Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Brunch BLT

Serves 4

Not a day passes me by when I don't think of a sandwich as part of my routine. Anything stuffed into a crusty roll or wedged between two slices of doughy bread constitutes a culinary journey I'm not even close to getting tired of. There can't be many better examples of a food group without limitations as the sandwich, and I love each and every one so far. You can vary the ingredients of this sandwich to taste. For example, you could add sliced buffalo mozzarella or roasted and peeled red pepper quarters, depending on your mood.

2 medium red onions
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ripe avocado
A few drops of lemon or lime juice
Tabasco to taste (optional)
16 slices smoked back bacon
4 mini baguettes
Butter or mayonnaise
6 flavoursome tomatoes, sliced
2-3 handfuls of rocket

Set the oven to 180c/gas mark 4. Slice the onions and place on a small nonstick roasting tray. Mix in 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then slip them into the oven (which won’t have reached the correct temperature yet). Roast for about 25 minutes or until they are soft and lightly caramelised.

Meanwhile, halve, stone and peel the avocado, then slice and place in a small bowl. Season with lemon juice, salt, pepper and Tabasco. Set aside.

Preheat a nonstick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Trim the bacon of excess fat. Once the pan is hot, add 1 tbsp oil, followed by as much bacon as you can fit in the pan. Fry briskly for about 2 minutes on each side or until lightly coloured and beginning to turn crispy. The cooking time will vary according to the thickness of the bacon. Remove from the pan and keep warm in the oven while you continue to cook the remaining bacon with a further tablespoon of oil.

About 5 minutes before the onions are ready, place the baguettes in the oven to warm up. As soon as the bread is hot, remove and slice each baguette in half lengthways. Lightly spread the bottom half of each roll with butter or mayonnaise and cover with 4 slices of bacon, followed by a quarter of the onion, tomato and rocket. Place a quarter of the sliced avocado on the cut side of each baguette lid, then firmly squash down.

Cut each of the baguettes in half and serve immediately, with plenty of paper napkins.