Monthly Archives: August 2011

The BTE

This week, I found myself in possession of a bounty of produce from a friend’s mother’s garden (thanks, Carol!). For starters: squash blossoms, four kinds of basil, fresh peppers, the most fragrant rosemary I have ever encountered, and best of all, a bevy of tomatoes. As you may have gathered from the simple summer recipes posted lately on this site, I am a firm believer in a hands-off approach to peak-season vegetables. And while a fresh tomato needs nothing more than a dusting of salt, once bacon and hard-boiled eggs are involved, we are talking about some next-level eating.

My family has a historically weird relationship with BLTs. As a child, my sister and her best friend would eat BLCC- bacon, lettuce, and cottage cheese- sandwiches, skipping the tomato. Conversely, I dislike lettuce on sandwiches in general- I’m fine with a handful of arugula, but iceberg, romaine, and the like are far too wet to go on bread. But this sandwich has nothing to do with the mushy tomatoes on toasted Wonderbread of our youth. I present, for your near-instant gratification, the BTE sandwich- my favorite use of a just-off-the-vine tomato in recent memory.

Preparation could not be simpler- I layered slices of hard-boiled egg and tomato, thick-cut bacon, and a miniscule amount of mayonnaise on toasted sourdough bread. But as usual, delicious is in the details. I cooked the bacon in my beloved cast iron skillet, and in a move both lazy and decadent, toasted the bread directly in the pan full of bacon drippings. Of course, for a healthful twist, you could use dry toast to construct your sandwich. Your arteries would thank you, but your spirit would not.

The BTE Sandwich

4 slices thick-cut bacon
4 medium-thick slices of sourdough, or any rustic-style bread
1 ripe tomato, as fresh as possible, sliced thick
2 hard-boiled eggs, chilled, peeled, and sliced
Mayonnaise

In a large skillet, preferably cast iron, cook the bacon until crisp, turning often. Set aside on a paper towel lined plate to cool. In the skillet with rendered bacon fat, toast four slices of bread, flipping several times. Set aside to cool.

Once bread has cooled slightly, spread one side of each piece with a thin layer of best-quality mayonnaise. Top two pieces of toast with bacon, tomato, hard-boiled egg, and a second slice of toast.

Makes two very filling, very tasty sandwiches.

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Seafood, Eat It

My love for all things nautical borders on the obsessive. I own an anchor-print swimsuit, no fewer than five red-and-white striped shirts, and have a ship’s bell on my back porch. I like to eat nautical too. Though I generally aim to try new restaurants rather than visit the same place twice, since FishBar opened, I find myself going back again, and again, and again…. The power of the lobster roll compels me.

On our last visit, the manager brought my friend Missy and I a little taste of a new tartare the kitchen was experimenting with. Salmon + dill = perfection.

We split the Soft Shell Crab Po’Boy (amazing)…

… and of course, the lobster roll.  Because we’re decadent like that.

In fact, I went on about these lobster rolls so much, my parents put on a lobster feast for the Fourth of July.  Sparks flew.

Oh yes, those too. But really, lobster tails, deviled eggs, and my best friend in from New York for the occasion… that is reason enough to celebrate.

To create your own Lobster Fest ’11, grill lobster tails over medium high heat for 4 minutes on each side, brushing generously with butter. The shells will turn bright and the lobster meat will be opaque when ready. Serve with lots of melted butter and plenty of napkins.

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