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The Ultimate BLT Sandwich

September 3, 2018

By Kath Dedon

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A few weeks ago I saw J. Kenji López-Alt’s video about The Ultimate BLT Sandwich. I challenge you to watch the video and not want to make that sandwich right away!

The thing that really puts this sandwich over the top is toasting the bread in bacon grease. Bob thought it was AMAZING! I never would have thought of doing that!

Kenji says that the most important ingredient, though, in a BLT is the tomato. He says not to bother with standard, flavorless supermarket tomatoes. This is the time of year when great tomatoes are available, maybe from your own garden. If you don’t have great homegrown tomatoes, beautiful and delicious heirloom tomatoes are available at grocery stores right now. Those are the ones to use; they’re juicy and full of real tomato flavor.

If you read the article closely, you’ll see that his favorite BLT bread is Oroweat/Arnold Country Buttermilk, unless you can get your hands on, or make, Japanese-style shokupan bread. I wasn’t going to make homemade bread, so I got a loaf of Oroweat Country Buttermilk bread.

Kenji recommends immersion-cured bacon, like Nueske’s or Wright. They may be especially good, but I found that Farmland Thick Cut bacon worked fine.

When I make one of Kenji’s recipes for the first time, I like to follow it pretty closely. After all, he’s the expert. So I used shredded iceberg lettuce on the bottom slice of toast. Bob declared that the Ultimate BLT was outstanding, but he did say that the bottom piece of toast got a bit soggy.

I’m wondering if it got soggy because it took me a while to put it all together since I was taking photos. I think next time it will fare better when I can get the sandwich put together more quickly.

I’m also wondering if the shredded lettuce allowed more of the tomato juices to soak through. Next time I would use several large leafs of lettuce, thoroughly dried, on the bottom slice of toast, and perhaps shredded iceberg on the top. I’m looking forward to giving that a try.

In the end, Kenji’s Ultimate BLT Sandwich is a thing of beauty and a great sandwich! It’s definitely a diet splurge, but it’s worth it to have a treat now and then.

Update 9/19/18 

I made this a second time for Bob last weekend, using whole lettuce leaves and working quickly to put it together. He still thought it was soggy. He declared that he prefers BLTs that are made on regular toasted bread. And with more bacon. He thinks 4 thick slices would be perfect. If you make Kenji’s Ultimate BLT Sandwich and have any insight for us, please share in the Comments. 😉

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Ultimate BLT

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The Ultimate BLT Sandwich

(Adapted from J. Kenji López-Alt’s recipe on Serious Eats)

 

(print the recipe)

 

Serves 1

 

3 strips thick cut bacon (I used Farmland.)

2 slices high-quality sandwich bread (I used Oroweat Country Buttermilk bread.)

4 tablespoons mayonnaise*

1½ cups finely shredded iceberg lettuce (or large crispy lettuce leaves, washed and thoroughly dried)

4 thick slices ripe tomato

Coarse sea salt, such as fleur de sel or Maldon

Freshly ground pepper

 

* Kenji’s recipe says to use total of 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, but if you watch his video you’ll see that he recommends a generous amount of mayonnaise. He clearly uses more than a tablespoon on each slice. I used 4 tablespoons, about 2 on each slice, and it seemed just right.

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The ingredients, except for the bacon and pepper

Ingredients for BLTs

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  1. Turn the oven on Warm. Place the bacon in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, turning often, until the bacon is crisp and that fat has rendered.

Bacon

 

2. While the bacon is cooking, prep the lettuce. Shred the iceberg lettuce or wash and dry leaf lettuce if you’re using that.

3. Slice the tomato and get the mayonnaise and salt and pepper ready to go.

4. Place the cooked bacon on a paper towel on a piece of aluminum foil. Wrap the foil around the bacon and put it in the oven to keep warm while you finish the sandwich.

5. Keep the skillet on medium-low and add the bread to the bacon grease. Toast until it is browned on the first side and then turn it over to brown the second side.

toasting bread in bacon grease

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6. Remove the toast from the skillet. Spread the mayonnaise on both slices.

Mayo on bread

 

7. Add the shredded (or leaf) lettuce to one slice of bread. Top the lettuce with the tomato slices. Generously sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and pepper.

Lettuce added

 

8. Break the bacon slices in half and lay them over the tomato slices.

tomato slices and bacon

 

9. Top the bacon with shredded lettuce.

More lettuce added

 

10. Put the second piece of toast over the sandwich. Cut in half on the diagonal and serve immediately.

cut in half diagonally

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The Ultimate BLT

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The Ultimate BLT Sandwich.jpg

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jim permalink
    September 3, 2018 4:41 pm

    I’m drooling! 😋

  2. September 4, 2018 2:49 am

    Looks to be a perfect BLT to me. Your post reminded me of camping as a youngster, as we always fried our breakfast bread in bacon grease. I have some goose fat in the freezer, wonder what fried bread in goose fat taste like?

    • September 4, 2018 5:08 am

      I’m sure bread fried in goose fat would be amazing, Ron! 🙂

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