- Yield: 2
Fried Green Tomato BLT
A well made BLT is definitely my favorite sandwich of all time. The flavors of the few ingredients blend perfectly together, the bread adds a nice crispy texture and whatever aromatic is used in the aioli lends itself to wrap it all together.
You'd think it is easy to make a great BLT with so few ingredients. But in my opinion, its simplicity is also what makes it so difficult to get it right. Each ingredient is present and cannot hide behind something else. So everything needs to be spot on. Starting with the right bread and the right level of toasting, on with fresh flavorful tomatoes and perfectly cooked bacon, and finally the perfect crisp lettuce. And besides the quality of ingredients, the ratio is also important. You just want enough of everything to shine through.
One place who really has it down is The Grove in San Francisco. They really make a perfect version which I've enjoyed for lunch numerous times. If you're in town and on the search for great lunch, try it out. It won't disappoint.
A trip to The South drew my attention to another version of the BLT, the one I am talking about in this post: a classic BLT that replaces the regular tomatoes with fried green tomatoes. Ever since I had my first one in Savannah, GA, I am sold on this version and always look forward to the beginning of tomato season, when fresh green tomatoes can be found at the farmers markets (if you don't want to wait, just grow your own tomatoes and harvest them while still green).
It goes without saying that a great bread is an essential component for this sandwich. If I can make it there in time, I am using the Pain de Mie from ACME Bread in San Francisco.
- For the Tomatoes
- Green Tomatoes - 2 large, firm ones
- All Purpose Flour - 1/2 cup
- Egg - 1, whole
- Plain Breadcrumbs - 2/3 cup
- Corn Flour - 1/3 cup
- Salt, Pepper
- For the Mayo
- Mayonnaise - 1/4 cup
- Dill - 1 tbsp, finely minced
- Salt, Pepper - to taste
- For the Bacon
- Bacon - 6 slices, thick cut
- Red Onion - 1/4 cup, thin sliced
- Pepper - 1 tsp
- To Assemble
- Sandwich Bread - 4 slices
- Lettuce - freshly washed, cold
- To cook the bacon, preheat your oven to 400°F and put the bacon onto a wire rack that sits in a sheet pan, lined with aluminum foil.
- Spinkle the red onions over the bacon, season generously with pepper, and cook in the oven until nice and crunchy but still chewy. About 15 minutes.
- Mince the dill and mix together with mayo, salt, and pepper. This is best done a day in advance so the flavor of the dill can really get into the mayo.
- Prepare a standard breading station with flour, egg, and a mixture of breadcrumbs and corn flour.
- Slice your tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick. Salt and pepper each slice. Then coat it with flour, shake of excess, coat in egg, and finally coat in breadcrumbs. Repeat until all slices are breaded.
- In a large skillet, heat some vegetable oil to 350°F and fry the tomatoes carefully from both sides until they're nice and golden. This shouldn't take much longer than 3 minutes per side. Set aside on a wire rack, so excess fat can drain and sprinkle with salt right after frying.
- To assemble the sandwich, toast the bread. I like to do this in my sandwich press without much pressure, so there are nice grill marks on the bread.
- Spread all four slices with the dill mayo, then add lettuce, 3 slices of bacon, and the fried tomato slices.
- Cover with the second slice of bread and cut in half.