By Paul Suplee, MBA, CEC, PC-3
I sit here, chewing on a wonderful BLT that I made and I smile to myself; more of a smirk, actually.
Recently, I wrote an article about puns; an article that celebrated puns and an article that ended with the cleverest pun of all. But truth be told, there was no pun.
It was a cruel joke, and I thought it would get to the readers before I would get an objection. But it wasn’t long after I submitted it that I was stopped in the line at Island Creamery by my editor who protested that he spent an inordinate amount of time banging his head against the wall trying to figure it out.
It was at that very moment that I realized that I had won this game. I have reached the pinnacle of my career, and that makes me smile. What else is there to possibly achieve in this life?
But then Josh received an email, and it was the funniest and most satisfying one I’ve ever had come my way after so many years (my apologies, Darla). It was from one lovely Darla M. who wrote (and I’m paraphrasing), “darn you, Paul Suplee!!! No, I can’t put this down now! … Page 32 will no doubt accompany me on a walk, to the beach … until I get it.”
I reveled in the mastery of my evil prose. I certainly cannot compare myself to reputable writers of any consequence, but I take my little victories and keep them close to my heart. There are so few, after all.
I stop mid-laugh to eat some pickled green beans, and they taste better today than they did yesterday. Maybe it’s the extra day in the brine, or maybe it’s all in my head. Who knows?
When my girlfriend and I were in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago, we ran across these, and I can promise you that I will never serve a bloody Mary without at least having these available for people. They are delicious.
They are everywhere in NoLa and are the perfect alternative to olives and the standard fair in your favorite “hair-of-the-dog” cocktail. But why stop there? They are great accouterments to meat and cheese trays, or in this case just serving with a sandwich. They are just great little treats to much on, assuming that you like pickled things.
I take a sip of said bloody Mary and ponder.
I finish my sandwich. I know that I have a food coma on the horizon, so I put this whole thing to bed and sit back in my recliner to soak it all in. And I’m still smirking.
BLT, Avocado, Pickled Green Beans
Makes 4 sandwiches
1 pound thick cut bacon
8 pieces of great multigrain bread
2 Soft avocadoes, halved and peeled
1 heirloom tomato, sliced into 8 slices
1/2 heart of romaine
Spicy mayo, as needed (recipe follows)
Pickled green beans (recipe follows)
- I feel like a mutineer here. I have always – since the day I was born (Yes, I was eating these the day I was born. My parents are from Pittsburgh and it’s any wonder that I wasn’t eating head cheese at that age) – eaten BLTs on white bread, not toasted
- Regardless, with a thick cut bacon on slightly sweet multigrain bread, these sandwiches are to die for
- Ok so a recipe for a BLT? Really? Just put it all on the bread, with a slather of mayo and go for it
- Serve with pickled anything and some chips, if you feel so inclined
Pickled Green Beans
makes 1/2 pound
1/2 pound haricots verts (skinny green beans)
2 cups Good quality white vinegar
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Tbsp. Red pepper flakes
1/2 red onion, julienne
1 Tbsp. Mustard seeds
1 Tbsp. Pickling spice
4 Smashed garlic cloves
2 sprigs fresh dill
- Pick the green beans and wash thoroughly
- Combine everything else except the dill in a saucepan and bring to a low boil, then remove from heat
- Combine the beans, pickling solution and dill in a bowl and mix well
- At this point, vacuum pack the contents as long as you can throw it in an ice bath immediately. Otherwise, cool completely and place in a Ziploc bag
- If you use a Ziploc bag, squeeze all of the air out and place in refrigerator
- Let it sit for at least 2 days, experimenting with where these bad boys hit the maximum flavor and texture
- This pickling solution also works on fresh zucchini. If you cut them into spears and let them sit for a week, they are divine. I made a batch of these before my last trip to New Orleans and the results did not disappoint
makes about 1/2 cup
3 Tbsp. Duke’s mayo, or another good brand
1 Tbsp. Goo from chipotle can*
1/2 tsp. Lemon juice
Honey, as needed
- Place everything in a bowl and blend well
- Adjust to taste and keep cool until ready to use
*When I say “goo” I mean the adobo sauce in which chipotle peppers typically are canned. There is plenty of kick in it, but if you want to add more of the actual chilies, help yourself. This spicy mayo is one of my favorites on top of being incredibly easy to make