My #FrozenChefMadness Recipe: Bánh Mì Meatball Sliders with Cherry Lime Smoothie

My #FrozenChefMadness Recipe: Bánh Mì Meatball Sliders with Cherry Lime Smoothie

Last week I told you about a contest I was entering, where I was challenged to make a delicious March Madness snack using at least frozen food products. Well, tonight at the #FrozenChefMadness Twitter Party my entry was honored to be named as one of the #EliteAte, which means I am into the semi-finals! Soon they will announce the #FinalFour and then me, as the winner.

Okay, maybe I’m getting a little bit ahead of myself — some of the competition is pretty intimidating — but I am really proud of this dish, and I think you’ll love it if you try it.

So without further ado, the promised recipe!

Bánh Mì Meatball Sliders with Cherry Smoothie Shooters

If you’ve never heard of Bánh Mì, you are missing out. It’s an amazing Vietnamese sandwich, inspired by their history as a French colony, that fuses the flavors of both countries. Typically the sandwich consists of some sort of pork (meatball and pork belly are my favorites), with quick pickled vegetables and cilantro, on a crispy fresh baguette.

One of our favorite lunch places near our house is a Vietnamese sandwich shop, where I like to take my boys for Bánh Mì and boba (also called “bubble tea,” a sort of smoothie with tapioca pearls in it.)

Inspired by what we typically get there together, I came up with this dish that recreates the experience, flavors, and textures in slider form, perfect for munching during whatever madness March may bring.

Ingredients

For the Sliders

  • 2 cups carrot, julienned, or coarsely grated
  • 2 cups daikon radish, julienned, or coarsely grated
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Alexia frozen rolls (Note: I used their Sweet Potato Rolls because my boys are nuts for them, but Alexia also has other varieties like French and While Wheat rolls if you’d prefer.)
  • Rosina pork and beef meatballs
  • Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy
  • 1 tsp sriracha or other hot sauce (optional, or use more or less!)
  • 1 tsp freshly minced garlic
  • Fresh cilantro
  • cucumber slices
  • jalapeno slices (optional)

For the Smoothie

  • 1 package Dole frozen cherries (do not thaw)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • freshly squeezed juice from 2 limes
  • a few sprigs fresh mint leaves

Instructions

For the Sliders

  1. Julienne or coarsely grate carrots and daikon radish, and mix in a bowl with rice vinegar, sugar and salt. Let stand at room temp for one hour, tossing occasionally.
  2. Bake rolls as directed, allow to cool, and slice in half.
  3. While rolls bake, mix mayo, fish and soy sauces, garlic and hot sauce (if using) in a bowl. Set aside (or make ahead and refrigerate).
  4. In a skillet over medium heat, toss meatballs with fish sauce until heated through.
  5. Spread mayo mixture on both halves of rolls, and top bottom halves with jalapeno slices (if using), cucumber slices, and a few sprigs of cilantro.
  6. Add a 3-4 meatballs to each sandwich.
  7. Drain pickled vegetables, and place desired amount on top of meatballs. Top with other half of roll and press down. Secure with toothpick if needed.

For the Cherry Smoothie

  1. Put frozen cherries, yogurt, juice and mint leaves in blender, and blend until smooth.
  2. Want to make this an “adult beverage”? Then don’t be shy! Ad a few shots of your favorite liquor and blend it in.
  3. Top with extra mint garnish if you’re fancy like that.

Disclosure: I have partnered with Life of Dad, LLC for the #FrozenChefMadness promotion. Sponsored by NFRA, the #FrozenChefMadness promotion gives anybody the chance to win a $800 Visa gift card.

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