Remember a few weeks ago, when all-bacon San Francisco restaurant Bacon Bacon was forced to close because it smelled too strongly of bacon? Well, if you're like me, and you think that's insane and immediately wanted a bacon restaurant to open in your own neighborhood, then Peter Kaminsky and Marie Rama's new cookbook, Bacon Nation, is for you.

Writes Cooking columnist Sybil Pratt: "In 125 recipes, these resourceful chefs, who believe that 'everything is better with bacon,' demonstrate that it’s a real gastronomic star and that a little bacon can 'turn a dish from blah to beautiful.'"

A Perfect BLAT
(Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, and Tomato)

Makes 2 sandwiches

Now, everybody knows that a BLT has mayonnaise, but we thought there had to be another way, and then a visit to Ted & Honey, a lovely sandwich shop in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill neighborhood, caused a little lightbulb to shine in the bacon part of our brains: avocado. It has the fat and creaminess of mayo and its own nutty and fresh flavor that makes for an even more healthful BLT—or, as we like to think of it, BLAT. To make up for the vinegar in the mayo, a squeeze of lemon juice adds a bright, tart fruitiness. When only mayo will do for your BLT, we suggest going whole hog (!) and slathering your sandwich with Bacon Aioli (recipe follows).

Perfect BLAT

  • 6 slices bacon (thin to medium thickness, depending on your preference)

  • 1 medium-size ripe Hass avocado, peeled and with pit removed

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 dashes your choice of hot sauce (optional), or more to taste

  • 2 leaves romaine lettuce, large enough to slightly overlap the edges of the bread

  • 4 slices multigrain bread, toasted

  • 1 medium-size ripe tomato (preferably locally grown), cored and cut into 4 thin slices

Cook the bacon in a large skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium heat until browned and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the bacon, using tongs to turn the slices and adjusting the heat as necessary. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Combine the avocado, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and hot sauce, if using, in a small bowl and mash the avocado with a fork until smooth. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and/or hot sauce as necessary. Set the avocado spread aside. Rinse the romaine lettuce leaves and pat them dry with paper towels.

baconnationPlace 2 of the slices of bread on a work surface. Spread each slice with half of the avocado spread. Layer the lettuce, tomato, and bacon over the spread, dividing the ingredients evenly between each sandwich. (If the bacon slices overlap the bread, simply cut or fold them in half to fit within the bread’s edges.) Top each sandwich with the remaining slice of bread, then cut the sandwiches in half and serve immediately.

Excerpted from Bacon Nation, © 2013 by Peter Kaminsky and Marie Rama. Reproduced by permission of Workman. All rights reserved. Read our review of this book.

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