i haven't graduated to baguettes yet in my breadmaking endeavours, but i have been making longer shaped rolls. these are perfect for little sandwiches, especially vietnamese-style banh mi, which use french-style bread. i love the flavours and textures in banh mi--the crusty, airy white bread, filled with sweetened vinegar-marinated julienned carrots and daikon radish, crunchy cucumbers, cellulosey cilantro sprigs, the tiniest bit of creamy butter or mayonnaise, and whatever filling you like. typically a strong paté or other pork product is used, but almost anything is permissable--tofu, pork skin, cold cuts, meatballs, fried eggs....
this particular one was inspired by one of chef mario batali's entrees in "iron chef america" mango battle: a homemade french roll was split in half, spread with a tiny bit of mayonnaise, and filled with sweet lobster meat, marinated julienned carrots and daikon, cucumber slices, cilantro, and a slice of grilled mango. chef batali also added thin slices of char siu pork, but i am currently abstaining from most meats, so i omitted it. the sweet, warm mango made a fine addition on its own. i don't really keep a house where leftover lobster might be found, but blow me down, there it is. shrimp or prawn meat are tasty and similar substitutes, but grilled chicken would work just as well.
marinated veggies for banh mi
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vinegar of choice
1/4 cup sugar of choice
1 cup julienned carrots
1 cup julienned daikon radish
salt, to taste
combine the water, vinegar and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. leave to cool, then add the julienned vegetables and salt to taste. refrigerate for at least half an hour, but ideally overnight.
banh mi recipe seafood vietnamese iron chef batali sandwich