The BLT: Two Ways
A good BLT is one of my favorite sandwiches in the world. But even still, that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved! A few weeks ago, Betsy and I were looking for a quick lunch and I happened to have all the stuff for a BLT sandwich. I ran down to the store and grabbed a good loaf of focaccia and came back to make some sandwiches!
These are my quick keys to making a really awesome BLT:
1) Use the best tomatoes you can find. Good fresh juicy tomatoes can really make the sandwich.
2) Bake your bacon until it’s really crispy. Try to get really good, thick bacon for these. More on the bacon later.
3) I think mayonnaise is essential on a normal BLT. If you’re doing one of the alternative versions in this post though, you can skip it.
4) Toast the bread. Gotta toast the bread!
So, let’s make some!
The BALT and The Spanglish
Yield: 2 sandwiches.
6 thick strips of bacon. Some people go crazy on the bacon, but I'll show you a trick that can make a little go a long way.
1 ripe tomato
A few leaves of crispy lettuce
1 Avocado (if you're making the BALT)
1/2 Cup Monterey Jack (or your favorite) cheese (for the Spanglish)
1 Fried egg per sandwich (for the Spanglish)
1) Lay bacon out on a wire rack over a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until very crispy, about 15-20 minutes.
2) Slice bread and brush on bacon grease. Toast bread in the oven on a clean baking sheet for 5 minutes. You just made bacon bread!
For the BALT: Add bacon, sliced tomato, lettuce and sliced avocado to the bacon bread.
For the Spanglish: Leave out the avocado (or include it if you want). Add shredded cheese to one slice of bread as it toasts. Fry an egg in 1 Teaspoon of butter or olive oil. Make sure to fry it over easy so it's nice and runny! Add the egg to the sandwich!
The Bacon. The Bread.
Sometimes people can get a bit out of control with their bacon on a BLT. This might sound like blasphemy to some of you, but I do think it’s possible to have too much bacon on a sandwich.
Trust me. If you get some really nice thick bacon and follow the instructions here, three strips per sandwich is more than enough.
For starters, preheat your oven to 375 and then put a rack on a baking sheet. Lay out your bacon on the rack and cook it for about 15 minutes (depending on the bacon), until it’s really crispy.
Cooking it on the rack will let the bacon grease drip off and also keep your bacon in perfect strips. It’s really the only way to cook bacon if you ask me!
While the bacon cooks, you can get your bread out. I found a nice loaf of focaccia. I wouldn’t use flimsy white bread for these guys, but you could if you’re in a bind I guess.
The Smartest Thing I’ve Ever Done.
Instead of using butter to toast the bread, I just plopped each slice in the bacon grease that had dripped off while the bacon cooked.
This basically makes bacon bread. If you do this the sandwich will taste incredibly bacon-y even if it only has a few slices on it.
Don’t toast the slices in the grease though as they might burn. Just let them soak up some of it and then toast them on a separate baking sheet. After a few minutes you’ll have some really beautiful bread.
The Rest of the Party.
No matter what version you’re making, you’ll need tomato and lettuce. I actually like a LOT of lettuce on my sandwich. It’s just how I roll.
One avocado will be enough for two sandwiches also if you’re doing the BALT.
This sandwich was from the 2004 Adam Sandler flick Spanglish. I saw the movie a long time ago, but for some reason I remembered the sandwich.
OH wait. I know why I remembered it. Because it’s the best sandwich ever made. No joke.
It’s really easy to make once you have your BLT fixings ready. Just add some cheese (I like Monterey Jack) to one slice of bread and put it back in the oven for a minute so the cheese gets melted.
Then fry up an egg in a tiny bit of butter. Over-easy is the best way to go here so the egg stays runny, gooey and awesome.
Then top the sandwich with your egg and cheese!
The cross-section shows the real beauty of this thing.
It’s cheesy and tastes very bacony even though there’s just a few strips on there. And as you can see, I like lettuce.
The great thing about The Spanglish is that the egg creates almost a sauce for the sandwich.
But whether you make The Spanglish or The BALT or just a plain old BLT, do the thing with the bread in the bacon. Thank me later.