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Vegas Monsoon

We have wormsign the likes of which god has never seen

Oh my, Banh Mi

Where have you been all my life?  I tried my first banh mi today, and I am ashamed to admit I didn’t even think of taking a photo before devouring it.  We frequent this place and I have never really given the little sandwich menu a second glance as we’re usually there to get pate chaud and croissant for the kids.  Today my dad convinced me to try one while reminiscing about Vietnam and their amazing sandwiches.  How did I never know how amazing these things are?  I am one of those people that usually custom order (probably excessively so) to overload their sandwich with veggies because I crave those differing textures and freshness, ask for vinegar to add tang, beg them not to put an ice cream scoop full of mayonnaise on my sandwich, yeah I’m that customer(sorry!) - this was perfect, no tweaking or custom ordering required.  It was warm, thinly sliced barbeque pork, a generous handful of pickled daikon (oh wow is THAT stuff amazing), carrots, cucumbers, cilantro, peppers, the thinnest layer of mayonnaise and this amazing foot long warm, crusty baguette.  The best part?  It’s $3.  THREE DOLLARS.  Suck on that, Subway.  And if you buy four, you get one free … though come to think of it I can’t imagine many instances where you could deal with that much sandwichage.   This is a serious sandwich, like a bigger than my forearm kind of sandwich.  It is a little on the spicy side with a few pepper slices and a handful of cilantro so if you’re not looking to clear your sinuses or you’re a wuss you may want to leave those off.  

So if you’re in Las Vegas and near Chinatown or feel like a drive, try something a little less ordinary and a whole lot amazing check them out.   If you’re not in Vegas, I am sad for you.  

They’re located inside S F Supermarket on the corner of Spring Mountain and Decatur.  I love their place, everything is super fresh, very inexpensive(yay big, hot loaves of crusty baguette for $1) and always delicious.  And if you see a pink haired girl wrangling a towhead toddler that’s trying to shove an entire pate chaud in his mouth, say hello!

So since the Panda Express near me isn’t making it anymore

I made my own eggplant tofu.  Yours was weak sauce anyway, and you were so stingy with the tofu.  Mmmm eggplant tofu.

One of the easiest things to make.  We got an enormous Japanese eggplant at the farmer’s  market, tub of firm tofu cut into 1 inch cubes, finely diced red bell pepper and onions(I have never liked the huge chunks at Panda).  I like mine with fresh garlic, black pepper, grated ginger and oyster sauce.  It’s all thrown in a really friggin hot pan with a couple tablespoons of your favorite oil and tossed around for a few minutes (well, jiggled aggressively, this is tofu we’re talking about here).  Stuff caramelizes and edges get crisp, the whole house smells good and then there’s a great big bowl of deliciousness.  And all of it cost half what just a tiny little box at a fast food Chinese place and at least I know exactly what’s in there.  Om nom nom nom.

Tomatoes stuffed with mushrooms, fresh garlic, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella.  I think they were delicious, the baby ate most of mine so I didn’t get to taste a whole lot.  
4 tomatoes
3oz fresh mozzarella, cubed or a handful of boconccini
handful o’ basil
1 tbsp minced garlic (adjust to taste - I love lots of garlic)
8 oz fresh mushrooms of choice, coarse chopped

Pretend your tomato is being prepped for a tiny jack-o-lantern, cut a hole in the top and scoop out the seeds.  This leaves you with a nice, thick wall of tomato.  Toss the mushrooms, cheese, basil, garlic all together with a little olive oil.  Add a little basalmic if you like.  Add other veggies if you like.  Maybe put some goat cheese in there.  Go wild.  Stuff your awesomeness inside the tomato.  Don’t be afraid to squish it way down in there.  If your hands don’t smell like garlic, you’re doing it wrong.  You’ll have leftover stuffing, unless you had massive tomatoes.  I just cram that in between the tomatoes.  I crumbled some leftover cornbread on mine, but you can put parmesan on top, grind up some croutons, or just leave it as it is.  Bake at 400f, 10 minutes or until your tomatoes pop!(you can definitely bake longer if you like your veggies cooked more, I love mine rare).  Turn on your broiler and finish them in there until they’re browned to your liking.  

I baked some bread to dip in the juice, which was seriously the best part.  Keep a little extra virgin olive oil and basalmic on hand, a dash of each on the plate after your tomato is gone makes an amazing dipping sauce for a good, crusty bread.

Canon EOS 30D  | f/1.8  | 1/320th  | 77mm

Tomatoes stuffed with mushrooms, fresh garlic, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella.  I think they were delicious, the baby ate most of mine so I didn’t get to taste a whole lot.  

4 tomatoes

3oz fresh mozzarella, cubed or a handful of boconccini

handful o’ basil

1 tbsp minced garlic (adjust to taste - I love lots of garlic)

8 oz fresh mushrooms of choice, coarse chopped

Pretend your tomato is being prepped for a tiny jack-o-lantern, cut a hole in the top and scoop out the seeds.  This leaves you with a nice, thick wall of tomato.  Toss the mushrooms, cheese, basil, garlic all together with a little olive oil.  Add a little basalmic if you like.  Add other veggies if you like.  Maybe put some goat cheese in there.  Go wild.  Stuff your awesomeness inside the tomato.  Don’t be afraid to squish it way down in there.  If your hands don’t smell like garlic, you’re doing it wrong.  You’ll have leftover stuffing, unless you had massive tomatoes.  I just cram that in between the tomatoes.  I crumbled some leftover cornbread on mine, but you can put parmesan on top, grind up some croutons, or just leave it as it is.  Bake at 400f, 10 minutes or until your tomatoes pop!(you can definitely bake longer if you like your veggies cooked more, I love mine rare).  Turn on your broiler and finish them in there until they’re browned to your liking.  

I baked some bread to dip in the juice, which was seriously the best part.  Keep a little extra virgin olive oil and basalmic on hand, a dash of each on the plate after your tomato is gone makes an amazing dipping sauce for a good, crusty bread.