Mexican BLTs With Spicy Salsa
- For the salsa:
- 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, halved if large
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 3 jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 3/4 cup fresh cilantro (leaves and tender stems), coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Kosher salt
- For the bacon:
- 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Pinch of ground cloves
- 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 pound thick-cut bacon
- For the sandwiches:
- 4 Portuguese rolls or soft hero rolls
- 8 ounces Oaxaca cheese or salted mozzarella, shredded
- 3 tomatoes, sliced
- 1/2 small head iceberg lettuce, shredded
Make the salsa: Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and add the tomatoes, onion, garlic and jalapenos (cut-side down). Broil, turning as needed, until the tomatoes and onion char and the garlic softens, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool, then peel the garlic. Coarsely chop the tomatoes, onion, garlic and jalapenos; transfer to a bowl. Stir in the cilantro, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Make the bacon: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set a wire rack on top. Combine the chile powder, cayenne, oregano, cumin and cloves in a small bowl; stir in the garlic, vinegar and 1 tablespoon water. Lay the bacon on the rack in a single layer; brush with the spice paste. Bake until the fat starts to render, about 15 minutes. Flip using tongs, then continue baking until browned, 10 to 20 more minutes, depending on the thickness of the bacon. Drain on paper towels and let cool until slightly crisp.
Assemble the sandwiches: Halve the rolls and pull out some of the bread from the insides. Lightly toast in the oven, 5 to 7 minutes. Spread some of the prepared salsa on the bottom half of each roll, then top with a layer of cheese, a few pieces of bacon, some tomato slices and lettuce. Top with more salsa, then cover with the roll tops, pressing them down. Cut in half with a serrated knife.
Photograph by Jonathan Kantor
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