You guys. What’s the secret to making a gourmet BLT with cheddar and avocado? You have to use the best ingredients you can find, including the bread.
As a kid, I did not have the most sophisticated palate. My sandwich rotation was peanut butter and jelly, cream cheese and jelly, and peanut butter and honey. With the occasional bologna and cheese sandwich (Greg’s favorite) thrown in when I was feeling fancy. Oh, and grilled cheese. And bread, butter, and sugar. You know, for snacks.
I distrusted lettuce and didn’t even try it until I was twelve. Mustard was bright yellow and therefore Suspect. I gave it wide berth. And tomatoes? Forget it. They didn’t even look like they were done inside. Weird seedy-tomato batter centers. Shudder. To me, making a fancy sandwich meant alternating the lunch meat and cheese so, when cut, the sandwich would show striking pink and yellow stripes. Très sophistiqué, n‘est-ce pas?
I think the main difference between a kid sandwich (or this kid, anyway) and an adult sandwich is that adult sandwiches offer a variety of flavors, colors and textures that either complement or contrast with each other. Toasted bread, crisp vegetables, soft cheese, the bite of a vinaigrette, salty/savory meats. A smooth spread of mellow mayonnaise as counterpoint to the pungency of mustard. The Christmassy contrast of leaf lettuce and ripe tomatoes. The crisp-crunchy brininess of pickles against rich, mellow roast pork.
I could go on, but I’m hungry. Let’s get to this gourmet BLT with cheddar and avocado, shall we?
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Before we make this burger, let’s make sure you’re ready to be a top-notch sandwich artist. Here are my recommendations for making sure your sandwich game is on point. These spreaders are a great shape and size for slathering on all sorts of condiments. A bacon press is nice to have to make sure your bacon slices lay flat in your sandwich (plus they’re just sort of cool). A cheese plane is one of my favorite tools for slicing off sandwich-perfect thicknesses of cheese off whole blocks. I love mine and use it all the time. And every sandwich maker needs a salad spinner for washing and drying all your salad and sandwich greens.
Gourmet BLT with Cheddar and Avocado
You know how much I love living in North Carolina and how fortunate we are to have so many wonderful foods and beverages made by brands large and small here. I took full advantage of some Raleigh-area offerings to make this gourmet BLT truly gourmet. This post is in no way sponsored by any of these brands, although I do work with The Butcher’s Market on their Beef of the Month club recipes.
We got our multi-grain loaf at the NC State Farmer’s Market from the LaFarm Bakery stand. LaFarm has a well-deserved worldwide reputation for producing top-notch European-style breads. Owner and master baker Lionel Vatinet is a true expert in every step of bread making, from milling to fermentation and beyond. He travels the country and the world as a consultant to large bread brands.
The bacon is from my client, The Butcher’s Market. With stores in both Cary and Raleigh, if you live in the Triangle, you’re never too far away from their wonderful meats and especially their house-smoked thick-cut bacon. Outstanding. For a bit more flavor in our sandwiches, we used both a sweeter and a spicier bacon.
For tomatoes, I actually turned to NC-based grocery store, Lowe’s Foods, and was able to find German Johnsons, one of the only true North Carolina heirloom tomato varieties. And for fun and contrast, I also picked up a red and orange striped Beauty Queen tomato. If you’re going to make a BLT, get the best T you can find. Now is not the time for a pale pink, under-ripe tomato.
I stuck with my beloved Cabot cheddar–their White Oak–because it is savory and wonderful with almost a Parmesan edge. And it warms up to a rather addictive creamy texture.
Of course, I used Duke’s Mayonnaise, the south’s favorite mayo. And an avocado.
Enough! Let’s make that sandwich, people.
The gourmet BLT with cheddar and avocado is the grown up sandwich of your dreams. Tons of contrasting colors, flavors, and textures make a relatively simple sandwich a true gourmet delight.
- 4 slices excellent quality bread, sliced fairly thick lightly toasted
- softened butter
- mayonnaise Duke's, or your favorite
- aged white cheddar sliced about 1/8" thick
- 6-8 slices thick-cut bacon cooked to your liking
- leaf lettuce washed and patted dry
- 1-2 perfectly ripe heirloom tomatoes at room temperature sliced 1/4" thick
- 1 avocado sliced in /4" slices
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Spread each piece of toasted bread with a thin layer of butter and then a generous layer of mayonnaise.
Place the white cheddar on the 2 slices of bread that will be the bottoms. Arrange them so they cover the bread as completely as possible.
Place the bacon on the cheese so you'll be sure to get bacon in every bite. The bacon I used was really huge--about 1 1/2 oz per slice, pre-cooked weight. If you're using grocery store bacon, you may need more slices. And you can also do the bacon weave before cooking to ensure bacon in every bite.
Arrange the leaf lettuce on top of the bacon followed by 3 slices of tomato.
Salt and pepper the tomato and then shingle on the avocado slices, 1/2 avocado per sandwich. Lightly salt and pepper the avocado and top with the top slice of bread. Press down lightly.
If you like extra cheese, you can put cheese on all 4 slices of bread so you end up with cheese on the bottom and top of each sandwich. With the fat fron the mayo and avocado on top, I didn't think ours needed extra cheese, but it's your call.
And there you have it, friends. A truly gourmet BLT with cheddar and avocado. A thing of beauty and a joy to devour. But instagram it first and tag me!
Thanks for spending some time with me today. Take care, and have a lovely day.