The continent is engulfed in a pandemic. An upheaval of Shakespearean proportions in the Senate threatens the dryness and structural integrity of American political pundits’ undergarments. AND BEA ARTHUR DIED.
We all deserve a little break, huh? Let’s make the next meal easy on ourselves. Grab yourself something cold to drink. We’re gonna make some sandwiches.
The two ‘wich builds we’ll be talking about this week are far more satisfying than they have any right to be, especially given the relatively little work needed to make them. And a little extra effort can make them truly spectacular.
To begin with: take as many fingerling potatoes as you deem prudent, cut them in half, toss with some olive oil and salt, and put them on a greased baking sheet in a hot oven (450-500 degrees) for 20 minutes. While those little fellows are roasting and filling your kitchen with the smell of awesome, you can make either of this week’s recipes for yourself and people you like. Serve the potatoes alongside.
One-handed BLTs (because calling them BLT sliders or BLTeenys would just be annoying.)
12 dinner rolls (try to get the fluffy, moderately dense Parker House style, though it’s not vital.)
1 to 2 pounds thick-cut bacon (it can be applewood-smoked or peppered or maple, just make sure it’s thick cut – and while I think 1 pound is too little, 2 pounds may be too much. But hey – it’s your copay, not mine.)
5 oz bag/box ready-to-serve arugula, torn or cut to fit inside your rolls (you could use regular lettuce, but the peppery nature of arugula does something pleasantly surprising to this sandwich. You can thank JB for this suggestion.)
plum tomatoes, sliced thin and drained a bit (their short diameter make them ideal for this application)
horseradish mayo (most grocery stores are carrying this now – if you can’t find it, use creamy horseradish or make your own stuff, using regular mayo and fresh horseradish to taste. You can also use sriacha instead of horseradish for a different kind of heat.)
Get enough microwave-safe plates to accommodate all the bacon and layer two or three paper towels onto each. Line up as many bacon slices onto each without overlapping. Cover with more paper towels. Microwave each plate about four minutes, turning the plate after two if you don’t have a carousel. Check on your bacon at this point – if it’s firm and crispy, take the first plate out and start on the second. Otherwise, cook in 45-second increments until you get it to the desired texture, turning after each additional round. (cooking times will vary due to microwave power and slice thickness.) Remove slices from paper towels with tongs quickly and set aside.
(a short note about microwaving bacon: if you’ve never microwaved bacon before – I can almost guarantee that, after you try it this way, you will never prepare whole strips any other way. There is no easier way to get consistent crispiness with just a hint of chewiness in your bacon.)
While the strips of magic panda laughter are cooking, carefully pull or cut apart the rolls into top and bottom halves. Scoop out some of the bread from inside both halves and put a generous dab of horseradish mayo on the top half.
Take the cooked slices and break or tear them into pieces, and start assembling your sandwiches, with bacon first, tomato slices next, arugula leaves following, and the mayo-daubed top halves on top.
Serve in a pile on a platter. I won’t give a serving number here, since I have seen people eat 2 to 10 of these at one sitting, depending on bacon application and bread choice.
For extra ridiculousness, you can –
- boil down some cheap-ass balsamic vinegar and lightly dress the greens with the resulting syrup
- toast the pulled-apart roll halves in the oven
- prepare massive quantities of the component parts of the sandwiches and transport to a picnic-worthy location and present your lucky friends with a Build Your Own BLT Bar.
Next post: Weeble’s Chicken Sandwiches.