Updated: May 30, 2021
Let’s talk tomatoes. Lately I had this feeling I was being watched by these beautiful looking tomatoes, who seem to be popping out everywhere I went. I started to think… what would be the best way for me to enjoy these tomatoes. And the, it came to me, the king of all sandwiches… the one who reigns supreme at every restaurant I worked at… The BLT!
This is my take on a BLT. So… let’s do it!
a. For the sandwich
1 Heirloom tomato or 'Beefsteak' tomato
2 butter lettuce leafs (or substitute for your choice of lettuce)
1/2 lb (225g) Bacon strips (6 pieces cut in half per two waved bacons)
2 pieces of Shokupan bread (click to see recipe) cut into 1 inch slices.
b. For the aioli
1 lemon peeled
1 egg yolk
2 cloves garlic peeled
1/2 Tsp pure can sugar
1/2 Tsp kosher salt
1/2 Tsp anchovy paste
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 cup (240g) neutral oil (I use Grapeseed)
Cut the tomato into 1/4 inch (0.65 cm) thick slices and set aside
First thing first… let’s take care of the bread. I think that any good sandwich must have great bread. Using brioche bread seem like the obvious choice…. but I found one better… Shokupan
Shokupan is a Japanese milk bread which is just perfect for a BLT like no other bread I know. For the full recipe, check out the video link by clicking the image below.
Melt the butter either using a sauce pan over low heat, or in a microwave (about 3-5 min). Skim the top leaving you with pure clarified butter.
Brush sliced bread pieces, on both sides. Toast in a pre heated over 350 F. (175 C.) FOR 8-10 min, or until golden brown. (keep an eye on it not to burn)
Here’s my BLT tip, weave the bacon. It’s a method I learned at one of the restaurants I worked at.
To weave the bacon, cut three strips of bacon in half and start with one slice of bacon and place two more pieces vertically underneath.
Then Fold the center slice and place another slice of bacon across the bottom and top slices.
Now fold the top and bottom slices and place a slice of bacon across, covering it with the bottom and top slices.
Fold the center slice and place the last bacon slice across, then cover. And…Walla!! There you go… a beautifully weaved bacon.
Cover the bacon with a baking tray (or wire rack) making sure the bacon stays nice and flat.
Pop it into a 400 F. (205 C.) oven for about 20 minutes or until becoming crispy and golden.
Every good sandwich needs a good binder, connecting all the other ingredients together. For me, it’s this easy quick Lemon pickled Aioli. Let me show you how;
Peel one lemon, making sure not to include the white bitter rind.
Then julienne the lemon peel into evenly thin strips and transfer into a bowl.
Add 1Tsp kosher salt and 1 Tsp pure cane sugar. Mix well, then set aside to rest for about 15-20 min.
To a 1 cup of neutral oil, (I use grapeseed but you can use any other neutral oil) add 1 egg yolk.
Add the pickled lemon peel which should be rinsed of the salt and sugar, dried and minced.
Add 1 Tbs filtered water.
And 2 garlic cloves, minced.
And my little 'secret weapon, ½ Tsp anchovy paste, which will add a ton of umami.
Insert the blender head all the way to the bottom of the cup, use your other hand to secure the cup, then slowwwwwly rise it up to the top, until the oil is emulsified.
This recipe calls for an immersion blende. If you don’t have one, no worries, I got you! see below instructions using a blender or food processor;
If you do not have an immersion blender, then using a food processor of blender (on low speed) combine all the ingredients except for the oil. While the machine running, slowly drizzle in the oil, scraping down the sides as necessary.
Time to put this sandwich together. Arrange the toasted bread on your work station.
Then using a spreader knife (you can use a regular knife or the back of a spoon instead), cover each piece with the pickled lemon aioli from corner to corner. You want to Be generous with it!
Place one butter lettuce leaf on the bottom piece… you can also use romaine or any other lettuce if you’d like.
Top it with the crispy weaved bacon.
Add the sliced tomatoes. make sure to season with salt and pepper!
Top with another butter lettuce leaf and cover with the top piece of bread.
Give it a soft squeeze, a 'sandwich hug, making sure all the ingredients are bonding together.
Using a serrated knife, cut the BLT across.