Makes 1 Sandwich
The inspiration for this sandwich comes from several sources, a confession from Virginia Watkins of Niman Ranch that she likes to smear a little bacon fat on the bread of her BLTs, a story from a friend about the secret ingredient (bacon fat, of course) in her mother's biscuits, and a tip from Adam Rapaport, a senior editor of GQ magazine, that Chat 'n Chew, near Union Square in New York City, makes the baconiest BLT around, stacking it up on seven-grain bread like pastrami.
8 slices dry-cured bacon, cut in half crosswise
2 center-cut slices soft country-style bread
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 slices ripe beefsteak tomato, preferably Black Brandywine
Black pepper in a mill
6 to 8 leaves very fresh oak-leaf lettuce
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Fry the bacon in a large frying pan until it is just crisp, transfer it onto a brown paper bag, and let it drain. Pour off enough of the bacon fat so that there is about 1/8 inch left in the pan. While the bacon is frying, toast the bread in the oven until it is golden brown over a quarter of its surface. Do not let it darken more than this.
Set the frying pan with the bacon fat over medium-high heat. Put the bread in the frying pan, matching the pieces so that what will be the inside of the sandwich is face down in the fat. Fry until the bread is evenly browned, about 5 or 6 minutes. Use tongs to transfer the bread to a work surface, setting it fried side up.
Spread mayonnaise over both pieces of bread. Arrange the tomato slices on one piece, season with a little salt and pepper, and stack the bacon on top, as you might layer pastrami. Set the oak-leaf lettuce on the bacon, and top with the remaining slice of bread, mayonnaise side down. Cut in half, set on several layers of paper towels, and enjoy immediately.
The BLT Cookbook
Our Favorite Sandwich
by Michele A. Jordan
Pages: 160; $14.95; $22.95 (CAN)
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created September 2003
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