Hop’t Up BLT

This recipe was inspired by a contest held by the Grilled Cheese Academy and my love of pork belly. While in California I read an article in Edible magazine about Chef Dustin Valette. He too, prepared pork belly and used it in a recipe for Scallops with Fresh Bacon, yum! So I thought why not a grilled BLT with sourdough bread, fresh bacon, a roasted tomato mayo, arugula, sauté mushrooms and onions with blue cheese!

4 slices of sourdough bread

1 medium onion thinly sliced

4 ounces sliced mushrooms

4 ounces crumbled blue cheese

6 slices of cooked pork belly sliced about 1/2 inch thick  (or 8 slices of thick sliced bacon)

4 ounce fresh baby arugula

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes sliced

1/4 cup good mayo

1 teaspoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons soft butter

1 tablespoon EVOO

Ok so now you have the cooked pork belly leftover, maybe, from the pasta dish, right? All the other  ingredients are fairly common place and the only one you need to prepare is the roasted tomato mayo. You need one pint of cherry or grape tomatoes cut in half and tossed with EVOO, salt and pepper. Place on a foil line baking pan and roast in a 325 oven for 2 hours or until shriveled and dry with just a little caramelization. You could do these with the pork belly. Cool the tomatoes then add them into the bowl of a small food processor with a 1/4 cup good mayo and a hefty teaspoon lemon juice. Pulse until smooth and tomatoes are incorporated. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Place in a container and reserve.

Add thinly sliced onion and sliced mushrooms to a heated sauté pan with a tablespoon each of EVOO and butter until soft and slightly caramelized, keep warm. In another pre-heated pan, I prefer cast iron for this, place slices of pork belly and fry until each side is crispy brown. Place on a paper towel and keep warm.

Pre-heat a large sauté pan take one slice of the bread spread with 1/2 tablespoon of soft butter and place buttered side down in pan, cover slice of bread with 2 ounces of blue cheese, cover blue cheese with mushroom onion mix, top with 3 slices pork belly, top pork with a handful of arugula. Take the other slice of bread and generously spread with roasted tomato mayo and place mayo side on top of arugula. Spread the rest of the 1/2 tablespoon of butter on top of bread. Grill bread until golden brown then flip and grill the other side until golden brown. Remove from pan, keep warm and repeat…. Slice sandwiches in half and serve with a great beer like Hopfish IPA from Flying Fish Brewery.

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Cherry Hill, NJ

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