Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwich

Meat. Gooood.

Bread. Gooood.

Pickled Vegetabes. Good.

Creamy Soy Sauce. Good.

Put it all together to make the best sandwich ever. Verrrrrrrry good.

It actually doesn’t seem fair to call this a sandwich. These days, the word sandwich evokes a picture of two pieces of some sort of floppy bread, smeared with PB&J, or cream cheese stuffed into a condensation filled plastic bag, pulled out from the bottom of a knapsack, 20 degrees hotter than it was when I put it in there in the morning.

That is not what’s happening here.

The banh mi is a sandwich at it’s best. It’s basically the little black dress of sandwiches. It consists of 4 very simple components that can be switched up or accessorized in a ton of different ways. No matter what you do to it though, the basic premise is a good French baguette, quickly cooked protein, flavor bomb pickled veg, umami packed mayonnaise and fresh herbs keep this sandwich down to earth, easy to make, portable, and simple but sophisticated.

The banh mi is what happened as a result of Vietnam being a French occupied colony from the middle of the 19th century until Vietnam’s independence in 1954. Like any good group of people, the Vietnamese took the incredible baguette that the French brought with them, made it their own and stuffed it with a combinations of France’s best delicacies and their own deeply cultural pickled veggies. The Banh Mi, which really just translates to mean “bread of wheat”, became a staple across Vietnam because it could be filled with anything and carried around easily. 

The first banh mi sandwiches were spread with a thin layer of French liver pate, then filled with a thin layer of thinly sliced meat, topped with pickled vegetables (usually carrots and radishes) and fresh Vietnamese coriander leaves. It was the perfect east meets west combo.

Over time, the Bahn mi has transformed to mean any kind of sandwich as long as it’s in a Vietnamese style French baguette, filled with some sort of protien and loaded with pickled veggies and coriander. They sell them on the streets of Vietnam filled with thinly sliced beef, scrambled eggs, crushed pork meatballs, roasted pork belly, tofu for the vegans out there, grilled chicken and even sardines. 

For pretty obvious reasons, I chose to go the route of thinly sliced meat. In my house nobody is vegan, eggs are for breakfast, we keep kosher and if I served my husband and sons a sardine sandwich they would trade me in. 

Liver pate was optional so for those that unwisely chose to skip it I created a soy sauce-mayonnaise to add in some of that creamy umaminess they were missing. 

Traditionally Vietanam style French baguettes actually have a bit of a thinner crust than regular French baguettes but I couldn’t find that so I just went with I had access to. You can, of course make your own baguette, but then this would not be an easy to make sandwich anymore.

                   

Pickled veggies are a staple in my fridge. They come in many forms, flavored differently and grace basically every dish I serve. If you aren’t obsessed with pickled veggies, you will be after you make this sandwich so  double or triple the recipe so that you too will have a well stocked pickled veggie fridge. I also added thinly sliced spicy peppers for some heat and although you can leave it out, I urge you strongly to try the banh mi with it.

However you do it, whether with meat, chicken, tofu, eggs, sardines or really any other protein you can think of just make sure to cross this dish off your list of “I want to make that one day but not today” dishes because you will absolutely fall in love with it at the first bite. And all over again with every other subsequent bite you take. 

For the printable Banh Mi Sandwich Recipe click here

 

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“Pho” Style Soup with Super Thinly Sliced Steak + All Asian Soup Base

Soup is everything. 

Its a meal, it’s a snack, it heals you when you don’t feel good, it can be a fridge cleaner, it can be meaty and hearty, it can be light and refreshing, it can be eaten with a soup for a dignified experience, it can be slurpped up with a huge chopstick full of noodles(my personal fav) and it is, most importantly, always delicious. 

I’ve said this before and I can not stress it enough, that a good soup is something that every single person can make. They are not hard and in my opinion the main contributor from taking a soup from good to great is merely the addition of time. For the most part, you can basically dump anything in a pot, add some seasoning, cover with water and if you let it simmer for long enough it will taste delicious. 

BUT. If you want your soups to go from great to INSANE, it does require a little bit of technical work so that you can layer flavors and build a soup that is so complex in it’s taste but simple in it’s appearance. 

To me, that is what this soup is all about. It is a combination of a chicken soup stock, layered with a mushroom broth and infused with Asian aromatics that gives this soup it’s absolutely addicting flavor. 

Since I make a version of Asian soups basically every week, I’m going to do you all a favor and give you my base recipe. From there you can either follow this exact recipe (which I highly recommend because it was the freakin bomb) or you can use whatever you have in your fridge to make your own incredible Asian soup bowl.

If you don’t have an ingredient I use, just leave it out or swap it for something similar. The only component that I would say you absolutely should include is the mushroom broth. It is very simple to make as it requires only dried mushrooms and water and you can freeze it in one cup containers so that you to can easily make these soups on a weekly basis from your leftover shabbos chicken soup.

I’m going to break this recipe up into 2 parts for those of you who just want the base. Please, please, please use this recipe as a jumping off point to create your own amazing Asian soups!!!!!

Happy slurping everyone!

