PLT Pancetta, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich

   You've probably figured it out already. A PLT is a BLT with pancetta in

place of bacon. I've made a few other refinements, too. Instead of putting the bread in a toaster, I butter it and grill the sandwich on a griddle or in a cast-iron pan. And I weight the sandwich while I'm grilling it, which makes the bread brown better. Adding basil to the mayonnaise gives it an herbal lift, and romaine hearts contribute a fresh crunch. I love the contrast of crisp, hot, cool, and creamy in this sandwich.

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4 sandwiches)

3/4 pound pancetta, sliced as thick as bacon 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil 1/4 cup mayonnaise 8 large slices country-style bread Unsalted butter, at room temperature 12 tomato slices Freshly ground black pepper 1 romaine lettuce heart, separated into leaves Unroll the pancetta slices and cut into 4-inch lengths. Put the pancetta in a skillet and cook over moderate heat until it renders much of its fat and begins to crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain in a sieve.

In a small bowl, stir the basil into the mayonnaise.

Butter one side of each bread slice, then put 4 slices, buttered side down, on a work surface. Top the bread slices with the pancetta, distributing it evenly. Top each with a second slice of bread, buttered side up.

Heat a cast-iron skillet or grill pan until hot. Place the sandwiches in the skillet and top with a weight, such as another skillet. Cook until nicely browned, 2 to 3 minutes, then turn the sandwiches and replace the weight. Cook until the second side is well browned, about 2 minutes.

Transfer the sandwiches to a work surface and remove the top slice of bread from each sandwich. Spread the underside of those slices with mayonnaise. Top the pancetta with the tomato slices, pepper to taste, and romaine leaves. Replace the top slice of bread, cut the sandwiches in half, and serve immediately.

*Michael's Notes:* You can assemble the sandwiches an hour or two before

grilling them. Keep them stacked between pieces of waxed paper.

-- My favorite line from a movie & so true :-) The American President

They don't have a choice! Rob Rumson's the only one doing the talking. People want leadership. And in the absence of genuine leadership, they will listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership, Mr. President. They're so thirsty for it, they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand.



Lewis, we've had Presidents who were beloved, who couldn't find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. People don't drink the sand, 'cause they're thirsty, Lewis. They drink it 'cause they don't know the difference.

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