I visit my friend Joy in New Orleans, about once a month or so (not enough if you ask me), to chat and drink and eat and most importantly get some work done because we’re adults and that’s what adults do. Whenever I’m there, we always try to offset all of the work we have to get done by splurging a little on Friday. Which basically just means to eat all of the food and drink cocktails all day long. It’s a nice balance that we’ve perfected over the years. We do this by visiting the same restaurant, The Camellia Grill, in Uptown/Garden District. It’s a great place that has been there for forever, and the guys working are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Seriously. There are no tables, just a long bar down the middle, which is first come first serve. The last time I was there, Joy ordered herself a BLT with a fried egg, and because she’s the coolest cat on the planet, I too decided to order a BLT with a fried egg. We ate it with a side of hash browns, orange juice, grapefruit juice and coffee, because we’re splurging.
Although, it was one of the easiest things you could ever possibly order from any restaurant, for some reason it was the best thing I ever ate while in New Orleans. This probably has more to do with the company and the vibe of being in a local hangout spot, coupled with the fact that as we were sitting there eating our Breakfast BLTs at 10am, out of nowhere, a woman got up from her seat and sang “Summertime” to the entire restaurant. It was pure magic I tell ya. A memory that is not easily forgotten. Now whenever I eat a BLT, I instantly go back to that very moment. It’s funny how that happens, isn’t? I love that food has the power to do that.
I thought I’d share this super easy recipe with you all so that you too can have a euphoric moment involving bacon, lettuce, tomato and bread. Sometimes I find that I can easily get lost in complex recipes and flavors with long posts and what not. So I think it’s important for me to step back every now and then, and throw in a simple uncomplicated stress free recipe for us to try. Plus did I mention there’s bacon involved? Yes, bacon.
This is a super easy post, that you can quickly put together during the week before work or school, but it’s also super delicious on the weekends for a lazy brunch with friends and family. This isn’t rocket science, so I’ll try and spare you all of my babbling. Crisp up a big mound of bacon.
**Tip: You can do it on the stove top, a few pieces at a time, while bacon grease splatters everywhere and hurts you. Or you can do what I do and just lay out all of the slices onto a wire rack, set over a baking sheet, and then pop it into the oven. I cook it in the oven until crispy, turning it over halfway through baking, to ensure even crispiness. It saves a lot of time and energy, I promise.**
Slice up a few tomatoes and lay them out on a plate or platter so that they’re ready for you when you go to assemble the sandwiches.
**Tip: Feel free to use whatever tomatoes you prefer, but if heirloom tomatoes are available and in season at your local grocery store or farmer’s market, use those instead! They’ll add so much flavor to your blts.**
I’m using iceberg lettuce for my BLTs, only because that’s how I had them in New Orleans. Feel free to use whatever lettuce you prefer. I won’t hold you to this iceberg.
Let’s talk sauce for a second. There’s nothing worse than a dry BLT, so we need to whip up a quick two ingredient sauce to lather on our bread. Mayonnaise and store bought pesto. Put them together and you have a dream come true.
Time to assemble the sandwiches. Take some good white bread and toast it to your desired toast level, and then slather the pesto mayo on both pieces.
**Note: It doesn’t have to be white bread, but I feel like for things like a PBJ and a BLT, white bread is the way to go, maybe because that’s how I ate it as a kid. Wheat bread wasn’t a big thing in our house.**
Lay down a slice of cheese on one side. This part is optional, so if you don’t like cheese or can’t eat it, leave it out. Just do whatever makes you happy.
Then pile on the bacon. Keep adding as much bacon on each sandwich as your body can handle. This is the time to go crazy. Live a little.
Place a few pieces of lettuce on top with a few slices of tomato and avocado. The original didn’t come with avocado, but I thought it would be a tasty idea to include it in this one. Also, because if we’re being perfectly honest, I had an avocado on hand that I had to use in something or else it would’ve gone to the trash.
Because these are Breakfast BLTs after all, we need an egg. I like them sunny side up so that the yolk can break and then ooze all over my sandwich. If that’s not your jam, cook the egg longer and have it over hard or scramble them up. Carefully sandwich them together and then serve immediately.
I love these easy recipes because I can whip them up in no time and without much effort at all. That’s always nice because I spend so much time in the kitchen already for work, that sometimes the last thing I want to do is get back into the kitchen to cook for myself.
Whenever you make these for yourself, don’t forget to serve them with a big pile of hash browns on the side. Do it for Joy and I. That’s how we’d want you to try them.
**Note: You can make hash browns from scratch and be a hero if you’d like, but if you don’t have the time or are just lazy like me, just pick up a bag of frozen shredded potatoes from the freezer aisle and make hash browns out of that. I won’t tell anyone.**
If you don’t eat pork, I feel sorry for you, but have no fear, just use turkey bacon instead. Turkey bacon gets a bad rap sometimes, but I feel it’s because people don’t cook it right. Lay out the turkey bacon on a cold skillet and then set it over medium heat. Cook until crispy, flipping over periodically. That’s the key. Also, I hear coconut bacon isn’t so bad. Go get your BLTs on.
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons store-bought pesto
- 8 slices white or wheat bread, toasted
- 4 slices cheddar cheese
- 16 to 24 slices bacon, cooked until crispy
- 2 to 4 vine-ripe tomatoes, sliced
- 8 pieces iceberg lettuce
- 2 avocados, pitted and sliced
- 4 large eggs, cooked sunny side up
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo and pesto until smooth.
- Spread each slice of bread with the pesto mayo. Top the bottom half with a slice of cheese and 4 to 6 slices crispy bacon. Place 2 pieces of lettuce on the top half along with a few slices of tomato, and avocado. Set an egg on top of the bacon and then sandwich together. Serve immediately with hash browns or fries on the side. Enjoy!
- Yield: 4 sandwiches