scenes from a weekend:
i spent the better part of the weekend
like a squirrel collecting nuts for the winter.
i stockpiled the freezer
for the coming winter.
i baked bread for the week’s breakfast
(acorn squash + hazelnut loaf,
adapted from this recipe)
and made soup for the week’s lunch
(roasted chicken noodle).
all in addition to
doing both CSA runs
during the city’s running festival,
getting an oil change,
we saw the Skeleton Twins
have you seen it?
i loved it.
the final day we made bánh xèo,
a dish that, for me, signifies
the close of summer,
as we put away warm weather kitchen toys,
dust off cold weather kitchen toys.
it wasn’t a particularly warm day,
but the sun was out,
the game was on,
and we had somehow managed to
do all our chores in two days.
how was your weekend?
*note: we used a mix. dw mentioned something about making the batter from scratch, rice flour + turmeric + a bunch of other starches and i nixed that notion. it’s a special kind of flour, used in special proportions and frankly, my interest in making things from scratch doesn’t extend going to those lengths. i’m not loyal to any brand, at least not yet. we used two bottles of beer + some water. in this instance, it was instinctive: we gauged how thin the batter was based on our experience when making with my family during summer cookouts. you want the batter to be loose, not thick like pancake, but not straight water either. it was hit or miss for us the first few we made then we got our groove.
1 bag of bánh xèo mix
2 bottles of beer (whatever you have, i used an IPA) if you want to nix the beer, water is fine
approx 1/4 – 1/2 cup water
3 green onions/scallions, chopped and added to the batter
mix the bánh xèo mix with beer (or water) and stir until fully incorporated. add in the scallions. set aside.
1 lb pork belly, sliced thin
1 pound shrimp, deveined and tails off
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 bag of bean sprouts, rinsed
1/2 cup of chive blossoms, cut 3″ long
oil, i used a mix of canola + coconut
to serve: nuoc mam cham, or soy sauce + lettuce and whatever herbs you like, ie: mint, basil, cilantro
have your mise en place together, everything in a line in order of succession:
3. sliced pork belly
6. mix of bean sprouts + chive blossoms
heat a non-stick pan coated with a light layer of oil on medium-high.
add in a few onions and 4-6 pieces of sliced pork belly. allow the onions to sweat a smidge.
add in 2-3 shrimp.
using a ladle, pour 1 ladle full of batter into the pan. swirl the pan to coat it evenly, but thinly.
grab a handful of bean sprouts/chive blossom and pile it on one side of the pan.
lid the pan for about 1 minute (if you don’t have a lid, use a foil)
remove lid and allow the bánh xèo to cook through, get crispy around the edges, about 4-5 minutes.
carefully, fold the bánh xèo in half, like omelette.