RECIPE. Mar 8, 2010

Above Average BLT

There are times when a recipe grabs your attention with such force, you scribble down the ingredients and dash to the store, rabid to come home and develop your masterpiece. Convinced this recipe will be “The One” that makes you and your family finally convinced you should audition for Top Chef or move to a big city and demand to take over the four star kitchen. There are also recipes you know will grab you no fame, fortune or recognition but will satisfy every taste bud in your mouth. It will leave you admonishing yourself for not buying out the supermarkets staple ingredients for this particular dish. Then there are recipes you find that sound good enough, but most importantly, require minimal money, time and energy. These are necessary for any cook to maintain passion and avoid burnout. When you stumble across a recipe that provides the possible promise of all three of these experiences, I call it a “Triple Threat”.

I guarantee, unless your guests are vegetarian, this will please any crowd. Even if the guests are vegetarian, the meat can easily be left out of the dish without taking away from the incredible taste and texture. Its fast, cheap, simple and has made the menu twice this week. My own sister hates avocados and onions and quickly devoured this dinner with less than two mumbles, which is impressive given her gift for gab. For my husband, I leave out the tomatoes and add cheese. The original recipe called for making your own garlic aioli, but mine feel flat, literally. I couldn’t get the egg and oil to whip into beautiful mayonnaise-like peaks and thus got inventive. If you have the energy to make your own aioli, please do so and tell me how it goes. For now, I love my version and I’m not sure how I might react if this sandwich got much better.

Take slices of Rustic bread and put them under the broiler in the oven on high. Keep a close watch and turn as it begins to get lightly brown. Depending on your preference for crunchiness, you can vary the time under the broiler. Place two slices of bread on each plate. Smother one side of bread with mayonnaise.

Layer non-mayonnaise side of bread with avocado, tomato and greens. Season lightly with salt.

Heat 1 Tbs Olive oil in medium pan over medium-low heat. Add sliced onions and season with salt and pepper. Let cook for four minutes or until onion starts to soften. Add more Olive oil as needed to keep onion moist. Add minced garlic and continue cooking until onion is very soft and sweet to taste. Remove onions from pan and place in bowl.

You may choose to cook pancetta in sauce pan for a few seconds or put on sandwich raw. I cook the pancetta for about 30 seconds on each side. Place 3 slices pancetta on mayonnaise side of bread. Layer with garlic-onion mixture. Add cheese if desired.

Place two halves together and enjoy!