Friday, July 6, 2012

The Art of the BLT

--Tailgatin' and how to make mofos start playa hatin' (Recipes)

You know what the secret of a crazy good BLT sandwich is? Nothing that's not already known when it comes to making most anything good. It's in the ingredients. The tomato might be the last thing mentioned but it's important they they're good and since you cant seem to find anything decent during the winter months the BLT is in in my mind the official sandwich of summer. Then there's the bacon which plays a big role too. If you use Oscar Meyer your not going to get the best. Not when we in the Midwest have all this top notch bacon being made my local butchers and farms. Same goes for the bread with bakeries. Its going to taste as good as the ingredients so if they get the picture?

Homemade BLT Sandwich

My first BLT of the summer season was as fantastic as any I have had. I got some excellent sliced pancetta from P & E Mullins 'Local' in New Buffalo, Michigan. It's a meat specialty store. More on this place in an appropriate post but to all those reading this one here that find themselves in or passing thru Harbor Country this summer, they're on Red Arrow Highway, check 'em out. They're doing some good things like this homemade Pancetta.

Pancetta from Local in New Buffalo, MI

As I thought of what to do with this batch of beautiful homemade Pancetta, BLT's came to my mind. It's officially summer so why not? I did a quick google search of "pancetta BLT's" and this first result is not only easy but sounded very succulent and refreshing which is what I wanted in this heatwave week. Although the cheese might not be readily available to all. I got it at Lincoln Park Whole Foods which carries the real Italian stuff which is what I grabbed and also a Wisconsin brand from BelGioioso Cheese. I also learned Standard Market makes it fresh every Wednesday but it goes quick.


-Crispy Cooked Pancetta
-Burrata Cheese
-Heirloom Tomatoes or Other
-Olive Oil & Salt

Arugula and tomatoes marinating in olive oil and herbs

Those unfamiliar with Burratta cheese, it's really rich. Burratta means buttered in Italian. It's similar to mozzarella which it resembles in looks but it's not that. It's definitely it's own cheese much creamier and softer too so it spreads. The sandwich was simple but made great by using the best available ingredients. Directions arent really necessary but cook the pancetta until crispy and set aside and then toast your bread. Spread the Burratta cheese on one top of a piece for each sandwich and then add the pancetta followed by the tomato/arugula mixture and eat. Not a cheap BLT but a damn pleasing one.

Pancetta BLT

If your feeling like a BLT but don't have all the ingredients on hand then there's some good places here in Chicago to get one. In particular is the Brown Sack over in Logan Square. Formerly over on Armitage they moved to their new space a couple years back and serve some top notch sandwiches and shakes in a quirky little setting.

New locals favorite located on Belden off Fullerton (Pic from LTHforum)

This place will be featured in a few sandwich specials because they do a great job with their offerings of them. They take the typical brown sack lunch and turn it up a notch into something you wish you were eating for lunch when you were in grade school. One of these sandwiches in particular is their BLAST. It's a BLT but the S and the A are added in because theirs come with shrimp and avocado. Yes its as good as it sounds if you haven't had one of them already. Its been declared one of the "best sandwiches in Chicago" by 'Low & Slow' BBQ man Gary Wiviott. I agree with him this is one of the best summertime sandwiches in the city. Check them out.

Brown Sack BLT w/ Shrimp & Avocado and their Mac & Cheese

The Brown Sack
3581 West Belden Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 661-0675

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