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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Salmon BLT

Salmon BLT
Since the beginning of (my) time, BLT's have been my A#1-favorite-sandwich-to-end-all-sandwiches sandwich.  The funny thing is, usually with food that's been a favorite since childhood, I have some sort of memory to link to it...something to share.  With a BLT, I can't think of anything.  And believe me, I've racked my brain.

I do remember being excited when we had them for dinner.  That's about it.  I don't know my parents' reasons for making them, but they were probably much the same as mine; they are perfection.  It's kinda crazy that something as simple as good, toasted bread spread with mayo and topped with fat tomato slices (that have been seasoned with salt and pepper, thank you), crisp leaves of lettuce, and chewy, salty bacon can elicit such a response.

Or is it?

Probably not so much.  It's simple, comfort food.  I wanted BLT's all the time when I was pregnant.  The kids request them more often than any other one meal.  Making them is a ritual that soothes me, as well. The bacon goes into the cast-iron skillet.  I start sliding bread into the toaster, winding up with a towering stack just waiting to have the fillings piled on.  Lettuce gets rinsed and torn into bread-sized pieces.  Tomatoes get thickly sliced and smattered with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Basically, once the bacon is finished cooking, dinner is served!

Quick, easy, delicious and satisfying.  Now, a classic BLT is still king, but its fun to switch things up sometimes.  Add smooshed avocado...or garlic aioli instead of mayo...or use turkey or duck bacon...or, saaaayyyyy, a freshly sauteed salmon fillet!?  How do you like your BLT?

Salmon BLT
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Salmon BLT

by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: sandwich entree fish salmon bacon American

Ingredients (1 sandwich)
    for the lemon mayo:
    • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/2 lemon, juiced
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more or less to taste
    • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
    for the sandwich:
    • 3 slices thick bacon, any variety
    • 2 slices good bread
    • 1 (4 ounce) salmon fillet, skinned
    • olive oil
    • kosher or sea salt
    • freshly ground black pepper
    • few thick tomato slices
    • 1-2 lettuce leaves
    • lemon mayo
    making the lemon mayonnaise (yield: 1/4 cup - enough for 2 sandwiches, I'd say):
    Whisk everything together in a small bowl. Taste, and adjust seasoning, to taste. Store in the fridge, if not using right away.

    making the sandwich:
    Cook the bacon until done to your liking. Lift out and set aside. Add the bread to the pan and toast up in the bacon grease (or wipe it out and use a bit of oil or butter) on both sides.

    Pat the salmon dry on both sides, and season with salt and pepper. Wipe out the skillet and set it over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the salmon, and cook until done, ~5 minutes or so.

    Spread a little of the Lemon Mayonnaise on both halves of the bread. Pile the lettuce, bacon, and tomato on top of one half (season the tomato with a hit of salt and pepper). Top with the salmon fillet, then the top slice of bread.

    Caution: this sandwich is messy, but totally worth it.

    Multiply ingredients as needed to make more than one sandwich.
    -adapted from The Neelys