This is probably the most fun breakfast I’ve made in a very long time. I was flipping through a magazine at the gym the other day and saw a picture here of a BLT corn cake and got the idea to make my own. This is a very creative and usual twist on a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, the all time best sandwich in the whole wide world as far as I’m concerned.
The day we made these we invited Meakin’s brother Stuart for breakfast. I’m the first to admit that this is an unusual breakfast and I could tell by the look on both of their faces that they weren’t so sure if they were going to like this for breakfast. Being a good hostess, before I served I asked if they wanted theirs stacked, or the bacon and tomato on the side. They chose bacon & tomato on the side. When we sat down, I took a couple of bites of mine, stacked like the pictures, and commented, “These are really good.” They took a few bites of their tomatoes and bacon with the cornmeal pancakes and agreed they were excellent and gave their stamp of approval.
Let’s deconstruct the stack.
These savory cornmeal pancakes are the star of this show and act as the bread for the BLT. I added lightly blanched fresh corn kernels to the pancake batter to pump up the corn flavor. If you’ve been reading My Carolina Kitchen for a while, you may remember these cornmeal pancakes from a previous post.
B is for bacon. We chose thick cut apple-wood smoked bacon from Nueske’s, our family's go-to favorite for the apple-wood flavor. When we’re in the mood for a hickory smoked flavor, we always use Benton’s country bacon from Tennessee. We’ve actually toured Benton’s smoke house in Madisonville when were coming home from a blogger get-together at Larry’s, aka Big Dude’s Eclectic Ramblings, house one year, post here. If you’ve never been inside of a smoke house, do take a look. If you have reluctant diners, you might tempt them to eat this BLT stack by using candied bacon, recipe below. The sweetness of the candied bacon will make up for the syrup normally served over pancakes.
L is for lettuce. We replaced the lettuce with big leaves of fresh basil, picked straight from our herb garden. With all of the rain we’ve been having, our basil has grown like a weed.
T is for tomato. Cherokee purple heirloom tomatoes are our favorite heirloom, but any good homegrown or garden fresh tomato will work. As you will notice in the pictures (your eyes aren’t deceiving you), the Cherokee Purples are a purplish red wine colored tomato, instead of being a brilliant red.
You’ll notice that the stacks of pancakes lean slightly instead of standing up straight. As much as I tried to straighten them for the picture, the tomatoes keep sliding and it ended up looking like the leaning tower of Pisa. Oh well… not quite perfect makes them look more homemade.
BLT Cornmeal Pancakes
Inspired from Better Homes & Garden, serves 4 – 1 stack each
1 recipe of savory corneal pancakes, recipe below
8 slices of thick bacon, apple-wood or hickory smoked, or candied bacon, recipe below
8 slices of tomato, preferably an heirloom
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
A small bunch of fresh basil
For garnish, cooked corn kernels, grape tomato halves, and small fresh basil leaves
Sweet butter or syrup if desired
Prepare the cornmeal pancake recipe and keep the cakes warm in the oven while you fry the bacon and slice the tomatoes. Season the tomatoes with plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper. To assemble, start with a pancake, then a couple of big basil leaves, a slice of tomato (you may have to trim it to fit), and a half of a piece of bacon. Repeat and top with a cornmeal pancake. Garnish if desired and serve with butter or syrup. Recipe easily doubles if you have those who want more than one stack. Left-over pancakes keep well in the refrigerator for a couple of days using the method below.
Savory Cornmeal Pancakes
Adapted from Joy of Cooking – yield twelve 4” cakes
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 large egg
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons canola oil
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup cooked yellow corn kernels
Sweet butter for serving, optional
Combine the cornmeal, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over the mixture, stir well, cover and set aside for 15 minutes. In a separate bowl beat the egg, milk and oil until combined. After 15 minutes, add to the cornmeal mixture and stir until smooth. Meanwhile in a small bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Stir into the hot cornmeal mixture, then add corn.
Heat a pancake griddle or 12” lightly oiled skillet until hot. Drop the batter by spoonfuls onto the griddle. When the pancakes begins to bubble in the center and start to dry around the edges, turn and cook until done. The second side takes only about half as long as the first side and never browns as evenly, so serve them first side up.
Remove the cakes and keep in a warm oven while you make the remaining cakes. When all pancakes are done, serve immediately with sweet butter if desired.
For leftover pancakes: I cut small pieces of wax paper, place the paper between each cake and refrigerate them in a covered airtight container. The next morning reheat the pancakes on a sheet pan in a 250 degree F oven for about 10 minutes until they are warm. They are every bit as good as the originals.
From Better Homes & Garden
Line a 15x10x1 inch pan with foil. Arrange bacon strips about 1 ½” apart. In a small bowl, stir together 3 T packed brown sugar and ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, then spoon mixture evenly over the bacon. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, until bacon is browned & crisp. Transfer to a paper towel to cool. Halve slices. Great for nibbling.
This will be shared with Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farms, Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday at Simple Recipes, Foodtastic Friday at Not Your Ordinary Recipes, and Seasonal Sunday at the Tablescaper.