Cooking With Local Chefs

Cooking with Chef Rov Avila: Everyone loves sandwiches

Chef Rov Avila
Chef Rov Avila

Everyone loves 'em!

Of the most common foods out there, we all have our favorite one(s). But there is a whole array of possibilities that maybe you hadn't even experienced -- everything from fried chicken tenders, meatballs, the classic cold cuts, plain vegetables and so on and on.

That is only for the fillers. The vessel is also a whole other window to look into, just from your regular sliced to different types of bread from multigrain to pumpernickel, sub rolls, flat breads and countless others. Of course, I'm talking about sandwiches.

As a chef and hearing from many of my colleagues, I know that one of our favorite things to eat either at work or at home is a good sandwich. Easy and quick to make, you can put whatever your little heart desires inside, and it'll get the job done when you're on the go-go-go all the time.

Some of my personal favorites are a good Cuban, gyros (all the way, please, and extra tzatziki sauce on the side) and Reubens are great.

The beautiful thing about sandwiches is how if you are making one for yourself there really is no way you can make it wrong; grab (almost) anything out of your fridge or pantry and dress it up to how you like it and let the magic of your creative bug take you home.

Today I will share one of the sandwiches I like making and we're currently serving at YachtSea Grille -- BLP (Bacon, Lettuce and Pico). My variation on a traditional BLT brings different flavors together to give your meal a fun, tasty twist.

BLP (Bacon, Lettuce and Pico)

1 ounce softened butter

2 slices of rye bread (or any sliced bread of your liking)

1 ounce of shredded Asiago cheese

(you can replace with just about any cheese)

3-4 slices of bacon, cooked crispy

1 lettuce leaf

1/2 ounce roasted garlic aioli (also you can prepare about 1 ounce mayonnaise with a pinch of garlic salt)

FOR THE PICO DE GALLO

3-4 tomatoes seeded and diced

1/2 medium red onion small, diced

1 jalapeño, diced (remove seeds for less heat)

1/2 bunch cilantro, minced

1 clove garlic, crushed

Juice from 3 limes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Prepare pico de gallo by mixing ingredients together in a bowl. Let sit to combine flavors.

Spread the soft butter on both sides of the bread and place on a pan on the stove top (or better yet a griddle if you have one). Let the bread toast nicely on the first side, then flip and toast about 2 minutes on the other side. Then on a toasted side, place the cheese on one slice and wait until it begins to melt, then remove from the heat and place on a cutting board. Put the garlic aioli on the other slice of bread and build the rest of the sandwich from there up. Pico, bacon, lettuce and then the slice of toast with cheese to top the sandwich.

Rov Avila, a native of Honduras, is executive chef at YachtSea Grille and a culinary arts instructor at MTI Culinary Arts.

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