Happy Father’s day! It’s June gloom month in LA, when the cool ocean fog blankets even the warm interior valleys from the sun until well after noon. A perfect time for a Cali(fornia) BLT created for Dads and males in general, a sturdy, highly seasoned sandwich, a little gem from LA.
It is said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and it it further said that it is best when it also includes bacon. So, I the summer of my 17th year I set out to make my own version of a ‘Dagwood-esque’ sandwich of great proportions and taste. Like an athlete remembering a spectacular moment on the field, I recall the moment the Cali BLT sandwich was born in our family kitchen, cliche but delicious.
Clad in the uniform of the day, faded bell bottom jeans, a white embroidered peasant top, huarache sandals and a string of puka shells , I grabbed the finest players from our California team pantry: Sourdough bread from San Francisco, Monterey jack cheese, beefsteak tomatoes from the garden, an avocado snatched from a neighbors tree and a few rashers of bacon from the local meat market- a great team and been assembled, it was time to cook.
The secret to any great recipe or (team) is how you put the ingredients (players) together. The Cali BLT requires are few special steps and a ready mise en place for assembly, but achieves layers of flavors, a high impact sandwich.
First, the outer crust. Thick slices of sourdough bread are spread with a layer with a garlic infused oil, crusted with Parmesan cheese and grilled or broiled until bubbly and crisp and immediately dusted with a bit of finishing salt.
Next the interior plays, crust sided down, the two halves of the sandwich will ready to become a flavorful team. Side one is layered with thin slices of Monterey jack cheese and seasoned (see recipe for specifics). Side two of the bread has a layer of thinly sliced beefsteak tomatoes with a grind of fresh ground black pepper. Both slices are placed under a broiler, until the cheese is bubbly and brown and the tomatoes have softened slightly.
Time to assemble the team (sandwich). Place two strips of crispy bacon on the hot cheese half, then top with the avocado slices, a few crisp lettuce leaves, and cap the sandwich with the broiled tomato half. Serve immediately, as this sandwich is best the moment, the hot crispy garlic crust, creamy jack cheese, avocado, crisp bacon and lettuce all colliding at the same moment, a perfect hit.
Happy Father’s Day and happy June gloom from Bijouxs, a prefect time for a Cali BLT.
As always, enjoy. B