28 May 2013

River Ego or River Entertaining?

Ah. Memorial Day weekend.  Sadly, this lovely 4 day weekend is over.  We went camping on the Russian River with some friends and had an amazing time. It's been a while since I've slept in a sleeping bag in a tent, in fact, I can't remember the last time BUT it was awesome.  We campfire'd, we smore'd and best of all, we canoed all day on Saturday.  On the river in a canoe, coasting and paddling. It was so fun.  Rory and I had a blast. 

Rory went on the trip last year without me, unfortunately, but I heard about all this amazing food everyone had eaten and I was bound and determined to make something that was amazing on a camping trip.  As I was frantically, yes it was frantic...did we not read "bound and determined"...looking for what to make on the river I hopped over to a blog I love, Cuisinerd, she always has great LA insights and is always working on fun projects. Anyway, her most recent post was about Bánh mì's...the sandwich of the summer and I knew that was it.  Contained yet fun and fresh and, lest we forget, impressive.  WHAT if I could bust out Bánh mì's ON THE RIVER when we stopped to eat?  What if?  How amazing would that be.  And let me tell you...it was awesome.  I was even asked, while I was constructing this little guys for everyone, "Was this for the group or your ego?" and, if I answered honestly...it was both.  I had set out to do a 'blow your mind' kind of meal and I thoroughly enjoyed making sandwiches for everyone.  I love this sh!t. So much.  I wish I could show you a picture but on the river, electronics get ruined.  Just know, I had 16 happy canoers on beach happily eating my fresh little sandwiches.

These are pretty tasty sandwiches, and they are pretty customizable.  You can make 'em as hot or mild as you want. I tried Cuisinerd's quick pickle recipe but used black radishes first and left them out overnight and they smelled and tasted funky...so I started over with a different recipe and they were awesome.

River Bánh Mì's
adapted from Cuisinerd's recipe here

French baguette
Sliced roasted Ham
Pâté of choice (we use chicken with black mushrooms and a vegan terrine)
Quick-pickled julienne carrots & daikon radish (recipe below)
Sliced jalapeños
Julienne cucumber

1. Slice baguette leaving a hinge on one side.
2. Coat one side with mayo and the other with pâté.

3. Begin to layer - we went ham, pickles, cucumbers, jalapenos, cilantro then sriracha...you can put as little or as much on these guys.

Quick Pickled Carrots & Diakon's 
I used a modification of this recipe, we all know how I like to modify pickles! (I can't help it...I can, but don't want to)
1 medium daikon radish, julienned...which is hard, so get as thin as you can
3 carrots julienned, see above
2 whole garlic cloves

For the brine
1 tablespoon
mustard seeds

1 teaspoon
whole black peppercorns

1 1/4 cups
cider vinegar

3/4 cup

1/4 cup
granulated sugar

2 tablespoons
kosher salt

bay leaf
1. Layer your veggies tightly in a 1-quart glass jar, leaving about 1/2 inch of room at the top. We went carrots, radishes, carrots, radishes and so on.  I could have/should have used more veggies. Set aside.
2. Make the brine - I forgot to toast the mustard and the peppercorns, this would have added more flavor so I'd suggest you remember but if you don't, don't stress...pickles were still good. In a small saucepan add all of the ingredients and stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Bring to a boil.
3. Immediately pour into the jar, covering all the vegetables completely. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Seal the jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake or rotate it to really mix it all up. Store in the refrigerator for at least 1 day...then move to a cooler you hope will remain cold and hope for the best! (OR preferably leave them for 1 week before using. The pickles can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 month)
I can't forget to mention that we did pickle-backs with my leftover pickle juice. NOM. Do you know what a pickle-back is?  It's a shot of whiskey followed by a shot of pickle juice and it's AWESOME.  We used Bullet Rye.  Sheesh.  Adults on a camping trip!
What did you do for Memorial Day? 

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