Fear, anger, chaos. My work here is almost done.
And Tom’s almost back.
I’ve mentioned what The Wife and I call Sarah’s Awesome BLT’s a couple of times, so I thought I’d finish the story before Tom gets back and fills us in on his adventures in L.A. at the Ancestral Health Symposium at UCLA.
Sarah is Sarah Workman, a friend The Wife found, like several of our friends, while the moms (mostly) waited and chatted on the after-school playground back when all of our kids were younger. Much younger. This is how communities are formed.
Besides a fellow parent, Sarah was and remains co-proprietor of Carol Jean’s Fine Cuisine with her aunt, Carol Fraase. They do some of Springfield’s finest catering and in the off-season, they do cooking schools (The Wife went to so many they told her she’d graduated!).
Sarah invited us over one night because we wanted to learn how to put together a Turducken (yeah — chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey). She gave us shopping instruction beforehand, and told us not to eat first — she’d “just make some BLT’s.” Made sense. Why not something simple, basic, and easy when you’re going to spending your evening wrassling with stuffing sundry fowl inside each other.
Simple and easy was right, but we’d forgotten that Sarah never does anything basic; what’s the point, when a bit of extra effort adds so much.
First of all, Sarah was just finishing up the thick-sliced bacon when we got there. In the oven. We hadn’t ever thought of that, but now it’s the only way we make bacon when we want more than a couple slices.
You just line a cookie sheet with foil, lay the bacon out on it, and pop it in a 450 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. No turning necessary.
there’s less shrinkage, you can do a whole lot in one batch, and there’s no bacon fat splattering on the stove top. Or you.
Here’s what it looks like when you’re done. Mmmm.
Speaking of bacon fat, you can now just tip the cookie sheet up and pour it through your strainer into a container for the next time you need bacon fat. Later this afternoon, maybe.
For cleanup you just peel the foil off the cookie sheet and give it a quick cleaning. Easy.
Now you probably saw most of the other stars of this party from Veenstra’s Vegetables in my previous post — the mixed lettuce and heirloom tomatoes make up the rest of the traditional BLT, but Sarah added thinly sliced red onion (also shown here from Veenstra’s) and avocado, which adds more flavor, mouth feel, and seems to be one of the few sources of saturated fat even Ancel Keyes would be okay with. As you can see in the foreground, instead of plain mayo, we stir in some (not too much) of the thick liquid from a can of chipotles.
If you haven’t seen the easy way to deal with an avocado, here’s a quick lesson…
Start by slicing in down to the pit, then circling the pit with your knife.
Then you can twist the two halves, pulling one half away from the one where the pit stayed.
Now carefully whack the blade into the middle of the pit (if the avocado is very ripe, the pit could spin if you hit it off-center, so if you don’t have good aim, set it down first!).
Once the knife has bitten into the pit a little, you can just wiggle it side-to-side to loosen, then pop it out.
Take each half in your hand, and use the knife tip to “score” lines down through the fruit. The skin is pretty thick so you should be able to make clean cuts without stabbing yourself! If you’re going for cubes (like in my crab/avocado salad), just turn the avocado 90 degrees to make cross hatch cuts.
Now you can scoop the already sliced fruit out with a large spoon.
Nice and neat.
Now comes the dicey part for us low-carb types. What do you put all of this goodness on? I mean, we shun bread. As I explained to someone who asked, you can always just call it a cheat day, of course.
Sarah served hers on toasted potato bread, and we loved it. We decided on a couple of compromises, so I had to go dig the toaster out of storage.
The Oldest Son decided to go with low-carb bread. Here’s how it preps up.
After final assembly, two slices of the low carb bread are only adding about 5 net carbs.
I went with one slice of the potato bread, but it scores around 18 net carbs per slice. I’m not heading off to sugar spike land, but it is more than I like to ingest on purpose.
The Oldest Son had a great idea of using a couple of the low-carb waffles from the Eade’s Six Week Cure for the Middle-Aged Middle — it uses almond flour and they’re delicious. Unfortunately, although I make batches of them at once and freeze them, they don’t last long, and I didn’t have any on hand.
Then, as this got discussed a bit in the comments on my “Shopping” post, Saline came up with a perfect low-carb solution — it’s a B (as in Bacon) LT, right? Why not use a bacon weave as the base. Wow!
That’s why it’s a good idea to hang out with smart people! And good cooks.
If you make these and kick the humble BLT up several notches, a great side would be Dana Carpender’s “Un-potato Salad.” We made it a couple of weeks ago, and it’s one of those “why would I ever want to look a potato in the eye again” dishes. We ate that one too fast for me to get a picture.
Well, thanks again for putting up with me. See you in the comments!
— The Older Brother
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