12 Mar2013

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To be honest, BLT’s (Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato sandwiches) weren’t a personal favorite growing up. We rarely had access to spectacular tomatoes and nice thick slices of salty bacon didn’t last long enough to be sandwiched between bread. But after living in the U.S. for several years, I learned to appreciate the simple yet spectacular pairing of flavors, texture, color and ultimately taste of a well-made BLT.

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BLT purists might balk at anything other than white bread, hellman’s mayonnaise, several slices of crisp bacon, several slices of ripe beefsteak tomatoes and iceberg lettuce, but there are many ways to enjoy these ingredients together in some form or another… For a recent version a la Marketman, I took two slices of sourdough bread, with a bit of tang and complete with crust (I don’t remove my crusts for sandwiches like others sometimes do), added generous amounts of European mayonnaise out of a tube, with some mustard mixed in, several large and extremely fresh basil leaves (I could have made a pesto but was lazy), and several leaves of crisp romaine lettuce…

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…added some superb slices of vine-ripened tomatoes from Toscana Farms, and several thick slices of canadian bacon fried to a CCRISP, but unfortunately complete with their rind which was a mistake. If you have a tough rind, remove it before you fry the bacon so it’s easier to bite into your sandwich and the bacon shatters with your bite, rather than hangs on and slips out for a ride, messing up the proportions of ingredients in each and every bite. Put the sandwich together and slice it in half if you like, to make it easier to handle. Sandwich heaven. Have to do this at least twice a year. :)

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A couple of days later, I used up some extra steamed shrimp by making a really simple shrimp salad sandwich. Just mix some good mayonnaise with lots of chopped dill, a bit of lemon juice, salt and pepper and add the shrimp and mix this all up. Use any whole wheat, white or sourdough bread. I served this for a light lunch together with a bowl of chilled gazpacho, made from some of those spectacular Toscana tomatoes…

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On another day, I decided on a more substantial meaty, hearty, flavorful sandwich for lunch. Pan fried some spicy italian sausage, add sliced bell peppers, tomato puree, spices and salt and pepper and let this cook until thick and perfect for a section of a toasted baguette.

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I used to buy versions of this sandwich from sidewalk carts when I worked in New York, and I haven’t had a sausage sandwich in years! The spicy juicy and meaty sausage combined with the sweet bell peppers and the always welcome slathering of tomato brought back good memories. All of these sandwiches took very little time to make, and were the perfect choice for light (or not so light) lunches at home. :)

 

COMMENTS:

  1. PITS, MANILA says:

    ooooh! loving your decked-up sandwiches … rice seems to be the farthest from my mind.

    Mar 12, 2013 | 4:27 pm

     
  2. cecile says:

    wow! am drooling as i read and stare at the pictures in this post!

    Mar 12, 2013 | 4:30 pm

     
  3. kaye says:

    will need to do all these asap and these gave me an idea what to eat in this part of the world where meat and bread rule a.k.a. Poland :-)

    Mar 12, 2013 | 4:53 pm

     
  4. shiko-chan says:

    that is one heck of a BLT sandwich. *drool*

    Mr. Marketman, would you recommend any particular brand of sausage? I know you’d rather not directly “endorse” anything (except for Toscana etc.), but in case you’d like to make another exception here, I would much appreciate it. :)

    Also, would love that gazpacho recipe if you’re inclined to share ;)

    Mar 12, 2013 | 7:03 pm

     
  5. Marketman says:

    shiko-chan, I don’t know the brand, but I buy the spicy or sweet Italian sausages in the frozen section of S&R. They only sell one kind, and I have been using these grocery sourced sausages since I was in college in the Northeast in the 1980s! :)

    Just did some googling, they are Johnsonville sausages, spicy, not mild, photo here:

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.shespeaks.com/pages/img/Italian_CurvedTray_Mild_02042011120244.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.shespeaks.com/JohnsonvilleToolkit&h=2028&w=2824&sz=1469&tbnid=a3scuzBvt0zx4M:&tbnh=90&tbnw=125&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dspicy%2Bitalian%2Bsausage%2Bbrand%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=spicy+italian+sausage+brand&usg=__Xdn22tLzdvqJ2XG9eXsXkAdVZwM=&docid=ZzwBsjND-3mvtM&sa=X&ei=exA_UdjyM8WNiAfavoC4Cw&ved=0CGoQ9QEwCg&dur=2716

    Mar 12, 2013 | 7:24 pm

     
  6. Slightly Epicurean says:

    Bacon. The main reason I can’t go vegetarian. Sigh! Where do you buy your bread Market Man?

    Mar 12, 2013 | 7:30 pm

     
  7. Betchay says:

    This is heaven sent as I am on sandwich mode for the past days! Thanks also for the shrimp version for meatless Fridays!

    Mar 12, 2013 | 8:16 pm

     
  8. Kasseopeia says:

    @Slightly Epicurian: I share your sentiments… which is why I have remained flexitarian for the last couple of decades. Harhar…

    A good hunk of bread will make me forget rice for a long while!

    The tomatoes look awesome!

    Mar 12, 2013 | 8:22 pm

     
  9. millet says:

    i guarantee, if you have that sandwich in the last picture, you’d still be able to taste it four hours after you eat it! the shrimp sandwich would be a perfect holy week lunch….really.