For the printable Asian Soup base recipe click here

For the printable Asian “Pho” with Philly Sandwich Steak recipe click here

To watch the making of this soup and see how easy it really is click here (don’t forget to subscribe to my youtube channel while your there…)

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Kitchen Destination: Brazil

I know that dinner time in many homes is not easy. Even in my own house I would say at least once if not twice a week dinner is actually a struggle. Whether it’s coming up with what to make, or finding something to make that everyone will eat, or actually getting people to eat the food that they normally love, it can be really challenging. 

After months of arguing with my kids about dinner times I finally hit a wall and realized I needed to fix things. That’s how Kitchen Destinations started. Once I tested the concept and realized how effective it was I knew I had to incorporate more of them into our routines.

So, at first it started out with just different locations. Luckily, there’s no shortage of countries with unique cuisines. Truthfully though, sometimes, I’m just not in the mood to start looking up facts, trying new recipes and doing everything that goes along with it. But, what I learned from my week-long culturally themed dinners, was that my kids were so much more excited and willing to try new foods that we, as a family, learned about and “experienced” together, that as long there’s a topic and something to discuss that we can sort of connect to food, dinner will run so much more smoothly.

That’s when I realized, that I’m not limited to only “Kitchen Destinations”. As long there’s a topic and something to discuss that we can sort of connect to food, dinner will run so much more smoothly. I can come up with tons of different “themes” that we can carry out through out the week. I just need to genuinely excited about it, build it up a few days before and get the kids will feed off my energy, get involved and they’ll love it. 

Now, although I still haven’t found way to solve my food-all-over-the-floor, tomato-sauce-covered-freshly-bathed-kids, and before-bedtime-crankiness, at least getting my kids to COME to the table and taste the food has been dealt with. 

Now, onto BRAZIL.

                                    

I am little embarrassed to say this, but in all of the different places my children and I have visited through out our “kitchen destination” journeys we have never done a single South American country. The only reason I can even come up with is that in my limited knowledge of South American cooking I really didn’t know there was anything more besides rice and beans or their version of barbecue. 

Once I got to talking to my friend and neighbor Nomi and her visiting sister-n-law Malki,  I realized how crazy it was to have never taught my kids about an entire continent! After Nomi and Malki agreed to be our culinary “tour guides” through Brazil, everything else fell into plus. Especially, how fitting it was that the first country we should choose to represent South America would be its largest!

                        

After having tasted their “simple” rice beans, I am know completely mortified that we waited so long to learn about Brazil. Although they require very few ingredients they are absolutely delicious and were only matched by the amazing Brazilian dishes we learned to make.

Getting into the kitchen with friends and family is always a recipe for good times and good food. Everything was sooooooo delicious!

I think for my family the highlights were the Beef d’milanese, the recipe we adapted from Leah Schapira and the Pao de Queijo (cheese balls). I don’t think anyone was surprised that the cheese balls would be good, but who knew you could make them gluten free and bake them and they would be just as yummy as the best fried mozzerella stick.

                      

The oven fried beef steaks though, those were a huge shock! hen I forwarded the recipe from Leah to Nomi, I was secretly hoping Nomi would say we shouldn’t make it. Instead she spoke to her mother, adapted the recipe and said it was on. I was nervous that we were basically going to ruin three beautiful bone-in rib eye steaks. Not only were the y not ruined, it was one of the most delicious pieces of steak I’ve ever eaten! So, moist and tender on the inside, but perfectly crispy on the outside. I mean, what more do we really need?

This was the first time we got to experience our Kitchen Destinations with other families and have them come into our kitchen to cook their authentic food right along side of us. It was so fun and special and we are truly so grateful to Nomi and Malki for giving up their time to us. We learned so much this week about Brazil and the Amazon and we really hope you incorporate some of our Kitchen Destinations into your own homes. 

If you have any fun ideas or input for other places we can visit through our kitchen be sure to reach out through email or any of my social media platforms. Would love to hear from you!

Peas and Love,

Danielle

To print out fun facts we learned about Brazil click here

For printable Brazilian Beans recipe click here

For printable Brazilian Rice recipe click here

For printable Brazilian Farofa (loose stuffing) recipe click here

For printable Brazilian Beef d’milanese recipe click here

For printable Pao de Queijo (cheese balls) recipe click here

To watch the Kitchen Destinations: BRAZIL video on you tube click here (Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel while you’re there!!!)

 

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Moroccan Fish Video + Recipe

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

That is the only thing I can think to write. I dont know what I was thinking making these videos. First of all, I just had a baby.

Literally just.  

Like only eight months before.

My baby is a newborn.

Which means I’m about the size of a whale.

That just ate a whale.

Then theres the issue of, I had NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING. 

But, I did it anyways. I guess for people that know me, thats not much of a shock. 

Then on top of it, I decided, since I was filming videos, I should make as many as possible in one day. 

So, even though I am new to this and will, please god, get better over time, I’m so confident in these recipes that I’m gong to share them with the world no matter what. 

To see the full video click here

I do want to thank my amazing producer, Natasha and incredibly talented videographer, Shay, for being awesome at what they do and their insane amount of patience and guidance! 

This recipe is really special to me, as it is my grandmothers authentic Moroccan fish. I know there are a lot of people out there claiming to make the best Moroccan fish but, all I can say is that my grandmothers is the best. If you don’t believe me……..make it!

I hope this recipe brings you all as much joy and love as it brings my family. 

For the printable recipe click here

Sending you all lots of Peas and Love from my kitchen to yours,

Danielle

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