y'all ever had a super-deluxxxe massive giant-sized stack-up?
i'm talking about a sandwich so big you wonder why you're still eating it,
but also, you can't stop eating it,
and when it's gone, and you're on the cusp of discomfort and fullness,
you sorta still wish there was just one more bite?
let me tell you, dudes-
last night's suppertime specialty was specifically serving up that big action.
if too much is the right amount,
...and it is...
then the super banh banh mi-oh-my-ay-ay that i made myself for dinner
was the most right on thing that's happened this year.
the bread was a magnificently soft, thick, fluffy, flavorful exxxplosion,
baked to perfection.
the fillings were all completely expert,
each tier bringing so much taste and texture to the table that i needed a bigger table.
just the one super-sized sandwich, packed to the t!ts with terrific treats,
was so unbelievably burly and bountiful and beautiful
that no side dishes were necessary.
that's some good sh!t.
i need you to take a look at this big bad banh mi, please.
check the teleport:
there's nothing bad in this thing.
every ingredient is exxxactly where it needs to be,
and the timetable wasn't even really all that crazy,
not that being home all alone on a frigid saturday night
was detracting from any other plans i might've had.
in fact, the main event was making this meal.
i deserve to experience something productive, creative, powerful,
nourishing, and extravagant,
made with my own two hands,
and enjoyed as a process AND a finished product.
like i already said: the bread was perfect.
it was the result of a long cold-rise in the fridge.
that seems to really turn the taste up to eleven, and i like that a LOT.
you want to make some banh bun baps?
i bet you do.
to make two of 'em,
i did this:
in your stand mixer, with a dough hook attached,
2 cups flour;
1 tsp salt;
1 tsp vital wheat gluten;
4 T olive oil;
1 T sugar;
1/2 cup + 2-3 T warm water;
1 T bread machine yeast, bloomed with 1/2 tsp agave, in that warm water.
knead it on low power for eight minutes.
check in after all the ingredients are roughly sticking together.
maybe it needs more flour, maybe it needs more water. look at it. if it looks great, it is.
if it looks dry, or wet, use your head and fix it, man. c'mon.
let it rise for fifteen minutes, covered.
punch it down, cover it again, and let it hang out in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours.
shape some loaves - i made two 10" fatties,
olive oil the tops, and let 'em rise on a baking pan
while your oven heats to a convection-circulating 375℉.
give 'em about 20 minutes, or until they look golden, smell amazing,
and generally seem irresistible.
cool 'em and cut 'em and get 'em ready.
with a slather of vega mayo,
and a double stripe of RED & GREEN SRIRACHA this bread is LEGITNESS!
sriracha is integral to banh mi.
the red is great, always; but green gets me going.
and getting going is where we're headed, if you catch my meaning.
so now we've got your bread baked and prepped.
it's time to make all the interior components of this perfect sandwich.
a handful of pea tendrils, torn;
a quarter cup of raddichio, shredded;
a few T of purple cabbage, chiffonaded;
three T of finely chopped parsley;
a pinch of pink salt, a few cracks of black pepper;
1 tsp lime juice....
that's it. shake it all up, and let it wilt a bit under the citric acid attack, jack.
in a very hot pan, melt a tablespoon of unrefined coconut oil,
and add those 1/4" thick slabs of exxtra-firm tofu.
don't flip them until you see the crisp skin forming.
you can see it, so if you're not sure, it's not ready.
there's literally no other ingredients in this part.
you just don't need anything else to improve on it.
SWEET POTATO FRITTERS!
too much IS the right amount.
i use one quarter of a sweet potato, skin-on, boiled to softness and drained,
then mashed into >1/4 cup chick pea flour;
salt, pepper, GPOP.
1 T hemp hearts;
1 tsp egg replacer starch.
i let that sit, shaped it into sandwich-sized cakes,
dusted 'em in non-GMO organic cornstarch,
and fried 'em up in olive oil until both sides were browned,
and the interiors stayed sorta soft.
these go so well with the rest of it,
i almost can't believe i ever leave them out when i make these!
i don't F* with pȃté.
