Friday, January 16, 2009

Asian Inspired Pâté Sandwiches (The Cyclo Special)

I have something of an obsession with Vietnamese Bánh mì sandwiches (like the ones served at Dew in Provo, I will pimp this place any chance I can get). In fact, I'm craving on right this very minute (about 1:30 am). But I'm also cheap and pretty lazy. So I don't usually feel like going out and buying special ingredients, or even a sandwich. So when I had leftover pâté (which is a fairly common ingredient in the sandwiches) in the fridge from New Year's I took it as an opportunity to make my own lazy man's recipe for Bánh mì. I only used ingredients that I had on hand, which I'll admit are somewhat more eclectic than some people (I do love the Asian food after all), but none of them are especially weird.

The Cyclo Special:
I don't have a clue how many it serves

pâté de campagne cut into 1/4-inch thick slices (check the recipe here for help on this)
bread, toasted (a baguette is even better if you've got it)
cucumbers, thinly sliced
onions, thinly sliced into rings
fresh cilantro
dijon mustard
fish sauce (if you don't have this, it should be easy to find in an supermarket's Asian section)
vinegar (I used apple cider, but really whatever you prefer works)
hot sauce
salt and pepper

1. First things first, you want to make a dijonaise. Mix together the mayo, dijon mustard and some fish sauce in a small bowl. I did about a 50/50 mix between the mayo and mustard with just a couple drops of fish sauce. But that may be a little mustardy for some, so adjust accordingly. Set aside.
2. Put in the sliced cucumbers and onions in a bowl, covering them with vinegar a little fish sauce and just a dash of hot sauce. You want to get just a lightly pickled taste on them. It may sound odd now, but you'll thank me later.
3. Fry the pâté in a skillet over medium-low heat. You shouldn't need any oil or anything, it's super fatty as it is. You're just trying to get both sides brown and a little crunchy.
4. Put together the sandwich with the bread, dijonaise, pâté, cucumbers and onions (drained) and cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste.

It's a really simple recipe, and not completely authentic, but very, very tasty. Even for those that don't like pâté. I highly recommend it. If you don't want to go to the trouble of making a pâté, you could probably just cook some pork and bacon to substitute. I haven't tried it, but in theory it sound good.

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