Loving “The Great Food Truck Race”

Thanks to digital recordings, I am always a bit behind when it comes to the latest television shows.  Such is the case with “The Great Food Truck Race.”  We just finished watching the series.   I was intrigued with the entire “Food Truck” concept and trends.  I think in our city we have a few Mexican food trucks that serve (I am told) pretty authentic Mexican street food.   But, that is it—no gourmet foodie trucks offering crepes, Cajun, or French foods. 

And so, we became fascinated by the Nom Nom truck and banh mi sandwiches.   Last weekend, we decided to whip up our version.  (Please note that we have NEVER had an authentic banh mi so we just put a bunch of recipes together with our own twist.)

If you want to spend the afternoon in the kitchen together, use these three recipes.  (This was enough for about three lunches and two dinners—we did not get tired of them.)

Step 1:  Asian Pulled Pork  (The pork came from a local family farmer and the lemon grass from our herb garden.  The onion and garlic are from our earlier garden harvest.)

7 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 ½ lb. pork roast (Loin roast or pork butt)
4 T. pork spice rub
3 medium stalks lemongrass, peeled and chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small red onion, chopped
¼ c. brown sugar
5 tablespoons fish sauce
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and copped
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup chicken stock

Heat 2 T. olive oil in a large skillet and brown roast on all sides.  Remove from pan and rub pork spice rub on all sides.  Place roast in a crockpot. 

 Place remaining ingredients (including the 5 remaining T. of olive oil) in a blender and pulse until incorporated.  Pour over roast and cover.  Set crockpot on high and cook for 4 hours.  When pork falls apart (or falls off bones), shred it and set aside.  (I saved the broth, let it cool and skimmed off the fat.  I will use it for some Asian noodles or soup.)

 While meat is cooking, make the baguettes.

Step 2:  Baguettes   (Try to find locally sourced and milled flour.)

 2 c. warm water
1 ½ T. yeast (two packages)
2 T. olive oil
1 T. sugar
1 T. sea salt
5-6 cups flour

Combine warm water and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Stir to combine and let set five minutes until bubbly.  Add oil, sugar and salt to yeast water.  Place dough hook attachment on mixer and stir.  Carefully add 4 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time while mixer is running.  Add remaining flour (as needed) until dough is quite stiff but smooth and pliable. 

Turn out into an oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise for 1 hour. 

Turn dough out on a floured surface and divide into 8 portions.  Pull and roll dough pieces into 8 baguette rolls.  Place on two oiled baking sheets.  Cut ¼ inch deep slashes along the top of each roll, about 1 inch apart.  Brush top of each with water and allow to rise, uncovered for another hour. 

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  Spray oven with water and let bake for 20 more minutes. 

While bread is rising, make slaw. 

 Step 3:  Make do chua type slaw  (Radishes came from the farmers’ market, cilantro from our herb garden, and green onions from our garden, but alas, I had to use grocery store carrots.)

Slaw Topping

1 large bunch red radish, grated (about 3 cups grated)
4 large carrots, peeled and grated
2 green onion, sliced
¼ cup chopped parsley or cilantro
1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce

Combine and toss radish, carrots, onion, and cilantro in a large mixing bowl.  Whisk vinegar, ginger, oil, and chili-garlic sauce in small bowl to blend; pour over radish, carrot, and onion and toss to coat. Season with salt and refrigerate.  For spicier slaw, add more chili-garlic sauce.  Refrigerate.

Step 4:  Making sandwiches.

  1. Split rolls and slather with mayonnaise. 
  2. Next, place slices of fresh cucumber on mayonnaised roll.
  3. Pile with pulled pork.
  4. Top with slaw.
  5. Carefully eat!

Pork Shoulder on FoodistaPork Shoulder

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