Pork Meatball Bahn Mi Sandwiches

I read somewhere that the majority of families rotate the same meals every week. Our family isn’t immune to this either. Sure, we mix it up and try new meals very frequently, but there are some weeks that if someone suggests pasta one more time, I’m going to stab my eye with a fork. This was one of our new favorite additions!

Sandwiches are one of my favorite things – you’ve got carbs, fun fillings, and condiments. They’re able to be personalized to taste, which is highly important at meal times in our house. 

When I showed Alora the recipe for these online, she was so excited because it had so many things she loved on it; meatballs, cilantro, carrots, cucumbers and mayonnaise. She kept calling them ‘Vietnamese Meatball Subs’.

Plus, they are so easy to make but give off a ‘I’ve been cooking these for hours’ vibe. Oh you picked vegetables? Why, yes, yes you did.

Pork Meatball Bahn Mi Sandwiches


Recipe taken from bonappetit.com with a few revisions for the sake of picky palates in my house. You can find the original recipe here.

Hot Chili Mayo

  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 heaping tablespoon sriracha sauce


  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1 scant tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt


  • 2 cups coarsely grated carrots
  • 2 cups coarsely grated radish
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 4 10-inch-long individual baguettes or four 10-inch-long pieces French-bread baguette (cut from 2 baguettes)
  • Thinly sliced jalapeño chiles
  • cilantro for topping


Hot Chili Mayo

  • Stir all ingredients in small bowl. Season with salt. Cover and chill until ready to use.


  • Line baking sheet with foil. Gently mix all ingredients in large bowl. Roll meat mixture into 1-inch meatballs and line them on the baking sheet.


  • Toss first 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour, tossing occasionally.
  • Preheat oven to 450°F.  Place the lined baking pan of meatballs in and cook for 10 minutes per side.
  • Cut each baguette or baguette piece horizontally in half. Pull out enough bread from each bread half to leave 1/2-inch-thick shell. Spread hot chili mayo over each bread shell. Arrange jalapeños, then cilantro, in bottom halves. Fill each with 1/4 of meatballs. Drain pickled vegetables; place atop meatballs.
  • Top with the top of the baguette and shove it in your face piece.

So yum.

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Coming Home and Homemade Cheesesteaks

I was in Florida last week, working my derriere off alongside a team of wonderful people. This annual trip of mine isn’t particularly fun or easy on any of us, but we hold it together just long enough to get home in one piece.

Every year I learn a little bit more about myself, how I function under stress, and changes that need to be made. I learn how far I am capable of pushing my physical and mental strength before it all just gives out. I was reminded of the moments I’ve wished for just “one day away from home,” and being faced with it, would have taken them all back for just one more second in my own home, my own bed, with my own family.

But I am home now – with a handful of stories and even more muscles aching. All that matters is that I am home and that even though we had them last week, these cheesesteaks were the first thing requested for our current meal plan.


Cheesesteaks at Home:

I blame all gas stations that give me the temptations of lunch food in the morning while I pump gas. I’ve never really been a breakfast-in-the-morning kind of girl. You’re more likely to see me eating pasta or a salad first thing in the morning than an egg.

So I’m filling my gas tank for what feels like the 17th time this week and I see the advertisement that pretty much screams that I need a cheesesteak and I won’t be able to sleep until I eat one. Immediately, I knew I was doomed until I made, ate, bought, or in some way consumed one.

And I did – and it was divine. You should too, because it’s so easy that it is not even funny.

For the Cheesesteaks (Makes 4)

  • 2 lbs of the steak you love the most, stripped of any gnarly fat
  • salt and black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 4 Sub rolls
  • Cheese Sauce, recipe follows
  • Green Peppers and Baby Bella Mushrooms, recipe follows
  • Quick Sauteed Onions, recipe follows
  • Toppings of Choice such as: Lettuce, Tomato, Mustard, Mayonnaise, etc.

