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I’m Calling Ioannoni’s - IBLT - Italian BLT Hoagie

Apologies in advance for a dish that’s just a sandwich and not even an actual recipe. But I encourage you to try it all the same.

I think the BLT is one of America’s favorite sandwiches, not just because most people love the taste of bacon, but because the lettuce and bacon give the sandwich a great texture - something really important to me in most dishes, actually. The tomatoes and bacon together with the rest of the hoagie fixins are just perfect.

Right before it got cold, I saved a bunch of green tomatoes from the garden. But to be honest, the tomatoes in the market are so bad right now, so hard and gas-ripened, you could get away with using them.

Make the fried green tomatoes first:


INGREDIENTS

3 medium-sized, firm green tomatoes

Kosher salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1/2 cup milk or buttermilk

1 large egg

1/3 cup fine white cornmeal

1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs

1/4 cup peanut, canola, or other oil for frying


METHOD

Cut unpeeled tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Sprinkle slices with salt. Let tomato slices stand for 5 minutes.

While the salted green tomato slices are resting, place in three separate, shallow bowls: 1) the flour and Italian seasoning 2) buttermilk and egg, and 3) breadcrumbs and cornmeal.

Whisk together the egg and buttermilk.

Heat the oil in a skillet on medium heat. Dip the green tomato slices in the flour-seasoning, then the buttermilk-egg mixture, then the cornmeal-breadcrumb mix.

In the skillet, fry half of the coated tomato slices at a time, for 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until brown.

Set the cooked tomatoes on paper towels to drain.


SANDWICH INGREDIENTS

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 hoagie rolls

1⁄4lb prosciutto thinly sliced

1⁄4 lb capicola, thinly sliced

1⁄4 lb genoa salami, thinly sliced

1⁄4 lb provolone cheese

fried green tomatoes

1 lb. bacon, cooked

Iceberg lettuce leaves*


SANDWICH METHOD

Slice the rolls, but not all the way down.

If you like, remove some of the dough from inside the roll.

Thoroughly mix the oregano, oil and vinegar. Spread some of it on each roll.

* Most sandwich places shred the lettuce because it’s so much easier to make a sandwich in an assembly line. I don;t like this because a) So much of it falls out when you’re trying to eat it and b) you lose the crunch of the iceberg lettuce. Iceberg has very little flavor to offer - why take away the one thing it does have?

Lay some crunchy lettuce leaves on the bottom of the roll.

Start layering 2/3 of the cheese and meat. add a few bacon slices and a few fried tomatoes, then the rest of the meat.

I had considered using mayonnaise (since you typically do on a BLT) but my Italian friends would mock me forever.

Grab a friend and a chianti or a nice Pinot Grigio to have with this.



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