Even though we live in close proximity to Manhattan, our little village has a small town feel. Nestled among the backstreets is a little café that screams small town and that is why we love going there. It is the type of place that makes you think of that song from Cheers, ("Where everybody knows your name"). It was here that the boys found nirvana. Sitting at the counter, they tasted their first piece of bacon, and fell in love. Henceforth, whenever we walk in they scream, "BACON!" And it doesn’t hurt that there is a wall of candy to peruse while their food is cooking. Personally, I go for the iced coffee (my addiction).
Bacon is a rarity in our household, so when it is on the menu, the boys practically knock each other down trying to get to the kitchen table. I am not sure why I didn’t think of it sooner but I realized a BLT might be a great segue into getting them to eat “salad.” I fully anticipate that they will dissect the sandwich and just eat the bacon but maybe, just maybe, they will eat the LT part too….
There is not much you can do to make a classic BLT any better than the original but I gave it a shot. The bacon is dusted with brown sugar and the mayonnaise has a hint of cayenne pepper (totally optional – my kids like spicy sometimes.). I also removed all the crust of the bread using a round cookie cutter. This created a perfect platform for the tomato and made the sandwich small enough for little fingers. It was a BLT work of art!
Brown Sugar BLT
8 slices thick-cut bacon
1/4-cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
8 slices whole wheat or white bread
4 slices of tomato
1/4” thick handful of lettuce leaves (arugula is what we used but iceberg is the traditional choice)
Salt & pepper
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Set a cooling rack inside the pan and set aside.
Place the brown sugar on a plate and dredge the bacon slices, shaking off excess sugar.
Arrange the bacon on the rack (do not overlap.). Place in cold oven and set to 375 degrees. Bake until crisp, about 20 minutes. Keep in mind the bacon will crisp as it cools.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and cayenne pepper. Set aside until bacon has cooled.
Toast the bread.
To assemble: Spread the cayenne mayonnaise on both top and bottom of toast. Cut two bacon slices in half and place on the bottom toast round. Top with lettuce and then tomato. Season the tomato with salt and pepper.
And the VERDICT is:
Matthew (age 5): "It is hard to eat a round sandwich; not sure I like this ULA."
Liam (age 3): "I like the bacon." (Big surprise!)
Dylan (age 3): "This bacon tastes funny, I only like the bread!"
It must have been a full moon because this BLT was sooooooooooooo goooooooood!