OBviously, because i'm not a cruel selfish A*-hole.
what do we substitute for that fatty squish?
don't be dumb, guys-
don't leave it out, or you'll be neglecting a key element of sensory immersion.
COLD PICKLED CARROTS AND RADISHES!
basically, the name is the whole thing:
shredded carrots and radishes,
covered in rice wine, with a dash of salt, a pinch of sugar, and about 30% water.
left in the fridge all damned day, you'll end up with some crunchy munchables
that really tie in to the texture of everything else in the very best way.
and then, to get it all sexxxy for the grand munch-up feeding frenzy,
you've just gotta garnish the hell out of it-
paper-thin red onions;
and fresh mint.
that's where it's AT.
all the leaves, all the hots, all that onion,
all in between all those big layers of big flavor.
there's nothing better than biting into that soft bread,
and feeling your whole skull tingle with satisfying sustenance.
it's good for you,
and then, it's sort of bad for you-
because there's a LOT, but there's not enough.
that's the infinite nature of shark-gluttony, man.
and nature wins.
this sandwich is the only one to consistently appear at some point
on every last sandwich week menu.
it might be the defining dish for any self-respecting sarnie connoisseur.
i mean it.
every time i get into this, i get excited.
every time i bite into it, i get invigorated.
i love good food,
and i'll choose making it myself over going out every single time.
i have a situation.
it might be nothing, it might be a big deal.
i'm not sure.
but here it is:
tattooing is where i fill up on sociable pleasantries.
i mean it.
other than work, and the grocery store, i don't feel any urge to be social.
not one little teeny tiny bit.
it's sort of funny to me when people joke about preferring to stay home.
it's funny, because i ACTUALLY just stay home.
that's the truth.
i see lots and lots of different folks, and i talk and talk and talk to them-
about tattoos mostly, but also just about everything else nearly as much;
and i touch them, in all the areas covered by a bathing suit...
(mostly with gloves, because, ew),
and maybe in their sentiments, as well;
and i permanently change them, physically, and with any luck- philosophically-
all from within a contained, controlled environment that is closely monitored
so as to maintain specific conditions conducive to the services performed thereabouts.
...and when i'm done, i do NOT ever feel like going out into the darkening world
to stew in the sauce and steep into a stupor,
nor to buzz my brain to a blurry-edged bleared blitz,
just to fit in to the interactions of the vague dishonesty of drinking alcohol
in the name of being social.
social drinking ranks as one of my least favorite terms.
it should be called group standard lowering-
although, while more accurate, that sure sounds a whole lot worse.
i'm over here in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress doing work.
reading, writing, cooking, baking, exercising, organizing...
there's SO much to do, always, that F*ing off for hours, numbing my brain,
and being the weakest, least-impressive, crutch-leaning version of myself
celebrating sensory-deadening ugly-impulse-encouraging inebriation
seems like suck a waste of time, energy, health, wealth, and space
that i'd really rather stay the hell home, for real.
and that's exactly what i DO.
i'll freely admit i have a hatred for drinking alcohol that borders on fanaticism,
i've yet to see it make anyone a better version of themselves.
if being social didn't pervasively include booze at it's focal point,
or as an enfilade surrounding or bookending activities and festivities,
maybe then i'd be more social?
or maybe i'd still stay home and create something.
that sounds more likely.
i'm less interested in belonging or fitting in
than i am in fitting another banh mi into my face.
like the godfather of straight edge said:
"There’s nothing I hate more than hearing people use that [alcohol] as an excuse.
Too many times it’s “I’m sorry what happened last night, I was f*cked up.”
Well, f*ck that sh!t, man. [...] I don’t buy it.
Can you imagine what drinking has done to people’s consciousness,
just in what they’ve done under the influence
and allowed themselves to do under the influence and then when they sober up,
realizing what they’d done? It’s sad to me, it’s sad."
y'boi ian mackaye knew it back in the nineteen eighties, and yet, somehow
all y'all unimaginative, lazy, ordinary dumb-dumbs
STILL out here doing the exact same tired-A* sh!t.
there's no time for that.
we all get a choice, kids,
and you get to make a new and better one every minute.
it might seem hard to decide to try harder,
but it never works against you,
and that's the truth;
never quiet, never soft.....