Place steak in freezer for 30 to 45 minutes; this makes it easier to slice the meat into paper thin strips.

Heat a pan over high heat. Add a drizzle of oil and wait 30 seconds to make sure it gets nice and hot before adding your meat.

Add the meat to the pan and cook for 1 minute per side (if your steak is thin enough, it might only need 30 seconds per side – but ya know, my knife needs to be sharpened).

Assemble your subs the way you like with your veggies and other toppings – I won’t be peeking in to judge…..other than making sure each sub has plenty of cheese sauce.

For the Green Peppers and Mushrooms

  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 green pepper sliced into thin strips
  • 6 oz  mushrooms sliced thin
  • salt and pepper

In a pan over medium heat, melt the butter and drizzle in the oil. Add your peppers and mushrooms. Stir to coat and cook until the vegetables are soft and tender. Season with salt and pepper.

For the Sauteed Onions:

  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon bacon fat
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onion
  • salt and pepper

Wipe your pan clean (no one wants more dishes to do!) and melt the butter and bacon fat together over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions, stirring to coat evenly with the fat. Continue to cook, stirring frequently until the onions are golden brown and soft, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper

If you have more time, cook them low and slow for about half an hour – but I wasn’t patient that day.

For the Cheese Sauce:

  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/4 cups of shredded cheeses of choice (I used 1 cup Cheddar to 1/4 cup Gruyere but change it up to what you like!)
  • salt and black pepper

In a small saucepan, warm the milk gently. Adding warm milk rather than cold milk to your roux will keep your sauce smooth and not gritty. This method for making a cheese sauce will also make a bomb mac and cheese.

In another pot over medium heat, melt the butter and stir in the flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste. Slowly add the warm milk, whisking continuously until it has all been added. Once the sauce has thickened, remove the pan from the heat whisk in the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

I won’t mention any names, but some people who made this sauce have been known to treat it like fondue while they continue to cook. Whatever.

Happy Cooking!

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Addiction and Recipes with a Side of Shrimp Sandwiches

Photo Credit to Mike


They say the first step is admitting you have a problem – fine –  I’m a cookbook junkie. Like any other addict, I think about the next one I’ll get, hoarding money to get my fix. Enablers are everywhere, discarding barely opened books or giving them as gifts.

Sitting down with a good cookbook makes beautiful pictures in your mind, and you feel capable of confidently creating anything with your two hands. Suddenly making duck confit at midnight is a good idea.

I’m particularly fond of cook books where the author truly speaks to you as if they were standing beside you at the cutting board. The light conversation making even the simplest recipe necessary to make right away. Another way to grab my attention is to sometimes not list the measurements of ingredients, but rather present a overview with room to make it your own.

The sandwich in the picture above came from a loosely guided, no ingredient list givin’ recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Jaime’s Dinners (make them by the way!). Throw a handful of shrimp in a bowl with a tablespoon or so of mayonnaise that’s been kicked in the balls by basil and lemon and call it a day. Except I can’t let a good thing be and add my own spin – a splash of hot sauce, some of my favorite spices and extra black pepper…and to me that’s the whole point.

Recipes, (especially all that gross baking nonsense) when followed are gems and are generally worked to perfection. However that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for experimentation. To me that is the beauty of cooking – nothing is set in stone; there is always room for personalization. Hell, that thought process fuels my mothering when it comes to food: “Look through this and tell me if anything jumps out at you for dinner ideas. Remember, just look at the recipe and we can always take it out or substitute something else for it.”

If you’re not the most experienced home cook, peep a food blog, grab a cookbook or grab a food magazine – take something that sounds almost perfect and make it your family’s favorite. Coming from a girl who thought frozen pizza was gourmet 10 years ago….trust me. I think Eminem said it best when he said, and I quote: “Don’t be scared, ’cause there ain’t nothing to worry about.”

Yer’s Truwly –


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