Guest Post: BLTs – The Ultimate Locally Sourced Summer Sandwich

Update: I wanted to apologize for a blog fail on my part as I accidentally only posted part of Sarah’s recipe in my original post. The full post with complete recipe is now updated below.

As much as I enjoyed my vacation and spending time visiting Virginia with my family, it’s good to be home in Cleveland. Because we got in late last night, Sarah from Cooker Girl is guest-posting for me today as I catch up on things.

Check out her site for mouth-watering recipes like the one below. And if you want to enjoy your own Cooker Girl creation (like the delicious She-Hulk birthday cake she baked for me), email her at sarah (at) sarahberridge.com.

BLTs are one of my favorite sandwiches, and have been since I was little.  I love BLTs any time of year, but with tomatoes currently peaking, conditions are perfect for the ultimate locally sourced BLT.

A few years ago Michael Ruhlman had a challenge to create a BLT from scratch (grow your lettuce and tomato, make the bacon and mayo, bake the bread).  Some people went so far as making mayo from eggs laid by chickens they’ve raised, or grew then ground wheat to make flour for the bread.

Now I’m not saying you have to go that far for a local BLT, but you can still make it as local as possible AND be reasonable.  The Cleveland area has many wonderful markets that feature local food, and they’re all packed with the summer’s bounty.  Check out one of the North Union Farmer’s Markets,  West Side Market, Miles Farmers Market, or even Heinen’s to find local ingredients.  No matter where you live, there is bound to be a market near you!

Since a BLT is so simple to make, I propose that you at least try making your own mayonnaise.  I swear it’s really easy and you don’t need any special equipment or whacky ingredients.  It only takes a little bit longer than toasting the bread for your BLT.  Once you’ve got the basic mayo, the flavor possibilities are endless.  My favorites are spicy mayo (add your fav hot sauce or chili powder) or pesto mayo (just add pesto).

Your Market Shopping List:

  1. Bacon
  2. Lettuce
  3. Tomato (please don’t store them in the fridge!)
  4. Bread
  5. Eggs
  6. Lemon (I don’t know if there are actually any local lemons, but you might as well get some while you’re shopping)

Homemade Mayonaise

Adapted from Michael Ruhlman

Yield: about 1 cup

1 egg yolk

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp water

1 tsp lemon juice (plus more to taste)

1/4 tsp mustard (yellow or dijon)

1 cup vegetable oil

Combine yolk, salt, water, lemon juice and mustard in a large bowl.  Fold a hand towel into a ring on the counter and set the bowl in this ring to hold it steady while you whisk.  Using a whisk, stir the ingredients together.
Slowly add a few drops of oil as you begin to whisk; when the emulsion becomes creamy, you may increase the speed with which you add the oil to a thin stream. From the beginning the mixture should be thick enough to hold its shape and look luxuriously creamy. Add the oil too quickly and it will break (turn soupy).  When all the oil is incorporated add lemon juice to taste.
Cook’s Notes:
 – If the mayonnaise is too thick, it can be thinned by whisking in a little water.
 – If it breaks, put a teaspoon of water in a clean bowl and start the process over by dribbling in the broken mayonnaise while whisking.
Okay everyone knows how to put together a BLT right?

Toasted Bread

Mayo

Lettuce

Tomato

Bacon

Mayo

Toasted Bread

Please note that I like to put the T in the middle of the B and L.  I create a barrier so the toast doesn’t get too soggy from the juicy tomatoes.

Head over to Cooker Girl to check out my recipe for Bakin’ Bacon.  It’s a quicker, easier and cleaner way to cook bacon for a crowd.

Sarah Berridge blogs recipes at Cooker Girl and she recently starting baking for the public.  Please contact her if you have an bakery needs!

8 thoughts on “Guest Post: BLTs – The Ultimate Locally Sourced Summer Sandwich

  1. Crystal W. (@EatDrinkClev)

    BLTs are my all-time favorite sandwich – in fact we had them for breakfast and dinner last night! I like to sub out avocado for the mayo if I have one. And the peppered bacon from Dohar’s at the W Side Mkt is my favorite. I’ll have to try the homemade mayo – I’ve always been too lazy but this does seem really simple – thanks!

    Reply
  2. Sarah @ Cooker Girl

    Even if you don’t normally cook, making mayo is super easy.

    I mentioned the Ruhlman challenge and funnily enough, today he also wrote another post about it! Talk about great timing!

    Thanks for letting me take over Clue Into Cleveland for the day!

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Giveaway: Tackle Hunger at Taste of the Browns « Clue Into Cleveland

  4. Crystal W. (@EatDrinkClev)

    Ok – now that I see the entire post I wanted to add my order for the perfect BLT. Lightly toasted bread (not toasted too much b/c if it’s too crunchy it cuts your mouth!), mayo, tomato, bacon, lettuce. I like when the tomato juices mix in with the mayo. I eat mine so fast there’s never a chance for them to get soggy! ha ha

    Reply

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