Scotty’s Skillet: How to make an Italian BLT toastie

Scott Powell

Grilled cheese is the definitive meal of the postmodern era. Not only does it have a simple, square, geometrical shape, but it also possesses a distinctly nihilistic air.

Making a grilled cheese sandwich is like a signal to the world that you care enough to eat — even to take time to cook what you eat or at least to grill it — but not enough to eat actual food.

Ad

It’s like a giant, stringy, cheddar-y middle finger to the man that says, “I’ll live in this world of the bourgeois, corporate manufactured deli meat and genetically modified produce, but I won’t feed into its greedy lies.”

Making a grilled cheese sandwich is like a signal to the world that you care enough to eat — even to take time to cook what you eat or at least to grill it — but not enough to eat actual food.”

Taking your simple grilled cheese to another level to make an Italian BLT is an easy process. (Skyler Pradhan | The Collegian)

Of course, we aren’t living in the postmodern era anymore, but rather the post-postmodern era, which, rather than being defined by its radical stands against the threat of tyranny and injustice and an attempt to free ourselves of all pleasantries that feed into these grave and oppressive ills, is defined by our needless repurposing of incredibly simple things to make them look even more exciting, impressive and worthy of being clicked on by brainless internet surfers.

Now, instead of Julia Child teaching us the basics of how to cook an omelet and stuff a turkey, we have Tasty teaching us how to make a Nutella stuffed, unicorn themed churro cake that’s deep-fried and garnished with an entire baked Alaska on top.

We here at Scotty’s Skillet are not above these shallow cultural trends. So today we will be teaching you how to turn a simple, humble grilled cheese sandwich into a hulking, overstuffed, shirt-button-popping spectacle!

So, without further ado, here’s our recipe for an Italian BLT toastie!

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of bread (Any type of bread should work. I prefer 100% whole wheat myself. Or I use whole wheat because I read that it was good for your immune system, and seeing as we’re in the middle of a pandemic, I figured that now would be a good time to start consuming foods that increase my chances of living as opposed to my typical diet of pizza rolls and Twinkies, which decrease your life expectancy by 7 minutes each time you take a bite, according to an article I recently read on the little-known — but nonetheless entirely reliable, I’m sure — food blog carb-pocalypse.com. If you don’t feel like building up your antibodies, however, French bread, sourdough and ciabatta also work just fine. Just don’t use Wonder Bread, as carb-pocalypse.com has informed me that Wonder Bread is made with harmful preservatives that cause your interior organs to dissolve into mush and spill out of your nose — an assertion that I cannot fully confirm the accuracy of but don’t feel like taking any chances with regardless.)
  • Spinach (This is another flexible ingredient. Feel free to use lettuce or arugula — pretty much anything green will do. Jalapeño peppers, wasabi sauce, the slime they spray celebrities with at the Kids’ Choice Awards, Kermit the Frog — it’s all the same.)
  • Tomato (Use 2 slices per sandwich. Max. Any more and the tomato juices will seep into the bread, turning the whole project into a sad, dripping pile of pantry-slush. That being said, if you are a parent with small children, sad dripping piles of pantry slush do make for a fun, homemade alternative to Play-Doh that keeps kids quite entertained while quarantined.)
    Taking your simple grilled cheese to another level to make an Italian BLT is an easy process. (Skyler Pradhan | The Collegian)
  • Pesto (You can buy premade pesto from the store, or you can make your own. Making it yourself is fairly simple: All you need is a food processor, 1/4 cup of almonds, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, something else that’s green [I use kale, but basil works too, as does Brobee from “Yo Gabba Gabba!”] and the willingness to waste 40 minutes of your life standing in your kitchen listening to the grating noise of a food processor while it very, very slowly grinds all the ingredients together.)
  • Cheese (Mozzarella or provolone tend to work best. Or Muenster. Like most of the ingredients, your choice of cheese is flexible and depends entirely on your personal preferences. Just don’t use Velveeta, as carb-pocalypse.com says that it’s made with chemicals that cause tiny little fetus arms to sprout from your palms.)
  • Bacon (How much bacon you cook is up to you. I usually use between 10 and 20 slices. But I can do this since I use 100% whole wheat bread, which is very healthy and lowers cholesterol, balancing out any harm that the bacon’s high saturated fat content might cause to my arteries. If you’re looking for a leaner meat, ham works just as well as bacon — but then you would be making a spinach and ham Italian toastie, otherwise known as a SHIT, and this acronym is not one I find particularly appetizing.)
  • Fried egg (Over easy or sunny side up, for best results.)

If you’re looking for a leaner meat, ham works just as well as bacon but then you would be making a spinach and ham Italian toastie, otherwise known as a SHIT, and this acronym is not one I find particularly appetizing.”

Instructions:

  1. Spread a dollop of pesto on each slice of bread, about 1 tablespoon per side. 
  2. Place a slice of cheese on each slice of bread. It’s very important that you have cheese on both the top and bottom parts of the sandwich, as this is the thing that keeps the whole concoction together. It binds all the other ingredients together and keeps them from sliding out from between the bread when you go in to take a bite.
  3. Add the bacon, tomato, egg and green ingredient of your choice to the top of the bread. This is without a doubt the trickiest part of the whole recipe, as the ingredients have a tendency to slide off the sandwich once added on. To help keep them in their place, I recommend using a toothpick or imposing on them a harsh and oppressive totalitarian regime that doesn’t tolerate dissenters.
  4. Place the second slice of bread on top of the sandwich.
  5. Grease a skillet with olive oil. You can also use butter. But — well, I don’t even want to say what carb-pocalypse.com has to say about the dangers of butter. All I’ll say is spread at your own risk — and the risk of your future children, who could be born as claw-footed gorgons if you include too much whey in your diet.
    Taking your simple grilled cheese to another level to make an Italian BLT is an easy process. (Skyler Pradhan | The Collegian)
  6. If you want to spread the oil directly onto the outside of the bread itself, this works too.
  7. Heat up a skillet over medium-low heat.
  8. Grill the sandwich on one side.
  9. Now comes the hard part. Take several deep breaths and maybe do a few stretches or something to prep for the incredibly difficult task of flipping this monstrosity over in the pan without all the ingredients spilling out from the bread.
  10. Flip the sandwich over.
  11. If step 10 is a success, throw your arms into the air in a “stuck the landing gesture,” give yourself a pat on the back and cook the sandwich on the opposite side for about 2-3 minutes. If step 10 is a failure, take a few moments to pout and mourn over the once-beautiful work of sandwich art you have now completely destroyed with your poor flipping skills, then gather the ingredients into a little pile and simply eat them with a fork with the bread on the side.

Scotty Powell can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @scottysseus.