Hanoi Grilled Chicken from The Banh Mi Handbook

From the Vietnamese bread and fillings to tangy pickled vegetables, you can create your own restaurant-style sandwich at home with the help of The Banh Mi Handbook and this Hanoi Grilled Chicken.


Hanoi Grilled Chicken from The Banh Mi Handbook | Fake Food Free

I read about the Vietnamese Banh Mi long before I ever had the opportunity to take my first bite. I knew about the soft, but crusty bread, the numerous meat fillings, pickled veggies, hot peppers and the finishing touch of cilantro.

Often when you know this much about a food before you try it, you set yourself up for disappointment. Not so with this sandwich. I had built up in my head what the combination of those flavors would be, and it was better than I anticipated.

I’m not picky about my banh mi. I like the classic version I can grab for $3.50 when passing through Oakland’s Chinatown just as much as I like the fancy version for $10 filled with local, pastured lemongrass chicken that I get at food trucks.

There is an art to it though, don’t you think? It’s not something that I had considered making at home because, while it seems easy, man is it hard to get those flavors right.

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Grilled Chipotle Peach and Nectarine Tilapia Packets

Grilled Chipotle Peach and Nectarine Tilapia Packets | fakefoodfree.com

We’ve lived in California less than two years and I’ve already started to lose track of the seasons. I grew up around all sorts of berries in Indiana and I visited the orchards in Kentucky so I could tell you exactly when strawberry, blueberry, peach, plum and apple season where in full swing at different points throughout the summer.

But here? Here, most of those fruits last all summer long.

It’s quite the experience for the fruit and vegetable lover. I aim to cherish every moment of it, while still grounding myself with thoughts of those produce-lacking winter seasons spent in Kentucky.

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Grilled Rosemary and Garlic Salmon with Smoked Sea Salt Recipe

Salmon is one thing that I never order when we go out to eat. It’s not that I don’t like it, but that it is so simple to make at home. I can’t justify paying so much more for it when we are out. (I have similar feelings about pasta.)

I’m perfectly capable of tossing some herbs, citrus, salts or oils on a beautiful piece of salmon and putting it on the grill. Not only is it healthy, it one of the fastest meals I can throw together.

With commitments to both eating more fish and firing up the grill more often in the new year, this salmon has been making the dinner rotation quite a bit. I realize not everyone lives in the mid-60 degree temperatures of the East Bay right now, so grilling may feel out of season. You can easily broil or bake the salmon, it just won’t have the same smoky flavor so be sure to try it again when the temps warm and you pull out the grill.

Grilled Rosemary and Garlic Salmon with Smoked Sea Salt

Makes: 6, 4 oz. Servings

4 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ tbsp olive oil + plus extra to brush on the grill
1 ½ tsp finely chopped rosemary leaves, about 2 small sprigs
½ tsp smoked sea salt (this Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt from Kentucky is my favorite)
1 ½ lb. filet of salmon, skin-on (check Seafood Watch for the best varieties)

Fire up the grill and take it high heat, about 475 to 500 degrees F.

In a small dish, stir together the garlic, olive oil, rosemary and salt. Place the salmon on a baking sheet, skin-side down, and rub the herb and oil mix over the fish.

Brush the grill with olive oil and place the salmon on the grill, skin-side down. Grill for 15 to 17 minutes, until the thickest part is cooked through and begins to flake.



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