Tag Archives: bacon

The BLM (Bacon, Lettuce, Mango)

13 May

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Apparently British Sandwich Week kicked off today, so it seemed an auspicious day for this post. I found a blog called Couture Sandwich a few weeks ago, which chronicles both sandwiches consumed and experimental sandwich recipes. The one that caught my eye was a twist on the BLT, which is the Platonic ideal of a sandwich if you have access to summer-ripened homegrown tomatoes, but a disappointment otherwise. Couture Sandwich suggests a solution by swapping out the tomato for another juicy fruit, mango. Now, in Malaysia, you can get all the mango you can handle — but a good tomato is basically impossible to find, owing to the climate. (One variety, the Momotaro, comes close, but doesn’t have the acidity to pull the BLT together.)

My BLM had a couple of deviations due to circumstance. I used thick-cut (since I was slicing the bread myself, I couldn’t go thin) multigrain bread instead of a kaiser roll, grainy mustard instead of honey (because that’s what I had), fresh red chiles as opposed to pickled, and perhaps most heretically of all, I was out of mayo. BUT: It still turned out delicious. I especially liked how the mango and the chile played off the smoky bacon. Mango is pretty easy to get in supermarkets these days, so even if you don’t live in the tropics, I urge you to give this a try. If your mango seems underripe, just leave it on the counter for a few days, and it will achieve optimal flavor. (By the way, if you’re of the British/Aussie persuasion, please be sure to use streaky bacon for this sandwich; otherwise the texture just won’t be right.)

VEGIFY IT: If you’re a non-meat eater, I think this combo would work with some sort of smoked cheese (like mozzarella), or maybe brie. No dairy? Try it with fried tempeh, which would match the crispiness of the bacon.

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Azuki-bean cured bacon?!

4 Mar

The Chicago Reader has been doing a series on chefs using unfamiliar (to them) ingredients, like natto. A number of these have been Asian staples that I’ve grown up eating, and it’s been interesting to see what they come up with — it’s usually something totally bizarre. Like this azuki-bean paste bacon:

As I’ve mentioned before, the Japanese like their beans for dessert, and azuki-bean paste is a common filling for things like sweet rolls and mochi cakes; I think it’s also a Kit Kat flavor. So the thought of using it in a savory context is as weird to me as, well, eating sweetened bean paste is to most Westerners, I suppose. And the puree with the bean paste and kim chee?! Next thing you know, they’ll be putting wasabi in chocolate!

Here’s a link to the full article, complete with recipes, should you want to recreate this perversion in your own kitchen. Next month’s ingredient is fish eyeballs, which is supposed to be the best part of a fish head. (Watch for the fish head curry post, coming soon.)

*Thanks to the Chicago Reader’s Key Ingredient series!