Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bacon Lettuce Tomato Sandwich

I've been eating a lot of BLTs lately with tomatoes from my garden and a honey-mustard mayonnaise I made two months ago and forgot about.

My tomatoes have been a smashing success this year. The large red heirlooms (variety forgotten) are plump and juicy, but the little black cherry tomatoes are the showstopper. These guys are the best tomatoes I have ever eaten in my entire life. Every time. When people come over to my house, I make them sample the tomatoes. "Try it, just try it," I goad on. They all agree--quite good. The little orbs are so pretty: they're red, green and purple. But inside, oh inside, they just burst open in your mouth with sour juice and seeds.

The BLT has so much potential, and without good tomatoes you may as well skip it. But I am just rationing out this mayo liberally on all pieces of toast. I have eaten BLTs probably at least twice a week since the beginning of August. There's so much crunch and juice going on that the creamy mayo is just the icing on the cake, so to speak.

The mayo first appeared in this meal back in June (but not written about until July, just so can get a feel for how long I let things sit in my fridge). If you haven't ever made mayonnaise, it is something that just must be done. I can't tell you how much better it is than Hellman's or gawdawful Miracle Whip, which has this jello-like consistency. (I know people love it, but no thanks here.) It's so soft and creamy. My mom raised me to be afraid of the fat and cholesterol content, but dang mayo is totally worth it for a tablespoon a couple times a week.

Honey Mustard Mayonnaise:
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon vinegar, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, plus more to taste
3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
3/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon honey

I started this by making the basic mayonaise out of James Peterson's Sauces in which I whisked the yolks, mustards and vinegar together. Then slowly poured a combination of both oils into the yolks, whisking constantly. The mayonaise will thicken up quite a bit. Just go until the oil is completely incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. Add the honey and a bit more vinegar. Taste and adjust mustard, salt, pepper, honey and vinegar to taste. You'll want to have the vinegar to water down the dressing a bit so it's easier to pour. Toss the mayo with the fruit and vegetables and plate the salads.

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