Recipe: 610 BLT
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup diced onions
- 2 pounds bacon ends (we recommend Benton’s bacon in Tennessee)
- 1 cup fruity red wine
- 2 lengths scallion
- 4 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 pound foie gras
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon. ground black pepper
- Good quality hard grating cheese (aged gouda is nice – we like to use a cheese called Myrtlewood from Sweetgrass Dairy in Georgia)
- Oven-dried cherry tomatoes
- Good quality cereal or multi grain bread sliced very thin
There is no lettuce in our BLT. We replaced the lettuce with foie gras — hence the L stands for liver. We make our sandwiches with what is essentially a bacon paté.
My first job in a restaurant was in a greasy diner in New York called The Big Apple Restaurant. We served all the classic diner dishes in the most awful manners possible. But I loved those cheap incarnations of classic American foods: BLT, corned beef, turkey club, milkshakes and—my personal favorite—pancakes.
Years later, I find myself in Louisville at a major crossroads: finding inspiration from those classic dishes from my New York youth, incorporating the techniques of the European cuisines that I have been studying for the past ten years, and living in the South where the proclivity to insist on genuine, hand crafted ingredients is both natural and expected. To me, this recipe neatly embraces all three stages of my life and my career.
For the bacon paté:
1) Warm the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the diced onions. Cook slowly until the onions become translucent.
2) Add the bacon ends and the red wine. Simmer slowly over low heat until most of the wine is reduced away. Remove the bacon and onions. Drain off the extra fat and discard.
3) Transfer bacon and onions to a food processor. Add the chopped scallions, Dijon, foie gras, sherry vinegar and black pepper.
4) Puree until a rough paste forms.
For the BLT:
1) Arrange the sliced bread on a work surface. Smear a little Dijon on each slice. Hand-grate the cheese over each slice.
2) Place the paté in an even layer about 1/2" thick over every other slice of bread. Place the oven-dried cherry tomatoes over the paté. Close the sandwich with the other slice of bread.
3) Press gently and cook on a heavy black skillet over low heat with a little olive oil until the bread gets crispy. Flip sandwich and repeat on other side.
4) Remove and drain on paper towels.
5) Cut the sandwich using a serrated knife into one-inch squares. Serve warm.