BLT with Truffle Mayonnaise
People tend to gullibly follow what they are told when they are not well versed on a certain subject. This is human nature, we learn to trust the voice of someone who seemingly has more authority or knowledge than we possess. This has been repeated over and over again in a great variety of forms. The power to convince someone with information and delivery has been used by Dictators, Kings, Emperors, Governments all over the world; and to this day this potent mix of well-targeted packaging (delivery) and selective information is not only very visible in important speeches, but also in everyday life. Commercials, product packaging , web sites, TV shows, these are all mediums that need to be taken in with a grain of salt, just like a conversation with someone, because the views expressed are influenced by a person and not necessarily facts.
You might be wondering why I’m tackling this subject, well I could tell you it is because I’m tired of seeing how local politicians can get a away with murder and cheating (literally), simply because they can convince people to give them the power to do so; but, I regress, I would be straying off topic and probably should start a Political Blog. No, I’m talking about this because food marketing/merchandising and years of so called experts talking about their miracle diets leave most of us confused in restaurants and supermarkets, when choosing what is actually healthy for us.
First, there are the golden (or green) words that tend to make you think everything will be all right when seen on labels. There are a certain set you need to be wary of; and if you are still not sure, please learn to read the nutrition facts:
- Organic: Great, its organic. Well I know some sugars that are organic. So seeing this on a label, does it make it healthy? No.
- Healthy: What does healthy mean? Some people are a little overweight and still considered “healthy”
- Green: This usually just means that it doesn’t harm the environment. Who knows about your body though.
- Farm Raised: Pork Belly and Potatoes are farm raised too.
- Artisanal: Just because its made by an Artisan, doesn’t make it healthy.
- Low Fat: But is it Low in Sugar too?
- Low Carb: But is it Low in Sodium too?
- Reduced Fat: How are the levels of everything else in there?
- No Artificial Sweeteners: But you are still using sweeteners right?
- Diet: Really?
- Low Calorie: Research empty calories.
Next there are the foods, that sound healthy, when seen on a menu, or when you look at the ingredient lists, but are actually quite the opposite.
- Did you know some sushi rolls are worse than a thin crust Italian pizza?
- Granola and Powerbars are usually loaded with sugar. Make sure you select the right ones.
- Smoothies are great. But make sure you don’t drink too much of them if you are not active. Always make sure that there are only real fruits in your smoothie. They should also be considered a meal.
- Vitamin Drinks, Sports Drinks… Always look at the label for sugar content.
- Salads. Always check what the dressing is (these can be calorie bombs), have a look at the way the main ingredients are prepared (a chopped fried chicken salad with blue cheese dressing, sounds ok, but is actually terrible for you)
- Just because its yogurt and has fruit in it, doesn’t mean it’s not loaded with sugar.
- Wraps and Sandwiches. Usually sounds ok, but this will change greatly depending on the fillings, the bread, the condiments…
- Juices: do you know how many oranges go into one glass? Probably 4-6. That’s a lot of sugar! So if you are not drinking it as a meal. Stick to water. Even worse if it’s not fresh juice.
One of the dishes that is usually shied away from is the Humble BLT, because people think that it is full of fatty bacon. So they will select the Tuna Salad sandwich or the Chicken Salad. Hmmmm, now wait doesn’t tuna salad have close to 4 tbsp. of processed mayo in the mix? In any case, when I do feel the need to eat bread, or if I have no choice when I’m out, I’ll usually order the BLT. I’ll tell them to hold the mayo, trim the bacon and make sure I get high fibre bread.
However, when I make it at home, I make a much tastier version and its actually good for you (if you’re allowing yourself some carbs). With simple sandwiches, the most critical point is making sure that all the individual ingredients are perfect in their own right and as homemade as possible.
Bacon Lettuce Tomato Sandwich with a Black Truffle Mayonnaise
song off the Local Natives’ new album
Start by getting the right bacon, not the processed frozen type. Go to a deli like Santis and get a couple of pieces with more meat than fat, that has been smoked. Lay this out on a bake pan and leave in the oven until your desired crispiness at 400f. When you take it out, trim the fat out, and place on kitchen paper to suck out all the excess fat.
Take a large ripe tomato, cut yourself a fat slice and marinate with a pinch of salt, pepper, chopped basil and olive oil. Bring up to room temperature.
Choose a nice, multigrain (no white flour) or gluten free bread, the tastier the better; and slice off 2/3inch thick pieces, toast until brown and spread a little butter on top.
Make your mayonnaise: Blend together 1 egg yolk, 1/2tsp of dijon mustard, 2 tsps of tartuffata, salt, pepper. Steadily add about 6 tbsp of olive oil, while making sure it all absorbs well in the mix. Finish with a tbsp of lemon juice. Blend. Season to taste.
Combine the sandwich. Use a nice crispy cold piece of lettuce (butter or iceberg preferably)