugar dissolves.  Add the vinegar, salt, red pepper, sliced carrots and radishes.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Heat the grill to medium.  Grill the chicken breasts for 5 minutes per side.  Remove from heat and cover them with foil to rest for 5 minutes.

Open the sub rolls and grill the insides for about 1-3 minutes - until toasted.  Drain the pickled veggies.  Slice the chicken into thin pieces.

Spread mayo over the sub rolls.  Layer the cucumbers, chicken, pickled veggies, cilantro leaves and jalapenos in the rolls.

Serve immediately.

Adapted from A Spicy Perspective

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