BLTs

2015-12-27 18.15.08

RECIPE #156, DAY #183

ORIGINAL RECIPE: You really don’t need a recipe for this one*

TIMING: 20 minutes, or a little more to roast the bacon

DIFFICULTY: Easy if you roast, harder if you pan-fry

TOOLS: A roasting pan or a fry pan and a spatula

COOK TYPE: Oven or stovetop

HEALTH: I know lots of people have to stay away from fatty and cured meats, like bacon, as well as mayonnaise. But other people have healthy enough diets that they can eat a BLT–protein, veggies, and hopefully a whole-grain bread–without guilt (occasionally). Our diet fits into this second category.

EXPERIENCE: I grew up on BLTs. They were a easy, fast meal to throw on the dinner table with perhaps a canned soup (perhaps not). Moms everywhere understand that sometimes breakfast or lunch for dinner–even just a sandwich–is a lifesaver.

Plus, we all loved BLTs, and never tired of eating them. Dinner always ended in a fight for the last piece of bacon in which I figured prominently.

So when I had bacon on hand the other day and thought BLTs, it was like a sigh of childhood, and I went with it. Great as always. belying its simplicity.

NOTES: BLT stands for bacon, lettuce, tomato, and besides the toast and the mayonnaise, that’s all a BLT needs to have to make it correct. However, there are plenty of riffs and newfangled versions of the BLT out there, most noticeably adding avocado or replacing the mayo with avocado. Both of these are also yummy, assuming you get your hands on a perfectly ripe avocado.

Other version (think only a couple thematic changes) can include: adding cheese, like sharp cheddar, American, Swiss, or pimiento cheese; adding thin-sliced veggies like grilled zucchini, sprouts, pickles, onions, hot peppers, avocado, fried eggplant, roasted beets, or pickled beets; swapping the mayo for aioli, wasabi mayo, chipotle mayo, burger sauce, horseradish mayo, red pepper mayo, ranch dressing, sriracha mayo, or pesto mayo; adding basil, olive tapenade, a fried egg, or fig jam; changing the bacon to pancetta; changing the ice berg lettuce to arugula, kale, Boston lettuce, or kimchi; changing the bread to ciabatta, whole grain, rye, French bread, rolls, sourdough, or foccaccia; adding a salad, like coleslaw, crab salad, or shrimp salad; replacing the tomatoes with sundried tomatoes; or adding another meat, like grilled chicken or turkey, fried chicken, or smoked salmon. Note that at some point, your BLT will cease to be a BLT and will become something more akin to a Club Sandwich. But it will probably taste great because, well, bacon.

We always made our sort of “slim” and ate a couple sandwiched a piece, but you could stack on the ingredients higher, intending only to serve 1 sandwich per person.

PS. You have to make this with supreme tomatoes and great bacon.

***

  1. Cook 1 pound bacon how you cook bacon. Most people fry it on the stovetop. I prefer to set mine in a cool oven on a roasting rack, then cook at 425 until crispy.
  2. Meanwhile, toast 8 slices of white-wheat bread until pleasantly golden.
  3. Spread mayonnaise on all slices of bread.
  4. On 4 slices of bread, stack a couple leaves of ice berg lettuce and a few slices of awesome tomato. Sprinkle the tomato with a little salt and pepper. Top with a few slices of bacon (broken in half) and then the other 4 slices of bread. Cut in half (in triangles) and serve immediately.

***

Serve with beer or hard cider, veggie chips, and fruit. Instead of the veggie chips, a nice veggie salad would be nice, like a vinegar slaw or a roasted veggie salad.

*Recipe changed from the original.

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