BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

The Banh Mi of Our Dreams: Meatballs are Hot

with 8 comments

Hard to beat the vegetarian banh mi at Baguette, with two types of tofu and mushroom pate.

Banh Mi with meatballs, and Spaghetti and Meatballs All'Amatriciana, both from the January issue of Bon Appetit.

When will I learn not to make such a potschke when I’m rushing out to a potluck. But it’s always fun to experiment when you have an audience of food lovers that includes more folks than just your husband. So for the Slow Food Corvallis annual potluck, I decided to make the Pork Meatball Banh Mi, that hybrid Vietnamese-French creation that had been calling to me from the meatball special issue of Bon Appetit. There’s something about these umami-packed sandwiches that I always crave. Is it the mushroom or liver pate slathered on the baguette? Or the Sriracha-accented mayo? Or the quick-pickled daikon and radish slivers? None of these parts on their own are that special. But together they create a truly memorable culinary creation. Let’s just say that Baguette is my favorite, not to mention the cheapest, place to eat in town.

I wasn’t excited to make another porky dish, but these meatballs were ethereal. Seasoned with basil, chopped lemongrass (my addition), Sriracha chile sauce and a dash of fish sauce, they were like the most succulent dumpling filling. I also happened to make them with special hazelnut-finished Red Wattle pork from Heritage Farms Northwest, which I ordered through the new online farmer’s market, Corvallis Local Foods. They are pretty adorable, happy pigs…and the adults can weigh up to a ton! We had this rare pork at a Slow Food dinner where we compared it to a more conventional breed.

As a vegetarian option, I also made this curried wild mushroom pate for the banh mi, with shiitakes and velvety delicate winter chanterelles (who knew they grew all winter?) also ordered through Corvallis Local Foods. Other dishes at the potluck last night included a lush truffled potato gratin, a Moroccan lamb and pumpkin tagine, and brie baked in homemade, extra yolky brioche. For dessert, we feasted on some ethereal homemade Fig Newtons, baked with locally wheat from Harrisburg, that were infinitely better than the Nabisco ones. It was great to again meet Linda Ziedrich, the author of inspiring cookbooks on pickling and jamming, there, though I’m not sure what she made. We’ve had her call into the KBOO show, and I ran her membrillo recipe with my quince article. Dan was delighted that Intaba sent her excellent (and I think gluten-free?) spinach and meat lasagna home with us, so that was dinner tonight. When a bunch of foodies gather, that’s one potluck where you know you’ll eat well.

The champions of the Sting, Sting and More Sting event: honey, stinging nettles and Sting songs covered by the band The Nettles.

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Written by baltimoregon

February 7, 2010 at 2:05 am

8 Responses

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  1. The Banh Mi were DELICIOUS! I managed to stuff one in, and even after a plateful of tagine, braised lamb with olives and anchovies from Cattail creek, the aforementioned chanterelle-potato gratin, and casoulet, they stood out! Thanks for bringing them, Laura.

    Ann Shriver

    February 7, 2010 at 12:09 pm

  2. Oh sorry I missed the lamb braised with olives and anchovies. I’d love that recipe!

    baltimoregon

    February 7, 2010 at 1:12 pm

  3. those banh mi looks great!

    ravenouscouple

    February 7, 2010 at 10:32 pm

  4. great 1st line

    rd

    February 8, 2010 at 12:26 pm

  5. Are you being sarcastic, Rud? I can never tell with you!

    baltimoregon

    February 8, 2010 at 12:46 pm

  6. no, serious

    rd

    February 8, 2010 at 3:08 pm

  7. […] The Banh Mi of Our Dreams: Meatballs are Hot « BaltimOregon […]

  8. […] haven’t heard of guanciale, you’re not alone. I hadn’t heard of it either until making this Pasta All’ Amatriciana recipe (with bacon as a substitute) in Bon Appetit recently. But unsmoked cured pork jowl just seems to have a more memorable quality […]


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