Sandwiches happen to be one of my favorite food categories, but are something I almost never make for dinner. Why? Who knows really. However, staring into my refrigerator at a delicious packet of Applegate Sunday bacon (my favorite!), and a fresh new loaf of French pullman bread from the bakery had my mouth watering for some carby-goodness. Alas, I had an epiphany and dreamt up a version of the classic BLT that had my tastebuds doing a dance somewhat resembling ”the wave” performed at sporting events. The final product? A delightful combo of candied bacon, avocado cream sauce, and tomato confit. Since no sandwich should be served without a crunchy sidekick, I also made up a batch of veggie “fries”.
Crispy Baked Veggie Fries
1 zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch thick ‘fries’
10 asparagus spears, trimmed, cut in half
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated
salt and pepper to taste
Dredge the veggies in the flour, dip them in the egg and then into a mixture of the panko breadcrumbs, parmensan, thyme salt and pepper.
Place the “fries” on a wire rack on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 425F oven until golden brown, about 7-10 minutes.
12 slices bacon, about 1/4-inch thick
Finely ground black pepper
1/3 cup light brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Put bacon slices in a bowl, season them with pepper and toss with the brown sugar. Cover a baking sheet with parchment or foil and arrange the bacon in a single layer on top. Sprinkle any sugar left in the bowl over the bacon. Top with another layer of parchment or foil and top it, squarely, with another baking sheet. The baking sheet will flatten the bacon as it cooks.
Place the tray in the center of the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Check the bacon by lifting the top tray and parchment. If it is not golden brown and fairly crispy, resist the temptation to turn up the oven temperature, and cook it for 10 to 15 minutes longer. Check it again. Keep in mind that when you remove the tray and transfer the bacon to a serving platter or individual plates, the bacon will “crisp” up a little more.
1/8 cup cream cheese
1 teaspoon lime juice
salt and papper to taste
Whip all ingredients together by hand or with a hand mixer.
1 pound Roma tomatoes (about 5 medium tomatoes)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves, halved
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 medium dried bay leaf, crushed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 325°F and arrange the rack in the middle.
Slice 1/8 inch off both the top and bottom of the tomatoes. Stand each tomato on one end and slice downward, following the curve and cutting just into the flesh, leaving behind the seeds (the pieces you cut off will resemble petals). Discard seeds and pulpy portion.
Combine the tomato petals with remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and toss to coat. Spread the tomato petals, cut side down, on a baking sheet spaced about 1/2 inch apart. Pour remaining contents of the bowl over tomatoes.
Roast the tomatoes until they’re shriveled and dark red but still hold their shape, about 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in the pan, then transfer to a container with a tightfitting lid and cover with any remaining oil from the baking sheet (add additional oil if there’s not enough to cover the tomatoes). Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.