Friday, March 29, 2013

BLT Sandwiches with Candied Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Jam

Would you like to make a really involved BLT? Look no further than this ridiculous recipe. I find it funny when I post sandwich recipes because really, you know how to make a sandwich. I think of these more as sandwich inspiration. Plus, I learned how to make tomato jam AND use the frozen tomatoes in my freezer. Okay, so I made this sandwich last year. I still think about it. Also – pregnancy then baby leads to a lot of excuses and not a lot of blogging.

Moving on.

You may want to wait on this one until summer when tomatoes are the most delicious, but on the other hand, this is a bacon sandwich and you probably want it right about now. Your choice.

BLT Sandwiches with Candied Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Jam via Serious Eats:

Makes 4 sandwiches

For the candied bacon-
16 strips thick cut bacon
1/4 c. packed dark brown sugar
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

For the tomato jam-
3 Tb. olive oil
1 1/2 lb. cherry tomatoes, halved
3 Tb. packed dark brown sugar
3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tb.)
1 small shallot, minced (about 2 Tb.)
2 Tb. red wine vinegar
2 Tb. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sandwich-
8 slices brioche or other soft loaf bread
2 Tb. mayonnaise
8 thin slices cheddar cheese
4 tsp. Dijon or spicy mustard
8 small lettuce leaves (there's a long argument about why iceberg is best here, I just can't do it).

To make the candied bacon, adjust oven racks to upper middle and lower middle positions and preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with foil. Arrange 8 bacon strips in single layer on each sheet. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and pepper in small bowl. Rub sugar mixture all over both sides of bacon strips and bake until crisp, 16 to 18 minutes, alternating sheets’ positions and turning bacon strips with tongs halfway through baking. Transfer sheets to cooling racks and transfer bacon to large plate. When cool enough to handle, discard rendered fat and foil.
While the bacon cooks, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add tomatoes, brown sugar, garlic, shallot, vinegar, Worcestershire, red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and cook, stirring until tomatoes are softened and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer to bowl and let cool to room temperature.
Spread both sides of each bread slice with mayonnaise. Arrange bread on now-empty baking sheets and bake until browned, turning once halfway through cooking, about 6 minutes. Transfer bread to cutting board. Spread 4 slices with mustard. Top remaining 4 slices with 1 slice cheese. Spread mustard-spread slices with tomato jam, then top with 4 slices bacon, and lettuce. Press remaining 4 slices, cheese-side down, onto lettuce. Slice on the diagonal and serve.

And now I've told you, yet again, how to make an overly complicated but still worth your time sandwich. Add avocado. Remove or change the cheese. Go crazy!

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