Thursday, August 2, 2007

Put up your Duke's!

You gotta love a sandwich that has three of its five ingredients in the name. Is there anything more satisfying and easy than a BLT?

Last night, I made the first BLTs of the season with the juicy, ripe tomatoes from our back yard. Between the smoky scent of the bacon sizzling in the cast-iron skillet and the sweet fragrance of the sliced tomatoes, I was in sensory heaven while preparing this summer-time fave.

Instead of the usual Kraft or Hellman's mayo, we tried Duke's Mayonnaise, which I ordered online. Southerners claim that Duke's is the ONLY acceptable mayo for a BLT, and now I see why. The flavor and texture is as close to homemade as you can get out of a jar.

I've seen recipes for BLTs that incorporate basil leaves instead of lettuce, aioli instead of mayo and fried green tomatoes rather than the fresh red variety. But I say, why mess with perfection. We stick with toasted whole wheat bread, fried bacon, fresh tomatoes, Romaine lettuce and the now essential Duke's mayo.

Southerners often skip the lettuce and the bacon and feast on tomato (or "mater" as they say south of the Mason Dixon) and mayo sandwiches. Budget-conscious (i.e. poor) West Virginians have been known to eliminate the tomatoes and make a meal out of a slice of bread smeared with mayo and a sprinkle of Cayenne pepper.

What does any of this have to do with cancer? Not a darn thing, my friends, not a darn thing.

I'd love to hear your comments about:
- Do you have a variation on the BLT theme?
- How do you smear your mayo on a BLT? Cindy insists upon spreading both slices of toast with mayo, and that's just the way I do it too.
- Have you ever tried Duke's mayo?


Susan Carrier said...

OOH - Just chatted with Kelly,my favorite PCA (patient care assistant) at CoH. She INSISTS that a BLT isn't complete unless it's a BLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato).

YUM! I think we still have some fresh avocados in the back yard.

Lisa Cooper-Keil said...

I oft find your posts make me hungry. I am as into food as you are! I have been on a diet for so long that I don't even remember what bacon tastes like!

The summer garden has been going well. We had a bumber crop of green, yellow and purple beans - so good - just pulled up the plants and replanted new seeds so in a few weeks we will have some more. The tomatoes were also proliffic this season, and really sweet. Now it's a matter of picking them at the right moment - which is just before the possums get at them!

Idelle Davidson said...

Susan, you're so lucky to be able to pick tomatoes fresh from your backyard. Here's one of my favorite tomato recipes. Since I have to buy tomatoes and I want them to have flavor, I splurge and buy the Heirloom variety from the farmer's market. I cut them in half, and push in slivers of garlic all through the middle. I drizzle garlic, sea salt and pieces of fresh basil on top, then broil until bubbly. It is soooo delicious.

Rebecca said...

Yum! I agree about the BLT+A. Instead of wheat bread, I prefer sourdough lightly toasted. The perfect summer sandwich!

Suzy Keleher said...

I am gonna get me and my mom some Duke's!...she likes southern Mom made the best BLT's ever...and it was always something special when she did because it was not our every day sandwhich. Our kids love them now too...Usually white, wheat or soudough...definately toasted, definately both top an bottom bread slathered with mayo...and the tomato has to be just right! Dinner is solved for tonight! Then I am gonna go see Bourne! Yahoo...Love you Susan, Suze

Anonymous said...

In Lativa, we would eat various sandwiches for lunch. They eat pork a ton, but never in bacon form. Can you imagine never having bacon?? So Cucumber, tomato and some sort of white cheese ( doesn't translate) with an interesting mayo was the sandwich of choice. Fried eggs can be substituted for the cucumbers as well. I found them both to be yummy, but nothing can really replace bacon on a sandwich!!
~Tara in Virginia

Karen said...

Definitely mayo on both sides. I too use whole wheat toast. And I always add avocado if I have it. Don and Natalie don't like mayo, and thus don't like BLTs. Can you imagine!!!

If you ever want to see a funny take on mayo, watch the movie Undercover Brother. One of the many hysterical gags in that concerns how white people like mayo and black people don't.

I'm definitely going to have to get a bottle of Duke's. And the best thing is it'll be all mine!

Mrs. Duck

Mathews Family said...

Did you know if you add avocado to your BLT it's called a "California BLT" and if you add a fried egg, Bob Evans calls it a "Bob's BLT"? My favorite BLT includes Cracker Barrel sourdough bread. And I'm with you; no avocado, no fried egg, just plain ol' BLT! I think it's official, you're ready to start the Open Mouth, Insert Fork blog!