My husband seemed very pleased with himself as he carried the groceries into the house. “What’s up?” I queried while poking my nose into one of the bags. “I bought you something,” he proudly replied. Pondering what he could have bought for me at the grocery store, I said, “Oh, really?” While waiting in line at the check stand, my darling husband succumbed to the store’s clever merchandising ploy of surrounding the area with tempting, impulsive, and last-minute-purchase items. As he described the food magazine he purchased for me and why he thought it was a good one, I thought to myself, “How lucky am I? I have a husband who doesn’t mind running out to the grocery store and who thinks of me while he’s there!”
From my new magazine comes this appetizer version of a classic banh mi, a Vietnamese sandwich. Banh mi sandwiches usually require a light crispy baguette, some type of meat, cucumber strips, jalapeño slices, cilantro sprigs, and pickled daikon and carrots. This simplified version is an easy and delicious way to use up some of your leftover Easter ham!
Banh Mi Bruschetta
Better Homes and Gardens, Best-Loved Reader Recipes, submitted by Amanda Humann
24 ½-inch slices baguette-style French bread
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons soy sauce
6 ounces thinly sliced cooked ham
1 English cucumber, sliced or shredded
1 cup shredded carrots (2 medium)
1/2 cup coarsely snipped fresh cilantro
Thin fresh jalapeño chile pepper slices, optional
Lime wedges, optional
1. Preheat broiler. Spread one side of each bread slice with mayonnaise. Place bread slices, spread sides up, on a baking sheet. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat about 1 minute or just until starting to brown. Brush lightly with soy sauce. Broil for 1 minute more.
2. Top bread slices with ham, cucumber, carrots, and cilantro. If desired, garnish with jalapeño slices and serve with lime wedges.
1. To make this appetizer more like an authentic banh mi, make up a batch of pickled daikon and carrots and use it to top the mini banh mi stacks.
2. There’s no need to measure out the mayonnaise. Using a spatula, just spread it directly from the jar onto the bread. You’ll find that you’ll use less than the 1/3 cup called for.
3. Carrots should be coarsely grated or julienned.
4. If whole slices of jalapeño seem too spicy for you, cut the peppers into strips or coarse chop them. I wear rubber gloves (designated for food prep only) when I cut peppers. Hot chile peppers have oils that can burn your skin and eyes, so make sure you wash your hands with soap and water after working with them!