Better BLT Battle
I had a great night and some good conversation with friends, but the important thing tonight was that we faced off two delicious sandwiches. There are two recipes in the cookbook for Walleye BLT’s. The first is in the chapter covering the recipes from the Hell’s Kitchen menu and the second one is from the Cuisine Savage chapter for when you go and catch some walleye and are looking for a way to eat them with bacon. Mitch pretty much admits that they are the same recipes with a few variations, but it’s his cookbook so he can do “whatever he damn well wants.” I cooked the two different sandwich recipes in succession instead of trying to make them at the same time. I made the regular one first and then kept the fried walleye warm in the oven, I then cooked all the Fancy sandwiches. I know that the burning question is – “What makes them fancy?”
I’ll tell you. The Fancy BLT uses Tartar sauce with a little garlic and twice as much Jalapeno, but no chives. It is also cooked in Crisco instead of peanut oil. I almost let this difference slide because I wanted to just cook everything in peanut oil. I have deep fried using oil before and I wasn’t sure what variables I would introduce trying to deep fry with Crisco. In the end I decided I had to make each recipe exactly as printed so we could have a true taste test. My instincts were correct on this and frying in the oil went much smoother. The last difference and the most important one, the Extra in Extra-Fancy stands for Extra Bacon. The Fancy Walleye BLT has 50% more bacon that it’s mundane competitor.
I made 3 full sandwiches of each recipe cut them in half and served everyone a half of a Walleye BLT and a half of an Extra-Fancy Walleye BLT. After all the lip-smacking noises died down I asked for the verdict. Chris was the first to voice his opinion that he liked the less fancy version better. Despite the bacon advantage of the Fancy BLT I had to agree with Chris. There were so many variables at play here its hard to for me to say exactly why. I may have over cooked the walleye in the Crisco because I am not used to that as a frying medium. I know that my second batch of bacon was a little more done than the first (read slightly burnt). The factor that decided Chris was the garlic in the Fancy Tartar sauce. He thought it overshadowed all the great bacon and fried walleye flavors. For Kira this actually decided her the other way. She voted for the Fancy BLT because of the flavorful Tartar sauce. In the end the vote was 3-1 for non-fancy. Of course no matter how you slice it they were both delicious.
To wash down this amalgam of flavors Chris brought over a great coffee beer (the name already escapes me and he took the bottle). In addition he brought back the bottle of Jameson whiskey he purchased back in March to put into our Irish Car Bombs. After dinner he made us drinks mixing the Jameson with some sparkling apple cider to make a wonderful fall cocktail.
Recipe #142: Walleye BLT – Walleye, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, bread crumbs, Parmesan Cheese, and eggs provided by Hell’s Kitchen
Recipe #143: Extra-Fancy Walleye BLT – Walleye, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, bread crumbs, Parmesan Cheese, and eggs provided by Hell’s Kitchen
Damn Good Way to get included in a Damn Good Meal
Unnamed Friend: So, uh, Mike How many of those recipes have you cooked?
Mike: I’m up to 137.
Unnamed Friend: Wow, that many. I think I’ve only had the pleasure of eating one of them.
Mike: So, Chris, would you like to come over for Walleye BLT’s next week?