What I Ate: Avocado BLT

Happy Friday! Since we’ve successfully made it though the week together, I figure this Avocado BLT a perfect ‘What I Ate’ addition since obviously you do not need a recipe for a BLT. Bacon + Lettuce + Tomato = delicious. I’m going to add a few special touches to an already awesome sandwich. (Check out How Sweet It Is’ Avo BLT from this week too!)

The BLT is a perfect I-ate-some-pretty-bad-for-you-food-this-week option for the weekend,

or a breakfast-versus-lunch tie breaker,

or I-don’t-like-traditional-breakfast-food.  It has the perfect grease requirement for hangovers and the ideal fresh factor to make up for unhealthy indiscretions.
avo_blt_assembled_590_390
I think BLTs are perfect for a quick dinner or even brunch. They’re great on whatever bread you have, rolls, wraps, biscuits, flatbread, bagels, pita pockets, anything!

I added some pesto aioli and some avocado. Perfection! Mix up some mayo and some pre-made pesto. Also, if you refer to it as aioli, even people who think they don’t like mayo will be alllll about it.
avo_BLT_spread_590_390
I grilled the bacon in a criss-cross lattice pattern. Bacon in every bite! I like it suuuuper crispy but bacon in any form is perfect.
avo_blt_bacon_590_390
Layer it up! I like it in the order of B then L then T. I added avocado to make it more special, filling, and creamy. avo_BLT_plate_590_390
I think there are tons of fun ways to keep a BLT interesting. I think a salad-y wrap would be good too. Maybe the lettuce and tomato in chunks mixed with ranch, avocado, and bacon! Ooo. Yum! A BLT grilled cheese would be delicious right about now. Or maybe a BLT with fried egg on ciabatta! I’ve made BLT pizza (which was to die for). Just goes to show you, BLTs are great inspiration.

What do you do to keep sandwiches interesting? Any BLT variations I should try next?

Bacon Jam

Two words. BACON JAM.

Yes, I jumped on the band-wagon and now I’m pretty much the band-leader. Love at first sight. Why didn’t I know I needed to be able to spread bacon. I’ve seen recipes all over and just needed long enough to whip it up.

I adapted Closet Cooking’s recipe to fit my tastes to avoid it being too spicy and added some red wine…because why not?!

Ingredients:

1 ½ -2 pounds of bacon
1 large (or 2 small) onions, sliced
1 tbs garlic, chopped
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 cup coffee
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup red wine
1 pinch red pepper flakes

Directions:

Crisp bacon in shifts, removing when crispy at medium high heat.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon Jam
Leave a tablespoon of bacon drippings to sauté the onions. When they start to get translucent, add the garlic.
Deglaze the pan with the cider vinegar, then add the coffee, brown sugar, maple syrup, and wine. Add in the bacon.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon Jam
Reduce the temperature to low and cook covered for an hour.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon Jam
When cooled slightly and syrupy, process in a food processor until crumbled and spreadable.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon Jam
Try not to eat it all in one sitting.

This stuff is seriously addictive. As in, it might disappear if you have a spoon too close to the jar.

Sis wasn’t a fan, but Mr. J liked it. It has some big time flavor.
The Three Bite Rule - Bacon Jam

Picture it: I made it late one afternoon on a Sunday. It was a beautiful day and sis came over for dinner. We grilled some cheese burgers and spread some bacon jam on them. Then I took one magical bite and time stood still. It was that good.

Ohh yeah, we ate some potato salad and a corn and tomato salad, but all I cared about were vehicles to be able to eat more bacon jam.

Grilled Pineapple Salsa

I was thinking I wanted to make salsa once my work event was over I was thinking not just any salsa. Something crazy! I haven’t made salsa before but I winged it and it came out good. I wish it was spicier but I wasn’t sure that would appeal to the crowd.

I also can’t say I actually knew how spicy it was going to be anyway.
pineapple_salsa_mixed_590_390

Ingredients:

5 tomatoes, chopped
1 jalapeno, diced (seeds and
1 onion
2 garlic clove minced
1 lime, juiced & zested
½ pineapple, grilled
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ tsp hot sauce
¼ tsp salt

Directions:

Blend 4 tomatoes, onion, garlic, and jalapeno.
pineapple_salsa_mush_590_390
Add the jalapeno, then the last tomato, lime juice, lime zest, red pepper flakes, hot sauce, and salt.
Grill pineapple 2-3 minutes per side until lightly charred.
pineapple_salsa_grilled_590_390
Chop the pineapple and add to the salsa.
Let it sit at least 2 hours before serving.
pineapple_salsa_close_590_390

Salsa was totally easy. I was worried after I blended the tomatoes. It seemed too pink but it was a good amount of liquid to add the chunks to. I like it super chunky so I left the pineapple really big chunks.
pineapple_salsa_mixed_590_390
Any salsa tips for me next time? It was good, but maybe the next one can be great!

Hail Caesar

My sis was coming over for dinner and I was trying to think what would be a good idea for her first meal from my new kitchen. I thought of her love of chicken Caesar salad and decided to tweak it a bit. I made it into a pizza!
caesar_chicken_590_390
It didn’t come out perfectly but I’m still getting acclimated to my new oven. It went from not done to quite crispy in just a minute. I made the Caesar dressing earlier in the day and marinated chicken breast pieces in some dressing.

Caesar Dressing:

Ingredients:
4 garlic cloves
2 tbs mustard
1 tbs white vinegar
2 tbs mayo
2/3 cup olive oil
1 tbs lemon juice
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 tbs Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Combine garlic, mustard, vinegar, and mayo in a blender.
Slowly stream in olive oil and lemon juice until blended completely.
caesar_dressing_blender_590_390
Transfer to a jar and mix in pepper and cheese by hand.
caesar_dressing_bottle_590_390
Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Caesar Pizza

Ingredients:
1 pizza dough ball
¼ cup pesto
1 cup mozzarella shredded
1-2 hearts of romaine
2 chicken breast (marinated in Caesar dressing), grilled and sliced
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup croutons (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Stretch pizza dough out onto a greased and floured baking pan or pizza stone and top with pesto (I used sundried tomato pesto).
caesar_dough_590_390
Add mozzarella and grilled chicken slices.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown (not torched like mine)
caesar_pizza_590_390
While pizza is baking, chop romaine and toss with dressing.
caesar_lettuce_590_390
Allow pizza to cool for a minute or two and top each slice with lettuce mix.
caesar_plate_590_390
I drizzled some dressing over the pizza since mine was overdone (and pretty dried out) before adding the lettuce.

I made some croutons just for fun by just toasting some bread cubes with olive oil and some seasonings.
caesar_croutons_590_390
Overall, it was good and I’d probably make it again. I have since tried an alternative pizza technique to ensure I get the crust crispy without massacring everything else. Stay tuned for that one and just wait till you see what our office Valentine’s Day Potluck was!