17 March 2012 – St. Patrick’s Day Sandwich

If you are thinking this post is going to be about some monstrosity of a mustard infused corned beef, cabbage and potato sandwich with green bread – you would be wrong. It is not that I am opposed to something like that …. maybe not the green bread, it is just that I didn’t have those ingredients this St. Patrick’s Day. Since we are on the subject of this day here is a link that will tell you all you need to know about the meaning of the day, its origin and what it has evolved into. Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Okay so this does happen to be about a sandwich that I just happened to make on St.Patrick’s Day. Many times making a sandwich is a pretty mundane exercise that we go through in order to quickly knock down that hunger that has been building. I didn’t want to just slap some meat, cheese and perhaps a  vegetable or two together between some bread and call it a day. I wanted to make, create, build or assemble something outstanding. I wanted to make something that looked almost too good to eat. I wanted to be a sandwich engineer or perhaps sandwich artist.

I started reading up on various sandwiches and comparing the ingredients to what I had on hand. Turns out that we had exactly what was needed to make that classical BLT (Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato) Sandwich plus a little something extra. Food historian John Mariani claimed the BLT was the second most popular sandwich in the United States residing just behind the ham sandwich and in 2008 a poll reveled that the BLT was the most popular sandwich in  the United Kingdom.

Okay so BLT it is and here is what goes in the classic version –

  • Bread
  • Bacon
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Mayonnaise

That’s it – simple is good. Depending on the quality of ingredients you use this sandwich can go from ordinary to extraordinary.

We had some good bread to take advantage of. An artisan sour dough loaf that had some nice texture and would become very flavorful once buttered and toasted. It is an investment in flavor when you buy fresh baked breads. They don’t keep as long as the preservative loaded Wonder Bread types but you will finish it before it goes bad because it is just so darned good.

Hormel Black Label Bacon had been on sale last week so there was plenty of that. Hormel is a good middle of the road store bacon but if you want to take this sandwich over the top visit your local meat market and have the butcher hook you up with something special.

While we are weeks away from those delicious summer tomatoes, I did happen upon some pretty tasty tomatoes the last visit to the store. Pay a little more for some heirloom tomatoes if you see them this spring. You will be rewarded many times over.

Lettuce – well, there is really only one type of lettuce that I would trust with my BLT and that is iceberg. It is low on flavor and big on crispness. It doesn’t overwhelm the other ingredients and adds great texture.

Mayonnaise – well nothing is better than homemade and it is really easy to make. You can add other spices and flavors to make it extra delicious. In a pinch though the store bought will do just fine. I used Hellman’s this time with no complaints.

I mentioned earlier that there was also a little something extra – in this case it was fresh red bell pepper strips. Why –  because I love them and because they add such a fresh flavor. You can add anything you like. Fresh avocado would work just fine and one of these days I am going to try it with a fried egg in the mix. Get creative.

The bread was buttered and toasted, the bacon with a good amount of fresh cracked black pepper was slow cooked until crisp in a heavy skillet and the tomatoes were cut into 1/4″ slices. The lettuce was cold, crisp and waiting to join the mayonnaise.

I gave a little thought as to the construction of this sandwich. It needed to be structurally sound and not have the contents slipping out and onto your lap while you eat. It went something like this from the bottom up –

  • Bread
  • Mayonnaise
  • Lettuce
  • Bacon
  • Red Bell pepper
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Bacon
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Tomato
  • Bacon
  • Lettuce
  • Mayonnaise
  • Bread

BLT+R sandwich construction was complete and all I had to do was fight off the urge to dig in until after I took a photo or two.

Lupo’s BLT+R

So beautiful – I almost couldn’t eat it. It was like a work of art – I was like a sandwich artist …. not really, I tore that tasty sandwich up. It never knew what hit it.

Lupo’s BLT+R

A closer view of the layers. This was the last anyone saw of this sandwich. It was a great sandwich and I will miss it until the next sandwich adventure.

Get out there and build your own sandwich sometime soon. You can thank me later.

 

Lupo

15 thoughts on “17 March 2012 – St. Patrick’s Day Sandwich

  1. reedit brought me hear and you made a rather mundane morning at the office that much more depressing, as i didn’t think it was necessary to have breakfast ad the last week or so has been a fast-food binge. thank you for reminding me what I’m missing out on:( and the pictures are what hurts the most.

  2. Personally, all it’s missing is pickles, if you play around with the mayo to give it a bit of bite, that’d be awesome too.

    Peppered bacon – genius.

    Bell pepper – not so sure about this, curious though…

    It looks like a perfect sandwich. I will be making this shortly.

    • Haven’t tried the pickles yet but almost anything is possible. If you like Red Bell Peppers then you should find that they work really well on this sandwich. Good luck.

  3. reddit brought me here too
    i will surely be making this beauty on saturday morning

  4. BLT is my fave sandwich. U need to publish a “Sandwich a Week”. You seem not only to be a sandwich maker, but a food stylist too. Or did U just get lucky with the lighting…?

    • I suppose that luck plays in there a bit. I do quite a bit of photography and quite a bit of cooking as well. These two interests play well together. I do pay close attention to how I present and plate the food I photograph and getting the right light is key. When possible use natural lighting.

  5. We publish an online magazine and photographs are always the difference between an outstanding article, tutorial, collage, etc., and one that does not make the issue. Your photo of what could possibly be the most delicious looking BLT I have ever seen is unbelieveable! Wow, whatever you do to get the quality and detail shown here, keep it up. Just thinking about your masterpiece makes me hungry. Heck, if you wanted to start a national chain of “Over the Top BLT’s,” Called OTT-BLT, I’d be your first customer.

    Great job!

    • Thanks Paul that’s high praise and I appreciate it. I would love to start up something like what you mentioned but as soon as I could get the doors open someone would come out with some kind of nonsense study that says something preposterous like bacon is bad for you.

Comments are closed.