    Mar 12, 2013 | 10:01 pm

     
  10. artisan chocolatier says:

    MM, drop by my shop when you come over this week and try my “3 little pigs” sandwich. It’s a zubuchon paksiw, bacon, and farmers ham in a baguette. :-)

    Mar 12, 2013 | 11:11 pm

     
  11. Monique says:

    That’s what i want for lunch tomorrow!!! Shrimp salad sandwich on a toasty sourdough bread!!!!!

    Mar 13, 2013 | 12:02 am

     
  12. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    I’m on a sandwich kick too, though my sodium nitrate intake has me thinking. Especially with plans to make some corned beef for St. Patrick’s day. I’ve been on a pea shoot/sprout bender on the past couple of days, cooking in them in the usual fashion (saute with garlic, broth and shot of nuoc mam). But they’re good raw and will be experimenting with salads and sandwiches. For me, I would have torn the basil leaves and placed them on the tomato slices with a light sprinkle of salt to coax their flavor.

    Mar 13, 2013 | 12:09 am

     
  13. netoy says:

    I swear – I think you have a professional photographer taking your pictures :)) they are so clear and literally jumping off the screen.. Need to have a cloth diaper to wipe the drool of my chin…

    Mar 13, 2013 | 12:42 am

     
  14. ConnieC says:

    Unless one wears dentures or has a serious biting problem, I have never understood why some take the crust off bread or baguettes. In Europe, people on bikes sometimes carry baguettes held tight under the armpits……then I would understand.

    Mar 13, 2013 | 9:46 am

     
  15. JE says:

    The shrimp sandwich looks particularly appetizing.

    As for great sandwiches, I’m still on the lookout for any place that serves a good Italian beef sandwich locally. This is probably a fool’s errand.

    Mar 13, 2013 | 10:56 am

     
  16. MP says:

    Just tried the sausage-bell pepper combi but with pasta (hahaha, not a big sandwich eater)… Huge mistake… I couldn’t stop eating… Wonder if that shrimp salad will go well with pasta (although I can’t imagine mayo + pasta = ??)

    Mar 13, 2013 | 12:09 pm

     
  17. MP says:

    Shiko-chan, if you are based in Manila and willing to brave a sea of overly eager members, you might want to head to s&r for their 5-day sale which starts today until the 17th… For good sausages + more…

    Mar 13, 2013 | 12:27 pm

     
  18. Carla says:

    Hi everyone :) this is a bit off topic. I was wondering if you guys have any recommendations for places to visit (or eat at!) in cebu. It’s my daughters first time here and we want to take her around. She’s one so she won’t remember much, but I would like to think that she’ll enjoy the pictures when she’s older. Thanks!

    Mar 13, 2013 | 1:05 pm

     
  19. Zofhia says:

    Those tomatoes are to die for…. So yummy!!!

    Mar 13, 2013 | 5:10 pm

     
  20. Marketman says:

    Carla, one is a bit young… but perhaps a sunset cruise on islands bancas, or a trip to the beach, or in town a visit to the Sto Nino Basilica, Magellan’s cross (beside each other) or a visit to the Jesuit House, the oldest house still standing in Cebu… But really, at that age, not sure what might be appropriate… To eat, of course Zubuchon. Then perhaps Cafe Elysa, Little Saigon, Big Bangkok, Banhri, a cafe, Maya, Tavolata, Giuseppe’s, etc.

    Mar 13, 2013 | 6:00 pm

     
  21. Julianne says:

    Hi Mr.MM! This is off topic as well. Went to Cebu for an overnight visit. Ate lunch at Zubuchon & experienced an Anthony Bourdain moment,” best pig ever”!! The dinuguan, pancit & sinigang were so yummy too!! The kamias shake was the best! Went back to Zubuchon for dinner!!!! Fortunately, the crew were not the same so it wasn’t so embarrasing! LOL.

    Mar 14, 2013 | 5:46 am

     
  22. Ted says:

    I love Johnsonville brand sausages, specially their Brats,,,my all time favorite. I buy this instead of regular hotdogs.

    Mar 14, 2013 | 8:54 am

     
  23. nadia says:

    Next time MM, instead of using mayonnaise and mustard, try some avocado slices in your BLT. Absolutely delicious!!!

    Mar 14, 2013 | 8:31 pm

     
  24. Chas says:

    It’s hard to improve on the classic BLT. I do, on occasion, put some avocado that gives the sandwich a much needed creamy addition. Which makes it a BLAT.

    Mar 15, 2013 | 5:49 am

     
  25. shiko-chan says:

    thanks everyone for your kind input! mmmm not sure if I’d make it out alive of S&R anytime this weekend but will keep an eye out. i’m a sucker for good processed meat (ugh nitrates) :D

    Mar 16, 2013 | 12:27 pm

     
  26. marilene says:

    In a lunch gathering at work, someone theorized that most rice eating folks (me included) don’t like the crunchiness of bread (think dutch crunch, baguettes, or the artisan variety) because we are used to the softness of the rice melding with the flavor of the ulam.

    I particularly like my egg salad sandwich on white bread, not toasted, edged removed.

    Mar 16, 2013 | 3:35 pm

     
 

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