banh mi

A little quick pickling…

I decided to do a little quick pickling last night. Because I don’t have nearly enough random items in mason jars in my fridge at the moment. I did some Vietnamese-style pickled veggies (carrots, daikon radish, jalapenos) and some pickled red onions. I still have some headcheese left, and the delicate meaty flavor of the headcheese works really well with something tangy and spicy. If you’re anti-headcheese, these will work on almost any type of sandwich.

Vietnamese-Style Quick Pickled Veggies (Dưa món)

made 4 half-pint jars

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound carrots (ended up being about 6 carrots total), peeled & cut into “matchsticks”
  • 1 large daikon radish (it was really big, over a foot long), peeled & cut into “matchsticks”
  • 2 jalapeno peppers (if you want your pickles less spicy, remove the seeds), sliced
  • 3/4 C granulated sugar + 2 tsp
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 1/4 C hot water
  • 2 1/4 C rice vinegar

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, toss carrots, daikon radish, jalapeno peppers, with 2 tsp sugar and 1 tsp kosher salt. After about 2 minutes the vegetables will begin to soak up the salt & sugar & soften slightly, losing some of their bite.
  2. Rinse the vegetables in a collander in the sink with cold water.
  3. Whisk together 2 1/4 cups hot water, 2 1/4 cups rice vinegar, and 3/4 cup sugar until the sugar is fully dissolved. I did this in a large glass measuring cup so it would be easy to pour the pickling liquid into the jars. You can use hot tap water for this, but I used hot water from my kettle, so the sugar would dissolve more quickly and thoroughly.
  4. Transfer the softened vegetables into 4 pint-sized jars. I pushed them down a bit with my fingers so I could fit more veggies in each jar. Pour the pickling liquid over them. The liquid should cover the vegetables completely.
  5. Store in the refrigerator, and let sit at least 1 hour (and ideally 24 hours) before eating. They will get better flavors the longer they sit.

Tasty Pickled Red Onions

makes 1-2 half-pint jars

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 medium red onions, sliced thin
  • 1 C rice vinegar
  • 1/2 C water
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1-2 tsp granulated garlic OR 2-3 cloves garlic, minced

Instructions:

  1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, whisk together rice vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and bring to a boil.
  2. Add onions, pepper flakes, and granulated garlic, stir together, and remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature. Note: I used granulated garlic because in a strange occurance I had NO garlic in the house at all. Not even the kind in a jar. Unheard of. You can definitely use actual garlic in this recipe, but the granulated worked fine too.
  3. Once cooled, transfer the onions to pint jars or and keep refrigerated. The onions are ready to use immediately but will get better flavor the longer they sit.

Not the prettiest picture, but this was my breakfast today. Headcheese breakfast burrito with pickled veg. Next time there will definitely be a fried egg in there.

Not the prettiest picture, but this was my breakfast today. Headcheese breakfast burrito with pickled veg. Next time there will definitely be a fried egg in there.

Fromage de Tete and Banh Mi ~ AKA Headcheese Update

The headcheese is done! It was a busy weekend but I finally had the chance today to unmold my headcheese from it’s mini loaf pan home.

It’s meaty and gelatinous enough to hold it’s shape fairly well. My one kid who would eat it said he liked it better than the store-bought headcheese he tried last week; because it had more meat.

While I was running across recipes looking for something to do with all the headcheese I now have I ran across a Banh Mi. My understanding is that many different types of sandwiches can be called a Banh Mi, but headcheese is a fairly typical filling. So tonight I fixed up some Banh Mis, with French bread, headcheese, mayo, sriracha, lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, and pickled veggies. I didn’t make my veggies in an authentically Vietnamese way, I bought a jar of of the Italian-style pickled veg (cauliflower, carrots, peppers, and cucumbers). This was in the interest of getting the headcheese on the sandwich and the sandwich into my belly and onto the blog ASAP. Making Vietnamese pickled veggies is on my to-try list though (see my Pinterest).

I think that perhaps I’m more comfortable with Vietnamese cuisine than with other Asian cuisines because of the French influence. I’m trained on the classically French tip, and that’s what typically feels comfortable for me.

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Quick Little Banh Mi

Ingredients:

  • hoagie-sized baguette
  • 2 slices headcheese
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 3-4 slices of tomato
  • 3-4 slices of cucumber
  • 1-2 leaves Boston Bibb lettuce
  • a big spoonful of pickled veggies (someday soon there will be recipe link here)
  • a few drops of Sriracha (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Cut the baguette in half length-wise and width-wise. Scoop out a bit of the inside of the bread if needed.
  2. Spread the mayonnaise on the bottom piece of bread, drizzle with sriracha.
  3. Put the the headcheese on the top half. Press down and spread if necessary.
  4. Dress the sandwich with the veggies and press down lightly.

Making headcheese was a fun & interesting experience. I learned that I still like doing homemade charcuterie. I learned that people are apparently really squeamish when it comes to animal heads and other obscure animal parts. People that I really didn’t expect to be. I also learned that there are folks that think it’s wicked cool (these are the people who have random food pictures in their phones and don’t think it’s odd when there’s pictures of a pig’s head in yours).