Monday, November 19, 2012

Girl Dinner

I first had this soup during a monthly soup group dinner which was started by my friend Melody (who also made this dish). Basically a bunch of girls rotate making soup for each other and during these dinners there is time to reflect and pray together. It is a great tradition, and one that inspired me to start weekly dinners with my group of friends too. This week I was hosting and made this stew and banh mi sandwiches. Banh mi is a Vietnamese sandwich that includes all or just some of the following ingredients: cilantro, cucumber, pickled carrot and daikon radish, jalapeno, pork, mayonaise, and pate. At least the ones that I have eaten. I know that there are a ton of varieties. I decided to make a tempeh version marinated in teriyaki sauce. If you are curious for more information, check out the New York Times. They have done a bunch of articles on this delicious sandwich.

This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart's version.
 Roasted Eggplant and Chickpea Stew

  • 2 medium eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds total), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 fresh tomato, chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, diced medium
  • 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • Fresh oregano
  • Plain yogurt
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a baking pan, toss together eggplant, tomato, onion, garlic, and 4 teaspoons of the olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Leave a wide strip of empty space at one end. Transfer chickpeas to empty space on sheet. Roast until eggplant is golden and cooked through and chickpeas are slightly crunchy, about 35 minutes.
  2. Set chickpeas aside. Peel garlic and add to a medium pot, along with eggplant, onion, and broth. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium-high. With a potato masher or back of a wooden spoon, mash some eggplant until soup is thick and chunky. Stir in chickpeas and season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, top with fresh oregano and plain yogurt, if desired. Makes about 7 servings.

Banh Mi
  • 3 French baguettes, cut into thirds and sliced in half
  • 1 large cucumber sliced thinly into strips
  • pickled carrots and daikon radishes (see below)
  • mayonaise or for an extra kick,aioli
  • Bragg's liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 4 jalapenos, sliced (seeds not removed)
  • 2 packages of tempeh, sliced and marinated in teriyaki sauce for 1 day
  • Fresh cilantro
1. The tempeh and the pickles should be done in advance. Cook the marinated tempeh until lightly browned and crispy.
2. Spread a good amount of mayonaise onto one side of each baguette
3. Drizzle some liquid aminos or soy sauce onto the other side of the bread
4. Layer the sliced cucumber, pickled carrots and radishes, tempeh, cilantro, and jalapenos into the baguettes and enjoy!

Pickled Carrots and Daikon Radishes
(more thorough instructions are here)

1/2 lb. carrots -cut into thin match-like strips.
1/2 lb. daikon radish – cut same as carrots.
3 cups water
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar, depending on how sweet you want your pickles
3 tablespoons salt, depending on how salty you want your pickles

Place the sliced carrots and radishes into a large mason jar or a large tupperware container. This recipe makes a lot of pickles. Boil the liquid ingredients and pour over the vegetables. Let cool and then place in the refrigerator to pickle. Let pickle at least for 1 day before eating. The longer you let them pickle, the more delicious they get. They stay good for about a month after pickling. Just keep them refrigerated!

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