BLT and A
     Who doesn't love a classic BLT? That crispy bacon, ripe tomato and fresh iceberg lettuce are making my mouth drool right now. And don't forget the copious amounts of mayonnaise that set this BLT off onto a whole 'nother level. With all that tasty oil and fat, it really needs something to cut it. That's why this recipe is about marinading the tomatoes in vinegar and then stacking the components intelligently to achieve the highest return of taste.
     Start preparing the tomatoes before the bacon as we want as much vinegar absorption as possible. Slice a ripe tomato at least a quarter inch thick. Place the slices on a plate and drizzle with rice vinegar. Follow with a pinch of salt and pepper for each slice. It's important to season each component to get that flavor explosion.
     The hot debate is chewy or crispy bacon. To each his own. I like crispy bacon but use what you like. To get the perfect crispy bacon, use the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Flip two times during the process and you will achieve stellar results. If you want more details, see a previous post called Perfect Bacon.
     I prefer the classic BLT but a lotta people like the BLTA so I've prepared both. I've replaced one side with avocado but that's because I love mayo and can eat it right out of the jar... Seriously! Feel free to replace both sides of mayonnaise with avocado. Do make sure to season the avocado with a pinch of salt and pepper. The seasoning will really make the avocado flavor pop more.
     The stacking order of a BLT is very important. How the ingredients interact with each other and touch your palette are crucial to maximizing the flavors. The meat is on the first layer so it touches your tongue first, exploding with that smoky and salty pork flavor. I like the marinaded tomatoes next so the juice disperses quickly and the vinegar cuts the pork fat. Lettuce is the top flavor because it really has no flavor, just crunch appeal.
     Here's the short version of the order as it would look on a sandwich:
     Serve your BLT or BLTA with some salty chips and a sour pickle wedge. The pickle is a perfect pairing for the fatty BLT as it will cut the fat and make it feel lighter. Of course, the marinaded tomato and crispy lettuce also help. The important lesson is remembering how opposites often make great pairings.

Ingredients: Serves: 2

  8 Slices Bacon
  4 Slices Bread (Toasted)
  4 Slices Tomato (Cut Thick)
  4 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  4 Pieces Iceberg Lettuce
  4 Tbsp Mayonnaise
  2 Pinches Salt (for Tomato Slices - more if you substitute Avocado for Mayonnaise)
  2 Pinches Black Pepper (for Tomato Slices - more if you substitute Avocado for Mayonnaise)
  2 Each Dill Pickle Wedges

Steps: Prep Time: 30 minutes

Marinade Tomatoes
Slice tomatoes thickly and marinade in vinegar, salt and pepper.
Cook Bacon
Cook the bacon in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. See previous post titled Perfect Bacon for detailed directions.
Toast Bread
Toast the bread to your desired crispiness. I prefer it somewhere between toasted and untoasted.
Assemble the sandwich in the following order: bread, mayonnaise, bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise and bread.
Serve with salty chips and a dill pickle wedge.
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