Bacon Weave BLTs

It was a beautiful spring day here in Indianapolis. That had me wishing it was summer and fresh tomatoes were available. I couldn’t wait any longer. I had to make a few BLTs, even if the tomatoes weren’t perfect. Sometimes, you have to do what you have to do. But to make up for the tomatoes I decided to make a simple bacon weave. BLTs elevated.
Bacon Weave BLTsI made these bacon weave BLTs two days in a row. I will never make them any other way again at least as far as the bacon goes. Making a weave out of the bacon is not only easy, the bacon stays together better. No chunks flying off when you take a bite. And the best part? You’re guaranteed bacon in every single bite. You can’t beat that.

Want all the flavor of a BLT in an appetizer? Try my chipotle BLT bites.

Bacon Weave BLTs

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 1 sandwich

Ingredients

  • 3 slices thick-cut smoked bacon
  • 2 slices of your favorite bread
  • Mayonnaise
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato sliced
  • Salt and pepper as desired

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 385 F.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  • Cut the bacon in half.
  • Make a bacon weave. If you're unsure exactly how to do this, click this link to see the original post (with great step-by-step pictures) on Chin Deep.
  • Lay out 3 halves of the bacon in a square. Make sure the pieces are together tightly.
  • Lift up and fold back the ends of every other one on one side of the baking sheet. Place a bacon slice perpendicular (vertically) to the horizontal rows of bacon, directly on top of the bacon strips that you did not fold back. Unfold the folded bacon to cover the strip that you just placed on the baking sheet.
  • Lift up and fold back the ends of the horizontal bacon strips that are now under the vertical bacon strip to the side of the baking sheet. Place a bacon slice right next to the first vertical bacon strip, directly on top of the bacon strips that you did not fold back. Unfold the folded bacon to cover the strip that you just placed on the baking sheet. Repeat the process of alternating the vertical and horizontal bacon strips till you reach the other end of the horizontal bacon strips.
  • Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until crispy. Carefully remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  • Slather bread with mayonnaise.
  • Add bacon weave, lettuce, and tomato and salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Roasted Tomato Soup

I make what I think is a mighty fine spicy tomato soup. Lately, I’ve been concentrating more on using roasted tomatoes in my dishes, so I decided to give this roasted tomato soup a try. It definitely came out chock full of great roasted tomato flavor. Just perfect. A little herb-y, and a little creamy. And a lot tomato-y.
Roasted Tomato SoupThe tomatoes took about an hour to roast. They came out looking and smelling absolutely fantastic. If it would’ve been a nicer day out I would’ve tossed them on the grill, but the weather just wasn’t cooperating.

Roasted TomatoesWhat a fantastically tomato-y soup!

Also try my delicious roasted chicken noodle soup.

Roasted Tomato Soup

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Based on a recipe from Tiffani Thiessen

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds plum tomatoes halved, seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Fresh chives chopped and croutons, for garnish, optional

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a Silpat,
  • Place the tomatoes cut-side up in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  • Drizzle the tomatoes with 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, sugar, and thyme.
  • Roast the tomatoes until they are wrinkled and soft, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool until cool enough to handle. Remove skins.
  • Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Add the onions and a pinch of salt, stir, and cook until starting to soften.
  • Add the garlic, stir, and cook another minute.
  • Add the tomatoes, vegetable stock, bay leaf and the basil. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes.
  • Add the cream.
  • Using an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. If you do not have an immersion blender you can transfer the soup to a blender, but let it cool first or it will explode in the blender. You have been warned!
  • Serve warm garnished with chives and croutons if desired.

Spicy Tomato Soup

Wow. Talk about the perfect bowl of soup for a cold day. This spicy tomato soup is just fantastic. Super tomato flavor, with a hint of basil, and a really, really nice spicy kick. Perfect by itself and beyond perfect when paired with a simple grilled cheese sandwich.
Spicy Tomato Soup
I used a few cans of San Marzano tomatoes to make this spicy tomato soup, which I’ve heard about before as being great tomatoes. Apparently they are a favorite of many a pizza joint for making top-notch sauce. Well, they truly are great tomatoes. They aren’t cheap, but now I understand why. You can use ‘regular’ canned tomatoes and you’ll still be very, very pleased with this soup. But if you can find San Marzano tomatoes, I definitely recommend them.

