The Perfect BLTWednesday, August 21
Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about one of my favourite days of the year. Don’t worry, I won’t just throw out the free dinner cry and not live up to my end of the bargain, I will circle back around to how you can win yourself a delicious meal in a moment. First I need to tell you all about my favourite day.
Each year on the Saturday prior to Labour Day Monday the world takes a moment to celebrate one fabulous slab of meat. Saturday, Aug. 31 marks International Bacon Day.
It’s the one day of the year where we can throw caution to the wind and devour the artery clogging sticks of sinful deliciousness without guilt.
In fact, we at LUX Steakhouse & Bar have made it a point of celebrating the day in all its glory. It began four years ago as a request from a great regular client of ours, Jerry Aulenbach, aka the Bacon Man, to prepare a bacon-inspired meal for a few of his friends, and we never thought too much about making into something more, but as the time of year rolled around again we had found people who had attended the first time around wanted to come back again. Not only that, they wanted to bring their friends and fellow bacon lovers. So the second year’s event was that much bigger and there were a few more dishes. Last year we decided to work directly with Irvings Farm Fresh, a local producer and pardon the pun, but go whole hog. We took cuts from the whole animal to prepare nearly 20 different creations featuring pork. This year we have already ordered a whole pig and have been working feverishly to create new, fun and unique dishes specifically for the event. It’s not all about the bacon though, it’s also about bringing people together. The fun of the meal is that it is served family style. Guests that start out as strangers quickly become friends as the food is passed and the libations flow. By the time the bacon flavoured desserts are served (you read that right!) the room is a buzz with conversation and laughter.
This sense of community that evolves throughout the evening only made adding a great local charity seem like a natural fit. This year we felt that making YESS (the Youth Empowerment & Support Services) a part of the event would be a natural fit. YESS is a wonderful local charity that is devoted to helping youth in our community that are facing difficult realities. They provide everything from a basic overnight shelter to longer term living, including counselling, coaching and educational programs.
So, here’s how you can win free dinner. Share with me your favourite dish made with bacon. I’m looking for some unique and fun dishes, so hit me with your best stuff. To enter, head to my website at https://chefpaulshufelt.com/ask-paul/ and share your story. Please provide your contact information so I can get in touch with the winner. While you are there, scour the website for some delicious bacon inspired recipes. If you don’t win the tickets but still want to attend this delicious event, all for a worthy cause, tickets can purchased for $70 plus GST per person directly at LUX Steakhouse & Bar, or by visiting https://baconday2013.eventbrite.ca/ and purchasing them securely online. Your purchase includes a welcome cocktail and appetizers, a three-course family style meal featuring countless offerings of Irvings Farm Fresh pork, with $25 from every ticket going directly to the Youth Empowerment & Support Services, a fantastic local charity in need of our help. This is an event that is surely not to be missed.
In honour of Bacon Day this year I decided to share with you my interpretation of arguably the best sandwich ever to be put between two slices of bread, the BLT. At its simplest, the sandwich is the right combination of ingredients coming together to create magic.
Starting with two great slices of fresh bread, lightly toasted, smeared with a generous dollop of mayonnaise to provide creaminess, then stacked with crisp slabs of bacon to provide salt and smokiness, topped with perfectly ripened tomatoes to provide acidity and finished with crisp lettuce to provide texture and freshness, this sandwich has it all. In fact, I remember working for a chef who had access to a virtually endless pantry of food, and yet he wrapped up almost every busy evening in the kitchen with a BLT.
The Perfect BLT
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 4 sandwiches
1 lb. rvings Farm Fresh thick cut side bacon
2 Gull Valley vine ripened tomatoes
1 loaf Dauphine Bakery’s Pain de Campaigne
8 slices Monterey Jack
1 head butterleaf lettuce
4 farm fresh eggs
4 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400, or you can use your toaster oven
In a pan, fry the bacon until crispy, place on paper towel to remove excess fat
Meanwhile, slice the loaf of bread into 8 slices
Toast four slices of bread and lightly butter
Place two slices of Monterey Jack on each of the four remaining slices of bread
Using the oven, or toaster oven, toast the bread and melt the cheese
Slice each tomato into 8 slices and lightly season with salt and pepper
In a non-stick pan, cook the eggs 1 or 2 at a time over easy, seasoning as you go
To assemble the sandwich, smear the bottom bread with mayo, then place four slices of tomatoes
Next, add the bacon, 3-4 slices per sandwich
Top each sandwich with an egg, followed by 2-3 leaves of lettuce
Finish the sandwich by placing the top piece of bread on the sandwich, cheese side down
Cut in half and serve!