New Ways to Enjoy the Flavors of a BLT
Certain foods have a way of bringing out some strong opinions. Everyone seems to think he or she has the best recipe for various iconic foods. A classic BLT might be the best example. Though some might say it’s just a pile of bacon, lettuce, and tomato on some bread, it’s not quite that simple. Recipes abound for the “perfect” version, some with avocado, some with a meticulously woven bacon square, and some with multiple tomato varieties.
There may not be one recipe that’s ideal for everyone, but no one seems to argue about the winning flavor combination of the three star ingredients. It seems silly to leave them to a sandwich, so it’s time to introduce the trifecta to some of you other favorite foods. These five recipes take the taste of a BLT to places it’s never been before, and the results are undeniably scrumptious.
1. BLT Soufflé Frittata
This one’s a bit of a cheat as there’s no real lettuce in the recipe, but leeks make a much tastier middle letter in Rachael Ray’s baked egg dish than hot, sagging greens would. A little bit of Gruyère adds an extra layer of nutty flavor to this frittata and the herbs make it even more special. This might become your new favorite way to eat breakfast.
While this recipe sounds fancy, it’s much easier than a true soufflé. The only step that requires a little patience is dealing with the eggs, but it’s not difficult. Some people like to separate eggs by passing the yolk back and forth between the shell halves, but using your hands is a better way since you won’t risk nicking the yolk on a piece of shell. Just crack an egg into your hand with your fingers slightly spaced apart, and let the whites fall through to a bowl below. Martha Stewart outlines the process.
- 8 slices of bacon
- 8 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup grated Gruyère cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 leeks, sliced into half moons, cleaned, and dried
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 12 to 14 cherry tomatoes, halved
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake bacon on a slotted pan until crisp, 12 to 14 minutes. Coarsely chop, and set aside.
Separate eggs, placing yolks in one bowl and whites in another. Whisk whites to medium-firm peaks. Whisk yolks with mustard, herbs, garlic, salt, pepper, cheese, and bacon.
Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium to medium-high heat with oil. When oil is hot, add leeks. Cook until lightly brown, 4 to 5 minutes, and remove to a plate. Melt butter in same skillet until foaming subsides. Fold egg whites into yolks, then pour into hot skillet. Scatter leeks and tomatoes over eggs as they begin to set. Transer frittata to oven and bake 15 to 18 minutes, until golden and puffed. Serve.
2. BLT Chicken with Rosemary-Lemon Mayonnaise
Chicken and bacon are a great duo, and they get even better when you add some fresh greens and tomatoes to the mix. Epicurious gives it a go with this deconstructed version of a BLT. A creamy mayo sauce and a crispy coating of breadcrumbs on the chicken give a nod to the recipe’s sandwich inspiration. It’s every bit as delicious as the original, but the added protein makes this meal even more satisfying.
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
- Salt and pepper
- 5 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 4 large plum tomatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 (5-ounce) package mixed baby greens
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 1 cup panko
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
Directions: In a small bowl, mix together first three ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Cook bacon in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Add tomatoes and cumin, then increase heat, and cook 2 minutes. Add greens and cook, tossing, just until wilted, about 1 minute. Sprinkle vinegar over greens, toss to combine, and season with salt and pepper. Divide mixture among four plates.
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place panko in a shallow bowl, then press chicken into panko, covering both sides. Heat oil in another large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sauté until just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Place chicken on top of greens. Serve with mayonnaise.
3. BLT Pizza with White Sauce
Pancetta is certainly a more traditional pizza topping, but the smoky taste of bacon might give it the edge. Give it a try with Cooking Light’s sandwich-inspired pizza. Instead of opting for a basic red sauce, this dish goes with an easy mayo mixture and tops the pie with slices of the fruit. If you’re having trouble finding some good specimens, grape tomatoes are almost always sweet and juicy.
- 1 pound ripe tomatoes, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 center-cut bacon slices
- 10 ounces pizza dough
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- 2 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup baby arugula
Directions: Place pizza stone on bottom oven rack and preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Arrange tomato slices on parchment-line baking sheet and season with oregano and pepper. Set sheet directly on pizza stone and bake for 20 minutes, or until tomatoes are no longer wet. Remove from oven, and set aside.
Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, oil, chives and garlic. Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp, drain on paper towels, and break into pieces.
Using floured hands, pat pizza dough into a 10-inch circle. Place dough on pizza peel or baking sheet covered with cornmeal. Pierce dough with a fork, then transfer to preheated stone. Bake for 5 minutes.
Remove pizza stone from oven. Brush mayonnaise mixture over crust, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge, top with tomatoes, bacon, and cheese. spray crust with cooking spray. Bake 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and crust is brown. Top with arugula. Slice into eight wedges, and serve.
4. BLT burger
This hefty burger from Fine Cooking is a spectacular marriage of two already great sandwiches. Topped with melted cheddar, juicy tomato, and creamy avocado, it’s one of the most delicious ways to enjoy a classic bacon cheeseburger. If you don’t want to take the extra time to cook the onions for the spicy ketchup recipe, it’ll still have nearly as much flavor by adding the dried spices. For even more smoky flavor, try a pinch of ground chipotle.
While the toppings taste pretty great, the real star of the show is the meat. You want to get ground beef that contains 20% fat. The second most important tip? No pressing on the patties, or you’ll force out all the tasty juices.
- 1½ pounds ground chuck
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- ½ teaspoon
- 4 slices cheddar cheese
- 4 brioche hamburger buns
- 8 strips bacon, cooked, and drained on paper towels
- 4 leaves green leaf lettuce
- 2 medium or 1 large beefsteak or heirloom tomato, thickly sliced
- 1 avocado, peeled, and thickly sliced
- 1 recipe Kicked-Up Ketchup
Directions: Place meat in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. Gently mix, being careful to avoid overmixing. Shape into four patties about 1 inch thick.
Prepare a hot grill. Cook burgers, covered with vents open, until nicely charred and cooked to desired doneness, 7 to 8 minutes for medium rare. Avoid pressing patties as they cook. Top each burger with cheese during the last minute of cooking.
Transfer burgers to a plate and tent with foil. Toast buns briefly on the grill. Serve burgers on buns. Top with bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and spiced ketchup. Serve.
5. BLT Salmon Tacos
Fried fish tacos can be a bit of a process to make, so most folks go for dry cooking methods instead. While broiling or grilling the seafood certainly simplifies the process, it also yields a dish that might be too light for guys with a serious appetite. These salmon tacos from How Sweet It Is avoids the problem by giving these handheld meals the BLT treatment. There’s even a bit of avocado to make them super satisfying. These unconventional tacos could become a regular in your dinnertime rotation.
- 4 to 6 (4-inch) tortillas
- 2 (3- to 4-ounce) salmon fillets
- Salt and pepper
- ¼ cup mustard
- 1 tablespoon sour cream
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 slices bacon, cooked, and crumbled
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 avocado, chopped
- Shredded lettuce
Directions: Preheat broiler and position oven rack to highest level. Season salmon with salt and pepper. Broil 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until fish just begins to flake.
Using a fork, break salmon into large flakes. Mix together mustard, sour cream, and paprika in a small bowl.
Build tacos with tortillas, salmon, bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato, and mustard sauce.