I was trying to decide what to post today, and I actually had a story lined up, but I couldn't get this sandwich out of my mind.
I was never a big BLT fan. Bacon, lettuce, tomato, between a couple of slices of bread: I just never saw the appeal. And then New York in May with Sandra happened. Aside from an absolutely fabulous time with an absolutely fabulous friend, I must say that that B.L.A.T. at Friedman's Lunch totally marked me. Since I can't exactly just hop on over to have it right there every time I feel like it, I reverse engineered it and now make it at home.
Okay, let's not get carried away - it's not really that hard to reverse engineer a BLT-type sandwich! You know what, though? I think some thought still needs to go into it. I guess it could just be slapped together, but a little bit of TLC in your BLT kicks it up a notch. Wow, where in the world did that come from? Anyway.
Here are a few of my thoughts on it:
1) The bread: country loaf or sourdough, sliced not-too-thickly, toasted until warm but still soft. If it's crunchy, the roof of your mouth is not going to thank you.
2) The tomato: the juicy, full-flavoured summer kind, sliced thickly - somewhere between a quarter of an inch to half an inch.
3) The lettuce: crisp and dry. Pat it dry if you need to. Boston and butter lettuce both work well.
4) The avocado: fresh, ripe, sliced about as thickly as the tomato.
5) The bacon: preferably thick-sliced, and definitely not limp! I just cook mine in one layer in a skillet, turning only once (both sides golden) and then I pat the grease away with paper towels.
And (you thought I was done, didn't you?) ... drumroll, please ... 6) the mayonnaise: I think it's just got to be homemade. I mean, you could use the bottled kind, but homemade mayo is so easy to make, and it takes this sandwich to new heights. Trust me. The sandwich that inspired me actually had herbed aïoli, so one of these days I might just pick some herbs from my balcony and use them when making the mayonnaise. For the sandwich pictured here, I added a clove of garlic to the mayo, but I didn't use any herbs.
Quantities? Hm. If it helps any, everything in the last picture above went into those 2 large slices of bread, and it made a huge sandwich, enough for two people to share (or for one very hungry person).
When your ingredients have been prepped and the bread has cooled a bit, construct. Spread some of your homemade mayonnaise on one slice of bread - don't skimp but don't slather it on, either. Lay out the sliced tomatoes over that slice of bread and sprinkle some salt over them. If you've got fleur de sel or sea salt, use that. If you wish, this would be the time to add a few grinds of pepper. Arrange the bacon over that, and the avocado slices over that. Lettuce goes on top. A bit more mayo over the other slice of bread, which goes on top to close your sandwich. And you're done.
Well, not quite. Go somewhere where you won't be disturbed, dig in, and enjoy. Don't forget to bring some napkins with you.
This is going to make more than what you will need for a couple of sandwiches. You could halve it if you wish, or you can keep the leftover mayonnaise in the fridge and use it over the next couple of days.