The warm weather has really started to kick in here lately, with temperatures regularly up in the 90’s now as July gets underway. That means the house is going to be warm and humid and you are not going to feel like doing much cooking when it comes to making dinner. Sure it could be easy to just go out and grab something or order in a pizza or sandwiches, but you can still make something quick, easy and tasty all on your own. I am one of those people who could eat sandwiches pretty much any time of the day so I have no problem having one for dinner now and then, especially when it gets warm out. When I saw this recipe from Bon Appetit for what they call the Ultimate BLT, well it seemed like the perfect time to give it a try. I mean, it is bacon after all, how could you go wrong? You get lots of options with this one so you can be as plain or adventurous as you like.
The Ultimate BLT
¼ cup (packed) dark brown sugar (optional)
4 teaspoons chipotle chile powder (optional)
4 teaspoons smoked paprika (optional)
1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided (optional)
¼ cup pure maple syrup (optional)
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (optional)
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
2 pounds thick-cut bacon
2 heads of romaine lettuce, separated into individual leaves
4 large beefsteak tomatoes, sliced ¼-inch thick
16 ½-inch slices of your favorite bread, toasted
2 avocados, sliced (for serving)
Mayonnaise (for serving)
Flaky sea salt, freshly ground pepper
Place racks in the upper and lower thirds of your oven and pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
If you are making the brown-sugar rub for the bacon, whisk the brown sugar, chile powder, paprika, and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt in a small bowl.
If you are making the maple-mustard glaze for the bacon, whisk the maple syrup, mustard, cayenne, and the remaining ½ teaspoon of kosher salt in another small bowl.
For making plain bacon, divide the bacon between 2 wire racks set inside large foil-lined rimmed baking sheets. Bake the bacon, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through, until it is brown and crisp, about 35–50 minutes (depending on the thickness of the bacon). Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain.
For flavored bacon, generously sprinkle the desired amount (you’ll have enough rub and glaze for 1 lb. bacon each) with rub or brush with glaze about 5 minutes before the bacon is done cooking. The rub should be melted and bubbling and the glaze should look thick and caramelized.
Arrange the bacon on a large platter and serve it with lettuce, tomatoes, toast, avocados, mayonnaise, sea salt, and pepper alongside for building sandwiches.
Okay, I know I said that this was good for summertime and then the recipe says to put the oven on for 45 minutes. You do have some options here for making the bacon and you can always fry it if you prefer, but I find putting it in the oven on a rack keeps it from sitting in too much grease and makes it crisper. It also lets you cook a large batch of it all at once, which is perfect for sandwiches. Personally, I didn’t try any of the flavored bacon, but the brown sugar rub sure sounds good and it is one I am going to try. I like my BLT pretty basic with one exception – I do like avocado on it. I want crispy bacon, some romaine lettuce or spring mix, good mayo, fresh tomatoes and some nice bread and I am all set. I used spring mix on my BLT along with the avocado and some local tomatoes and I used my favorite homemade bread
for the sandwich, though any bread you really like is going to be perfect for you. You can serve this alongside some potato salad, coleslaw or just some chips and you are good to go. I had a basic coleslaw I made myself that I’ll share the recipe for another time. I only made a pound of the bacon, which is more than enough for the three of us for sandwiches and it was a great dinner. I actually got some thick cut bacon from the Fresh Market for this one instead of the usual Smithfield’s I buy and it was awesome. With so many choices on how you want to serve this one, you can do lots of great things with it. Is it the ultimate BLT? If it’s not, it’s pretty darn good anyway.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!