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Author Notes: This weave, inspired by Mad Genius Tips from Food & Wine Magazine, allows BLT enthusiasts to enjoy earthy, savory, mouth-watering bacon in each and every bite they take of their beloved sandwich. You can even skip the bread all together and just use these sturdy weaves to pile on lettuce and those fragrant slices of ripe tomatoes. You can’t lose! —Serena Cosmo | Rustic Plate
Makes: 4 bacon weaves.
beefsteak tomato, sliced horizontally
slices of extra thick cut (a hefty quarter of an inch or so) fresh, unsmoked bacon
ounce hot espresso or strong coffee
tablespoons maple syrup
tablespoons light brown sugar
romaine lettuce leaves
mayonnaise, to taste
slices of sandwich bread (white, rye, whole wheat, pumpernickel)
- Place the tomato slices on a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with Kosher salt. Allow to sit for 3o minutes while you prepare the weaves. Doing this allows the slices to shed excess moisture, thereby avoiding that pesky ‘tomato rain’ that you would otherwise have when you bite into your BLT.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Prep the baking tray by completely covering it with aluminum foil and then lining it with parchment paper. Using the foil protects the baking tray from all of the grease that oozes from the bacon slices as they bake (for easy clean up!), and the parchment paper prevents the bacon from sticking to its surface.
- Create a glaze by mixing, in a small bowl, the espresso, maple syrup and light brown sugar until combined. Set aside.
- Using kitchen scissors, cut the bacon slices in half, lengthwise, and separate all the slices. Now create a grid. I’ve found that using four rows of bacon creates the sturdiest bacon weaves, but you can also make them using three rows, though you need to be extra careful when turning them over halfway through the baking process. I used four rows in my recipe. As such, create a weave by using four bacon slices, which when split in half create a total of 8 bacon strips.
- Begin by laying out 4 bacon strips, side by side and as close together as possible, on the prepped baking tray. Flip two alternate strips (ones that aren’t touching each other) one third of the way over on themselves. Lay the 5th strip perpendicularly (vertically) to the horizontal rows of bacon, directly over the side with the flipped-over bacon strip. Straighten out the flipped over bacon strip. Doing so will partially cover the 5th strip that you just added.
- Lift up the two strips that haven’t yet been flipped two thirds of the way over on themselves. Place a 6th bacon strip right next to the first vertical bacon strip. Straighten out the folded-over bacon strips to cover the 5th strip that has just been added to the baking sheet. Repeat this pattern two more times.
- You have now created a perfect grid. Repeat the process 3 more times with the remaining bacon slices to create four weaves. Now brush the maple syrup and coffee glaze on just one side of each bacon weave.
- Place the tray in the oven and lower the temperature to 400°F. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the border of the weaves start to look caramel-ly and golden. Remove the tray from the oven. Carefully flip over each bacon weave using a fork and spatula and brush the remaining glaze on each one. Return the tray to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before removing the bacon from the pan.
- Right before assembling the BLTs, blot the excess moisture from the salted tomatoes with paper towels. Toast the sandwich bread, and add the weaves, mayonnaise, lettuce and tomatoes. Enjoy!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe Made with Coffee