My Comfort Food

Banh Mi

With graduation approaching, it is hard not to feel a bit frantic about how unstable my life will become in the next few months.  The most comforting thing to me right now is cooking and my comfort foods.  The banh mi is one of those foods for me.  It reminds me of summer days, surrounded by family, eating banh mi on-the-go (like what is traditionally done).  My favorite banh mi is one filled with cold meats, which still tastes great after being slightly warmed by the sun (or squished in a backpack).  Banh mi sandwiches are stuffed with cucumbers, jalapenos, cilantro, pickled carrots and daikons, pate, and headcheese.  There is nothing like eating banh mi on a hot day–the jalapeno’s heat lying parallel with the sun’s is bliss.

The headcheese I used for this sandwich is one that my professor taught me how to make.  To most people, headcheese may not sound comforting but, both of us, have strong memories associated with it.  Even though her and I come from different cultural backgrounds, it is fascinating to see how food and culture converge.  Please visit Dr. Georgia Jones’ blog for the recipe: http://discoveringfoods.blogspot.com/2012/02/holding-on.html.

Banh Mi
Serves 4

Banh Mi Condiments

1 cucumber sliced on a bias into 1/4″ pieces
cilantro
1 jalapeño sliced on a bias into 1/8″ pieces
headcheese sliced into 1/8″ pieces
4 demi-baguettes or 1 baguette cut into 6″ pieces
soy sauce

Slice baguette in half, but not all the way through the bread. Spread the pâté on one side and the mayonnaise on the other side. Place 3-4 pieces of cucumber to one side of the bread, then the slices of head cheese and jalapeno to taste. Top with pickled carrots and daikon and cilantro. Sprinkle the insides of the sandwich with soy sauce.

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