Weekend cooking – Pan Bagnat (Video)

Despite cold temperatures in Paris recently, summer really is getting closer. Last night people were pulling out their winter parkas, gloves and hats again as temperatures dropped. Sunny skies are back today and we’re less than a month away from summer solstice.

I’ve been making something like this for years, but with a few simple changes. It’s less typical to see raw red peppers in France being served, because many here complain about problems digesting them. While that doesn’t stop me from eating them raw, for this sandwich, I do prefer roasted peppers instead. It’s a different texture and taste and I think it’s a better fit.

Also, I tend to go through a lot of tapenade (or sometimes just olive paste) in the summer so there’s always a jar of it open in the fridge. I’ll often add a layer of tapenade onto the bread, followed by the roasted red pepper and then tuna in olive oil. And yes, it really needs to be the tuna in olive oil to make it all work.

As with all recipes, nothing is carved in stone so use what you like and adjust accordingly. I generally don’t even do the wrapping and sitting for a day part and just eat after it’s been prepared. It’s a fantastic picnic food.

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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  • Jim

    Yummy! Where’s my wine glass?

  • luwokoveheh

    мy ғrιeɴd’ѕ ѕтep-αυɴт мαĸeѕ $61 αɴ нoυr oɴ тнe lαpтop. ѕнe нαѕ вeeɴ oυт oғ worĸ ғor 9 мoɴтнѕ вυт lαѕт мoɴтн нer pαycнecĸ wαѕ $1З121 jυѕт worĸιɴɢ oɴ тнe lαpтop ғor α ғew нoυrѕ. reαd мore oɴ тнιѕ ѕιтe Zap2­2­.c­o&shym&shy

  • :-)

  • Thanks.

  • mmmmmmmmm

  • My contribution for today: Cheese & onion enchiladas.


    – 4 or 6 medium-large tortillas (any kind, we prefer corn when we can get them in this size)
    – About half a white onion, finely chopped (a bit more if making 6)
    – One tbsp butter
    – One Hatch chile, roasted & skinned, de-seeded and finely chopped (can substitute Anaheim if that’s all you can get; you can use canned, but I can’t recommend it as a preferred choice)
    – Shredded cheese (we usually go with Mex blend or cheddar-jack)
    – Paprika, cayenne powder, garlic powder, oregano
    – Sour cream
    – One pint of enchilada sauce (can be store bought or homemade); the store brands are often labeled as such, or as ‘chili sauce base’

    In a large skillet, heat about half an inch of vegetable oil on medium-high heat. Fry the tortillas on each side, flipping frequently, for only about 30-60 seconds total. When the tortilla begins to inflate, that’s good enough. Stack them on a plate with paper towels in between to soak up the excess oil.

    Heat the enchilada sauce in a separate pot. If it seems a little thin as some of the store-bought sauces are, you can add 1/2 to 1 can of tomato paste to make it thicker. Personally, I like marinara-level thickness. Likewise if you bought hot enchilada sauce and it’s too hot, that tomato paste will take it down a notch or two. On the other hand, if the sauce seems too mild, you can spice it up with another chopped Hatch chile or simply by adding cayenne powder.

    Pour off the oil you used for frying the tortillas or use a new skillet and saute the onions and Hatch chile in the butter. Sprinkle with the paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, and oregano while it’s cooking. Add a little salt and/or ground pepper if you like. Saute until the onion is just beginning to turn translucent. Remove from heat and put the onion & pepper mixture into a bowl.

    Pre-heat oven to 375F. In an oven-safe baking pan — we use our lasagne pyrex — spread a generous layer of the heated enchilada sauce on the bottom.

    On a clean cutting board or other flat surface, take one of the tortillas. Spread a few tablespoons of the onion & pepper mixture in the middle of it, in a line from side to side. Add a teaspoon of sour cream, no need to spread it. Add shredded cheese across the same line as the onion… I’d say about the equivalent volume of a jumbo hot-dog, just to give you a rough idea how much. Fold the enchilada toward you about 3/4 of the way, tucking in the sides with your pinky-fingers; push the folded front edge down and into the mixture and roll it towards you. (Takes some practice to roll a decent enchilada). Put the completed enchilada into the baking dish, seam side down.

    Continue rolling the rest of the enchiladas and line them up in the baking dish with the first one. Once that’s done, pour the rest of the enchilada sauce* over the enchiladas and spread it out with a spoon or spatula so they’re completely covered. Sprinkle a generous amount of shredded cheese on top, like half a cup worth.

    (* = If it seems like you have way too much enchilada sauce, just hold some back and serve it on the side. Some folks like extra.)

    Pop it into the oven for 25 minutes or when the cheese just begins to brown. Another sign of done-ness is the sauce will be bubbling. Take it out and let it sit for about 5 minutes to set up. Be careful because the pan will be VERY hot. (If using pyrex, especially the new crappy stuff, do NOT put the pan on a cold burner or trivet — always use a few layers of towels or a pot-holder under it. Apparently there’s a shattering risk. Just thought I’d throw that in there.)

    If the meal is served with rice and/or refried beans as sides, chances are one enchilada each will be enough per person. This same basic recipe can be used for any kinds of fillings to put into enchiladas, too — shredded chicken or beef, fried ground beef, sausage crumbles, beans, mushrooms. The only limit is your imagination.

  • GaiusPublius

    Chris, this is brilliant. Thanks ! C’est pan bagnat pour moi la prochaine fois !


  • Oh but Indigo, I love haricots verts. They are about the only reason I’ll do a surreptitious and traitorous run to Hole Foods in season. Blanch, saute in garlic and butter. yummm

  • Absolutely delicious. I almost ate the screen!

  • UncleBucky

    Looks great. But where’d you get the tuna? ;o)

    This is a trick question, yes…!

  • Indigo

    That looks fine but I think I’ll roast the peppers and skip the haricots verts.

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