Thursday, August 22, 2013

BLT Cornmeal Pancakes – a breakfast twist on a BLT

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.

Candied Bacon
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.

Have a great weekend everyone.


  1. Sam,

    P is for perfect! the photo tells it all as I salivate. ;) The only thing I'm missing is the corn pancake, but since friends just brought us some fresh corn and you have supplied the recipe, guess what we'll be having this weekend. Thank you.

    PS: there is nothing like the flavor of our Cherokee Purples

  2. What a marvelous idea using pancakes to make BLT sandwich! Now I see those kumatoes again :-) So juicy and sweet.

  3. We make the candied bacon at is so good..I do love the taste of bacon..
    If you say this is delish I believe you..!

  4. "Best in the whole wide world"....I think that says it all. I should have ripening tomatoes soon. :) Karen

  5. What a fun and unique twist on breakfast!

  6. Oh, how clever! I have to try these. I like to have breakfast for dinner, and this looks just about perfect.

  7. Mmmhhh, that looks good! A wonderful idea.



  8. Hold on I am just popping over for breakfast :-)) Yum yum. Diane

  9. Oh my goodness gracious, Sam. I am drooling to the point a bib would be helpful. That looks so... good.♥♥♥

  10. Count me in for one of those!! That looks absolutely delicious! We're having some great tomatoes this year, so I'm going to try this recipe! Great post!


  11. What a unique and fun way to make a BLT. I think I would still want to make some sort of spread to go with this. I'm thinking...

    Thanks for sharing this!

  12. Omigosh, I want this right now! Let's see, haven't had breakfast, have all the ingredients...I'm off to the kitchen.

  13. I think this would make a fine dinner too, Sam! With our tomatoes just starting to turn red and basil in abundance I must try this delicious twist on a BLT. Glad to see you're using my favorite Wisconsin-made bacon too :)

  14. This would make for a great breakfast and with a good cup of coffee the stars would align. Love it.


  15. Clever, clever! I could eat it any time of the day!

  16. Dear Sam, This is a fun and delicious breakfast! I love the fresh basil as part of it. I am sure it gives it the taste that is special. Blessings for a beautiful weekend. Catherine xo

  17. ok Sam, I think this breakfast sandwich looks incredible. I'd love to give it a try. I'm not a big pancake fan, but the cornmeal variety has me intrigued. I made a candied bacon sandwich a couple of weeks ago. It was pretty darn good. Have a great Saturday!

  18. I would vote for "stacked" every time! Fantastic! My ordinary cereal is boring me this morning, and I am in love with your tower of pancakes and bacon!

  19. "at the gym the other day" - Impressed with this statement. This looks so good I can't believe it and what a great idea to use the corn cakes as the bread for the sandwich. That's a pretty sophisticated recipe for corn cakes too.

  20. I love it what fun and good thing you go to the gym... so you can eat bacon. I exercise only so I can eat more. Thanks again for a great recipe on foodie friday.

  21. Hi Sam,
    What a creative masterpiece for breakfast! I love the presentation all stacked up and so colorful. The flavor would be outstanding, that Cherokee Heirloom would just be perfect! We will be serving these Cornmeal Pancake Stacks very soon.

    Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great weekend!
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  22. I love that you were at the gym when you were inspired to make a BLT with corn pancakes!!! they look AMAZING - so full of great flavors and ingredients - pretty great basil plant!
    Mary x

  23. what fun must try this :-) can get bored at breakie

  24. This BLT certainly does look fun! I love BLTs, but it looks like you kicked it up a notch. I love this!

  25. These look delicious. And wonderful for those who prefer the savory side of breakfasts to the sweet.

  26. Well I could eat that right through the computer, it looked so delicious...what a creative idea and you gotta know it is delish...yummy...How can you go wrong with a little bacon...Phyllis

  27. I have to admit ~ I'm intrigued by this combination. It looks so delicious in the photographs!

  28. Oh, my! Sam, this is going to become our favorite recipe!

  29. That is an absolutely FANTASTIC idea. I did cornmeal pancakes for "red neck tacos" ala Martin's BBQ in Nashville. But I could see making the cakes smaller and making a bbq stack like this. I'm excited about this post.

  30. Oh, good heavens! I was already a fan of the corn cakes but this! Gilding the lily... I can't wait!

  31. What a creative and fun version of my favorite sandwich! This would be perfect to serve for Sunday brunch. Bacon and tomatoes are made for each other and using corn pancakes is genius. Your photo is making me hungry, Sam.

  32. What a creative and fun version of my favorite sandwich! This would be perfect to serve for Sunday brunch. Bacon and tomatoes are made for each other and using corn pancakes is genius. Your photo is making me hungry, Sam.

  33. I love cornmeal pancakes and your breakfast sandwich is drool-worthy!! So delicious looking!

  34. I'm so glad Miz Helen featured this Sam, I don't know how I missed it! Sounds great and I love cornmeal... and of course bacon:@) Happy Labor Day Weekend!

  35. Congratulations Sam!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend and your new Red Plate.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  36. Oh My! I can't wait to try the corncakes, bacon, and tomato stack! Thanks for sharing this. Something tells me I will be having this baby once a week at least.


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