More sandwiches: PMB vs BLT

[What a ridiculous photo: Someone bit into my PMB before I took a photo. It’s like a sinking ship here.]

Jim Lahey’s book My Bread kept me making bread this year. I highly recommend it. The book says that if you have no spare time you still have time to make his bread. I’m not precious about my time — I still watch TV and drink beer — but with a new kid in my house, making sourdough bread falls into the same timeline as paying off my mortgage and finishing Proust.

Now I preach no-knead bread. Lahey is dead on. Homemade bread is a small demand upon your time. A 24 hour process with little effort. Mix, rise, punch, rise, bake. Lather with butter. Eat. Anyway, his bread is an aside. Today Lahey’s PMB (Pancetta, Mango, Basil) is my focus.

What a magical combination of taste and texture. Make fresh bread (ok, I bought a loaf of rye), slice mango, sprinkle it with hot chilli powder, add  double smoked bacon and basil leaves. The basil complements the bacon, bringing out peppery and anise flavours. The mango replaces the mayo (believe it, mayo-lovers, this mango miracle whips the white stuff) for moisture and adds sweetness. I know mangos are as a rule not very good by the time they reach old Nova Scotia, but this is a worthy use of mediocre mango. Quality bacon is the key, and we have plenty of that here: Oulton’s for one. I used bacon from [that German place on across from Mike’s Fish shop in the market – please help me here, folks]. It’s top notch.

I made a BLT to compare. A different beast altogether. I only eat BLTs in the summer because they are really all about tomato. Thick cuts of beefsteaks, lots of pepper and mayo and a little bacon to add salt and body.