I love fish in a can. Not just tuna, but also salmon, octopus, kippers, anchovies, and yes, sardines. Fish in a can are a delicious, easy, cheap source of protein. Often, I will eat kippers or sardines straight out of the can. But every now-and-again I want to COOK with them: with pasta, in an omelette, the possibilities are practically endless.
Here’s a photo from a recent Facebook post of the ingredients of an easy weeknight supper. For the record, I will not buy the squid again (too much ink, not enough squid).
Then, every once in awhile I come up with a completely brilliant idea like this one…
Sardine BLT with Black Garlic Mayonnaise
makes 2 sandwiches
- 4 slices seeded rye bread
- 1 can of sardines
- 6 slices of cooked bacon (still warm)
- 3-4 leaves Boston Bibb lettuce, rinsed and dried
- 1 plum tomato, sliced thin (about 3 slices for each sandwich)
- 1 tsp black garlic paste
- 1/4 C prepared mayonnaise
- In a small bowl, combine garlic paste and mayonnaise until blended and smooth. Spread mayonnaise on one side of all 4 slices of bread, as thickly as desired.
- Open the sardines and drain off any oil. Using half of the sardines for each sandwich, arrange sardines on 2 slices of the bread.
- Top sardines with bacon, lettuce, and tomato slices.
- Place second slice of bread atop each sandwich.
- Serve sandwich sliced in half, if desired.
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.
Quick Little Banh Mi
- 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)
- Cut the baguette in half length-wise and width-wise. Scoop out a bit of the inside of the bread if needed.
- Spread the mayonnaise on the bottom piece of bread, drizzle with sriracha.
- Put the the headcheese on the top half. Press down and spread if necessary.
- 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).