Luscious Liver Pate and Banh Mih
This is the story of how the random ingredients I assembled beforehand transformed themselves into a marvelous sandwich tonight. A luscious chicken liver pate and a pickled daikon (white radish)-carrot salad were the condiments I piled onto banh mi Vietnamese-style baguette sandwiches. What serendipity to glance upon Ivy Manning’s “Mushroom Banh Mi” recipe in this week’s FOODday section of The Oregonian. It just so happens I had made up some of her daikon salad (from her Farm to Table cookbook) last week.
Then there was the pate I made up for my parents, with velvety, foie gras-like livers from Kookoolan Farms. When defrosted, they were as good as fresh. It didn’t hurt that we amped up the recipe with chanterelles and leeks from the garden instead.
So I corrupted Ivy’s vegetarian sandwich, spreading pate on the baguette under the ‘shrooms. But that’s the way we like to eat: with meat as a condiment. Thomas Jefferson would be proud.
Herbaceous and fragrant, this syncretic sandwich is sweeping the Pacific Northwest and country-at-large. We love our little Baguette cafe here. And wild, hybrid versions of banh mi have surfaced in Washington and New York. But making your own isn’t difficult. It’s a great way to pay homage to two great culinary traditions, Vietamese and French. This is one edible positive to emerge from the scourge of colonialism.