For me, a BLT is all about really good ingredients – good bacon, GREAT tomatoes and good lettuce. You also need to turn this into a BLAT by adding some ripe avocados. Then just melt some gouda cheese and find some delicious bread. If you can do that, you’ll be guaranteed a winner BLT. I know that this is considered a “summer sandwich” but I love bacon (and I can’t deny) and bourbon really gives it a smoky, fall flavor.
I typically stay away from classic BLT’s because the tomatoes always suck. Sorry to be so blunt, but it’s true. When it comes to tomatoes I am a huge snob. If I am going to use tomatoes (and eat them), they have to be amazing. Meaning they have to be perfectly sweet and tart. During the winter I always buy grape tomatoes because I find they taste best. I almost never buy beefsteak tomatoes because I never have any luck with them.
Bacon is awesome on it’s own, but I really wanted to make a killer BLT. So I did what I do best, I went for a little sweet and savory combo and umm, added bourbon, because a splash of bourbon can never hurt.
I cooked the bacon in a mix of maple syrup, bourbon and a pinch of cayenne. You guys, if you already loved bacon, prepare to love it even more. This bacon has the power to turn bacon haters into bacon lovers. Even vegans might have a hard time resisting this bacon.
I love the flavors of the maple syrup mixed with the subtle flavor of bourbon and the spiciness of the cayenne. It’s bacon done right.
Cheese makes a BLT complete.
Oh, but so does a fried egg and a slice of avocado. I do not think I have ever made a BLT without an egg or avocado. I put eggs on a lot of things (need to make leftovers shine? Put an egg on it), but on top of a BLT is a must.
There’s even a little chipotle mayo going on too. I told you I wanted to make a killer BLT!
2 SERIOUS BLT’S
4-6 slices thick cut bacon
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons bourbon (if needed sub water)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to your taste)
4 slices really good whole grain bread (or your favorite breadI)
2-4 ounces smoked gouda cheese, sliced
2 cups spring lettuce mix + a handful of MicroGreens
2 heirloom or regular tomatoes, sliced
1 avocado, pitted + sliced
2 fried eggs (4 if you are making a giant BLT)
salt and pepper, to taste
Chipotle Bourbon Mayo (optional)
1/2 cup good quality mayo (I like to use an olive oil based mayo)
1 chipotle chile in adobo, minced
1 teaspoon bourbon (optional)
- In a bowl mix together the mayo, chipotle pepper and bourbon. Cover and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
- In a small bowl mix together the maple syrup, bourbon and cayenne pepper.
- Place the bacon on a cold griddle or in large skillet. Do not over crowd the skillet. Heat the skillet to medium-low heat. Once the bacon has cooked for a few minutes and starts to curl, flip the bacon. Brush the top side with the bourbon-maple glaze and sprinkle with fresh black pepper. Continue cooking the bacon over medium low heat, flipping every few minutes and brushing again with glaze until the bacon is crisp (you will not use all the glaze). If needed, drain some of the grease off during cooking. Try to watch the bacon closely, the sugar will caramelize and the bacon can burn if you do not keep flipping and brushing with the glaze.
- Remove the bacon from the heat and drain on paper towels. Drizzle a little more glaze over top of the warm bacon.
- Slice the tomatoes on a cutting board and drizzle with just a little olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let stand 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile preheat the broiler (and start frying your eggs).
- Toast the slices of bread lightly in the toaster. Place all slices of bread on a baking sheet. Spread a little chipotle mayo over two slices of bread. Divide the sliced gouda cheese over all four slices of bread. Place under the broiler for 30 seconds or until the cheese is melted. WATCH CLOSELY, they cook quick!
- Divide the lettuce over the two bottom slices of bread (the ones with the mayo). Add the tomato slices, avocado slices and bacon. Drizzle any remaining bourbon glaze over the bacon (or to your taste). Place an egg over the bacon and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the top slice of cheesy bread (cheese side touches the egg). Serve with extra mayo if desired. EAT. Right away!
Now, I’m not an egg kind of girl, so I just skip that part but it’s still sooo good. So have a small side of Bourbon if you wish and/or a chardonnay (which will make all the flavors ‘pop’!) Try it and let me know what you think. OH….if you cut them into small sandwiches, they will be a hit at your Saturday games.