Spicy Tomato Soup

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 -6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small sweet onion halved, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon more, or less, to taste dried red pepper flakes
  • 2 28 ounce cans whole tomatoes, not drained (I used San Marzano)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves or 1 tablespoon dried
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Crème fraîche for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • Heat oil in large saucepan.
  • Add the onion and pepper flakes and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and their juices along with the water.
  • Stir and bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Add the basil and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  • Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Alternatively, use a stick blender to blend the soup.
  • Pour blended soup through a sieve to remove any solids. Push liquid through as best you can, but remove any large chunks in the liquid.
  • Return liquid to the saucepan and warm through.
  • Serve garnished with Crème fraîche if desired.

Hot Dog Tomato Salad

What? Hot dogs in a fresh tomato salad? Well, that’s how my mom got me to eat tomatoes when I was a kid. I didn’t really like tomatoes then, but I was more than happy to sit down with a bowl of this hot dog tomato salad.

The key for me was to eat everything BUT the hot dogs first. This left the best part, hot dogs sitting in a great vinegary and oniony dressing. The dogs would soak up a bit of the vinegar and taste unlike any hot dog I’d ever had. Add strangely enough, I would drink up the remaining dressing. Odd, huh?
Hot Dog Tomato SaladAs much as it might sound a little odd, this is a great salad. You can leave out the hot dogs if you like, but I highly recommend adding them.

If you’re looking for a more grown-up tomato dish, try my cherry tomato salad.

Love hot dogs as much as I do? Check out my free eCookbook that is packed with tons of hot dog recipes.

Hot Dog Tomato Salad

Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 7 tomatoes sliced as you desire
  • 1 small sweet onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus more distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Hot dogs sliced (optional)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients. Add more vinegar if you like.

Sweet Pepper and Salami Frittata

Omelets, frittatas, scrambles… All are great ways to use up ingredients you have on hand. In this case I had some extra salami and cherry tomatoes around that I needed to use up. This sweet pepper and salami frittata recipe was a great way to combine them.Sweet Pepper and Salami Frittata

Don’t have salami on hand? Ham works just fine. Or sausage.

Also try my more-classic French omelet.

Sweet Pepper and Salami Frittata

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 4 medium russet potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large white onion diced
  • 2 medium sweet peppers chopped
  • 9 large eggs
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese shredded, divided
  • 6 ounces salami cubed
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes halves
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes. Boil until just starting to soften, 20-30 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly, then cut into cubes.
  • Heat oil in a 10" cast iron (or oven-proof) skillet.
  • Saute onions for 5 minutes.
  • Add peppers and saute another 5 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in half of the cheese and the salami, tomatoes, and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Pour mixture into the skillet and stir. Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and return skillet to the oven, under the broiler, for 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Creole Meatball Sauce

This is the sauce I use on my Creole meatballs if I am serving them over pasta or on meatball sandwiches. The meatballs already have some kick, so this sauce is a little more mellow. But, if you want more heat, just substitute Rotel tomatoes for the diced tomatoes and pucker up!

How can you pass up a Creole meatball sub sandwich, smothered in this great sauce?

Creole Meatball Sub SandwichOr meatballs over pasta, heaped with delicious sauce?

Creole Meatballs and SpaghettiI double or even triple this recipe to make sure I always have some sauce on hand. It freezes well and makes for a quick and easy dinner over noodles.

This sauce is also fantastic on my Creole pizza.

Creole Meatball Sauce

Course Sauce
Cuisine Creole
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup celery chopped
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 15 ounce can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion, bell pepper and celery and cook until slightly softened.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and cook another 3-4 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add sugar, Creole seasoning to taste, and the basil. Stir and continue simmering for 15 minutes.