It began with three women — one in New York, one in Paris, one in San Diego.
Although they lived far, far apart and had never met, they had one thing in common: a deep love for bacon.
“I was just thinking how nice a BLT would be. I only have the L & T, however,” lamented Ellise in Paris.
“And I have the B but not the L and T. Come on over-we’ll combine them … ” I, the New Yorker, said.
“You know, I already bought bacon and tomatoes and was planning on a BLT soon for lunch!” said Nicole in San Diego.
And that, folks, was how our intercontinental BLT lunchdate was hatched.
As devoted as we are to food, hopping on several-hour flights just to make BLTs together seemed just a hair too zany. (Just a hair.) Instead, we decided to each make a BLT sometime this week and share it with one another on Twitter on Friday.
As the bacon-infused excitement slowed to a simmer, it occurred to me that while I’ve had dozens of BLTs in my life — I’ve never actually made one. But since the sandwich is pretty self-explanatory, given that its name actually spells out its key ingredients, bacon, lettuce and tomato, I wasn’t too worried.
For starters, I began with the bread, choosing to make a garlic- and basil-topped focaccia that I’d been planning to bake for the Bread Baker’s Apprentice challenge.
Then, I turned to the star of the show: Bacon.
Not to mix my meat metaphors, but I have a beef with many BLTs. Specifically, the amount of bacon you get in each bite. Because the strips of bacon tend to move around or fall out of the sandwich, you don’t always get an equal amount of meat with each bite. (No, I’m not normally this anal.)
In fact, sometimes, you don’t get any bacon at all. And just L and T do not a satisfying bite make.
I was pondering this conundrum when I came across a recipe from Mr. Baconpants.
Now, I know what you’re thinking — and Mike said it, too. His exact words: “I don’t think you should be trying any recipes from someone named Mr. Baconpants.”
But Mr. Baconpants actually had a brilliant idea to weave the strips of bacon together to form a flat, crispy patty, which instantly ensures that each bite will have L, T and B.
As the bacon was baking (which is a lot more manageable than frying when you’re dealing with a lattice weave), I whipped together a summery lemon-avocado spread …
and prepped some L and T.
The bacon “patty” came out nicely …
… and looked perfect, paired up with the focaccia.
end result was more of a BLAT (since avocado was involved) but it was
good, nonetheless. (The one thing I’d change if I did it again: I’d use
less olive oil when baking the focaccia. The greasy bacon and slightly
oily focaccia were a delicious but potentially lethal combination. By the way, Yeastspotting sometimes has some pictures and alternative recipes for focaccia.)
While we didn’t all get to make our BLTs together and share them
over a leisurely lunch, this virtual lunchdate wasn’t a bad option. We had international camraderie, giant dollops of infectious creative energy and lyrical waxings about bacon — all good things.
Which leads me to the all-important question:
So, what’s for lunch next?
To check out BLTs created by other home-chefs, go to Twitter and do a search for #bltlunch. Here are some posts:
Amanda‘s bacon, arugula and heirloom tomato sandwich on sourdough-squaw swirl bread at Food Porn Daily
Cathy’s BLTea, made with home-made smokey tea tomato jam at ShowFood Chef
Ellise’s BLT made with Poilane bread, chipotle mayonnaise and bacon bought from cute, blue-eyed butchers in Paris at Cowgirl Chef
Heather‘s BLT made with home-made oatmeal and brown sugar toasting bread at Flour Girl
Karen‘s grilled fontina cheese BLT on nine-grain bread at GeoFooding
Kelsey‘s prosciutto, lettuce and tomato BLT at The Naptime Chef
Nancy‘s BBT, a bacon, home-grown basil and tomato sandwich at Flickr
Nicole‘s BLT made with sheepherder’s bread at Pinch My Salt
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 tablespoon (or more, if avocado is less ripe) mayonnaise
- 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, depending on how lemony you like it
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Seven strips of bacon per sandwich (which serves two)
- 1 large, thick slice of focaccia, sliced in half
- Butter lettuce
- 1 large tomato, sliced
Mix together all avocado spread ingredients — if avocado is less ripe, grind/chop it up in a food processor and mix in other ingredients.
Weave together uncooked bacon in a lattice-pattern (pictured above), place on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.
Lightly spread one slice of bread with mayonnaise (I prefer Japanese mayonnaise, which typically contains a small amount of rice or apple cider vinegar) and the other, thickly, with the avocado spread.
Lay the bacon patty on the bread, top with lettuce and tomato and a generous sprinkling of freshly ground pepper (if you desire) and then close the sandwich.