FOOD POST: Brilliant BLTs

It’s Tuesday night on a work week that seems to be crawling. The weather is usually such a drag this time of year, so I stack my plans and save all of my favorite units for February-April which is why you might be thinking, “It’s beautiful in western Pennsylvania and you are teaching your favorite units? So why is the week dragging?” And you have come across the million dollar question! Some weeks literally just drag for not apparent reason at all. So tonight the girls and I gathered up a few odds and ends and headed home with the plans of making BLTs and homemade potato wedges with Sriracha dipping sauce (thank you sister chef for introducing me to this!) I’ve been dying to try the “bacon weave” for a while now and decided tonight was the night to do it. The girls ran around the kitchen like the crazies they are, playing with the newest member of our family, Elsa Bunny.

This warm weather in the middle of February has really been teasing my taste buds for some fresh summer flavors. So I checked out the produce isle over the weekend and was pleasantly surprised to see the plump fresh tomatoes. My sister has given me a “winter tomato complex” so I fear the crappy tomatoes that plague the shelves throughout the winter.

There is always that idea online, that shows up randomly, and you think to yourself, “Why didn’t I think of that?!” Well let me tell you ladies and gentlemen, the Brilliant BLT is just that for me! So I set out to figure out how to make this ingenious food that I’ve been doing wrong for so many years. I started out with crinkling up foil on a baking sheet and preheating my oven to 425 degrees.

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But before continuing to write this post, I think I need to address the big Gluten-filled Elephant in the room. How do you prepare Gluten Free BLTs when half of your family is not gluten free? Recently we believed that both of our daughters needed to follow the gluten free dietary restrictions that seems to be forming a very female pattern in my side of the family. At this point we have ruled these restrictions out for our oldest daughter, but both my husband and I have a cautious eye out for future signs of concern. With these recent changes our house has developed a continental divide between the glutens and the gluten-frees. What does this look like? Well for those of you already living this life you know EXACTLY what it looks like: two toasters, separate prep boards, duplicates of every condiment, and a little extra tender love and care in every meal.

We use two of each jar-styled condiment, one large one designated as gluten free, and one small one for gluten knife double-dippers we re-fill from the larger one. I cannot stress how wonderful my husband has always been about this life style. I was 16 when I really started to get sick from food issues. Just after turning 17 I was diagnosed with Celiac (13 years ago!) Being my high school sweetheart, he was there for all of it. I really believe this is why he has always been my biggest supporter, and the hawk-eyes I need to keep me toeing the gluten-free line. So this whole duplicates of everything, has always been a way of life for us. It’s kind of like old hat, and I promise to anyone new to the lifestyle, you will adjust quickly.

Returning back to the Brilliant BLTs:

I opened my packages of bacon and I’m sure many meat experts would disagree with me, but I always go for the inexpensive bacon, because seriously, how can bacon ever be bad??

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I then cut the strips in half, making the perfect width for my bacon weaves. (Seriously, I love saying bacon weaves!)

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For each weave, you will need 6 pieces of bacon. Start by laying three strips vertical. Then place one piece horizontal interweaving it among the first three vertical strips.

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Alternate the pattern for the last two strips. Nothing like crafting with bacon! This really hits all of my favorite hobbies…! Bacon… Crafting… Bacon…

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Transfer the bacon weave to your prepared baking sheet and repeat. One typical package of bacon will make 5 individual bacon “patties” as I shall fondly refer to them.

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Once all 5 have been transferred to the sheet, place the pan in the oven setting the timer to 25 minutes. You can then begin prepping your toppings!

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Like I said before, I planned to make the BLTs along with some fresh roasted potato wedges, but the reality is that never happened. My husband has been fighting off some nasty winter bug/funk. So I capitalized on his limited appetite and cut my workload in half leaving the sides to my friend, Ore-Ida. The girls are always thrilled when dinner includes the mini tater tots. There is something about the mini ones that is so much better than a regular tater tot. Our youngest recently discovered the art of dipping any food in ketchup and is pretty much obsessed with this practice. Sometimes I love ditching the homemade for a quickie side!  But don’t tell on me!

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So while my bacon began to crisp, I sliced and I diced away. I call this my evening therapy because there is something about chopping and prepping that relaxes me. That is until I attempt to take mediocre pictures of my prepping with my phone, transfer them to my DropBox and edit slightly. Once the bacon was in the oven for about 10 minutes I tossed in a sheet of mini tots and waited for all the glorious crispness to finish up.

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When the 25 minutes of bacon baking was done, the cute little woven patties came out lightly golden brown, crisp on the edges but not to the point of super crunchy. If you like a real crunch I would definitely recommend baking at least 5 minutes longer.

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These sandwiches were PERFECT! The bacon patties were the perfect size for the bread, slightly larger than the UDI’s Gluten Free Loaf, but who doesn’t love a little extra bacon?

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So we ended half homemade, with little time prepping and a quick clean up. I’m calling this a total win! Fresh produce, 10 minute prep time, 25 minutes in the oven and we are golden! Hope you get an opportunity to try out this creative twist on an old classic!

Get out and enjoy the great weather!

Cheers!

  • Whitney
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