Go start a personal project. Pick something you inherently love, and set yourself to work at it. I usually don't like being directive, but sometimes, you just need the encouragement and for someone to tell you, your personal interest project/hobby isn't stupid. Hell, mine is making sandwiches. It makes you happy, and that's really the means, and the ends of it. You do it for yourself, and maybe others will appreciate it, but that's not why you do it. And this isn't coming from a super go-getter self-starter either. Naw. Sometimes, the rest of all life's tribulations, and your own failings catch up with you, and you'll be glad you have that thing you work on, for no other reason than your own satisfaction. And it will give you that, every time. That which can only be accomplished by doing something, because you find it inherently satisfying. No amount of nights out, cat videos, or retail therapy can give you that. And maybe you'll even develop some skill at it, and have something to be proud of, and to share with others. Or not, 'cause that's really not the point.
But anyway, I really like making sandwiches. It's not my only thing, but it's one of them. And the other week, I got a really nice message from someone for whom sandwiches is also, his thing. As much as I don't care if anyone understands the sandwich thing, it was really nice to know there are people out there. He proposed doing a sandwich off. I'm always happy to test my sandwich making imagination, so I accepted, and here's the result. What's the twist? Details after the jump.
So, Jake Jowley, of Gobblestops Sandwich Log also makes sandwiches, and photographs them, and puts them out there for everyone, but he also apparently tweets to celebrities, and gets their fave sandwich ideas. So jokes. But anyway, he asked if I wanted to do a sandwich off, and we decided to both do our take on a common theme. Not really a competition, just so we would both end up with two happy sandwiches to marvel over. We decided loosely on a BLT, but that we didn't really need the L, or the T, or we could have L and T standing for different things, but there definitely was to be bacon involved. Always a good place to start.
I brainstormed on what to make, but I definitely knew L was for lemon. Major game-changer, for chairman Bacon, but if you know your basic bartending, "with a twist" means with lemon. How did I never see it before? Bacon, and lemon, together. It seemed so natural. The succulent, the sour. Both really strong flavours. Then I decided I had to round it off with fried plantains. BLP. Then I reincorporated the L and the T, 'cause actually, lettuce is great for keeping such heavy things from being too much so, and tomato in the form of this green tomato chow I thought would be bomb with the plantains.
Here's what's in it:
bread (Queen St Gluten Free Bakery white bean and millet seed)
thick sliced slab bacon (in house, from The Hogtown Cure)
frisée and other mesclun greens
green tomato chow
Pan toast the bread, then spread the condiments. Confession: I actually used to be really terrified of mayo, and thought it was the grossest thing ever, but then I was reintroduced at age 22, and it's kind of fucking fundamental. Green tomato chow if you can get your hands on some. Tip: whole foods store, farmers' market, canning enthusiast friend.
Next is the plantains. You will have wanted to slice them up, and fry them prior to dressing your sandwich. I fried them in a pan whose surface was completely coated with coconut oil. Medium-low heat for a few minutes per side, until golden brown. The greener the plantain, the dryer, and crunchier they will turn out. If you can get a ripe one, or wait a few days, I would suggest you slice it slightly thicker, and it will turn out softer, a bit oilier, and a lot sweeter. Both are good options.
Bacon. I always say, I eat meat fairly irregularly, but when I do, it has to be the good shit. I got my fave deli The Hogtown Cure to slice me out some thick ones from their slab. I never overcook bacon. If it's crispy, to me, it's overdone. I like biting into soft, fatty, meaty pork. And save the bacon fat for toasting your bread, or making something delicious later.
It's hard to see, but the stuff on top is a lemon reduction. First, I fried the ginger, partly in bacon fat. I sliced up the lemon wedge, then added it to the pan with lemon juice until the liquid had cooked off. Add hot sauce along the way. It should turn out tart, and spicy. Makes the bacon sing.
Lastly, mesclun greens, try to pick out all the frisée, the bitter, prickly looking stuff. You're going to want to go heavy on the frisée. It's what keeps it's texture best when sandwiched against layers of hot food. Omg, so pretty, am I right?
And HERE IT IS. My B(LT?)/BLLPT sandwich-off offering to Jake, and you all. Damn. Not too bad. Jake, thanks for making me reach inside my mind a bit, and really be reminded why I love having this blog. It's fun for it's own sake, and the rewards of turning out something I'm proud of is really what keeps it interesting. And feeling like there's a community for sandwich foolery makes it all that much better to share. Errybody check out Jake's post HERE (coming soon). And tell us what you think!
Served with lemon water, sunshine, and good tunes. Oh, and in case you were wondering, YES, it was fucking delicious. #whodoesn'tlovebacon? Lemon/plantain with it? I mean, could you picture eating lemon and plantain without bacon? I guess you could say that about a lot of things.
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