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Fried Tomato Sandwich with Pecan Bacon & Chipotle Aioli (Gourmet BLT)

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4 Large Tomatoes
1 Egg
1/4 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Flour
1/4 Cup Cornmeal
1/4 Cup Breadcrumbs
1 Tsp Salt
1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
Vegetable Oil, for frying
Arugula, for topping
4 Pretzel Buns, or any bun of choice
  1. Start by making the chipotle aioli. See ingredient list below. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix to combine. Cover and place in the fridge until ready to use.
  2. Prepare the pecan bacon. See ingredient list below. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Separate each piece of bacon and place on a paper towel. Use another paper towel to dab the bacon dry. You don’t want any moisture.
  3. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then place a wire rack on top.
  4. Combine the brown sugar and pecans on a large plate or in a 9x13 baking dish. Place each piece of bacon in the brown sugar mixture, one piece at a time, to coat. Press down to make the brown sugar and pecans stick. You want each piece to be fully coated.
  5. Place each piece of coated bacon on the wire rack. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the bacon has crisped and the pecans are starting to brown. Cool for 10 minutes, then use a spatula to gently remove to a plate. Set aside until ready to use.
  6. Slice each tomato into 2-3 rounds that are 1/4-inch to ½-inch wide.
  7. Place 3 bowls on the counter. In the first bowl, add the flour. In the second bowl, combine the egg and milk. In the third bowl, combine the cornmeal, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper.
  8. One at a time, dip the tomato slices into the flour to coat. Then, dip the tomato slices into the milk and egg mixture. Lastly, dredge the tomato slices in the breadcrumb mixture. Set on a plate until all tomato slices are coated.
  9. Add about ½-inch to 1-inch of oil to a skilled or pot. Heat over medium heat. Once ready, place 2-3 tomatoes in the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown, flipping halfway. Don’t add too many tomatoes at a time and overcrowd the pan.
  10. Use a slotted spoon to remove the tomatoes to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat until all tomato slices have been fried.
  11. Assemble the sandwiches. Start by adding a generous amount of the chipotle aioli to the bottom half of the bun. Break 2 pieces of bacon in half and place on top of the aioli. Add 2-3 tomato slices on top of the bacon. Add a heaping handful of arugula on top of the tomato slices. Optional, add a small amount of the aioli to the top bun. Place the top bun on half. Enjoy!
Pecan Bacon
8 Slices Hickory Smoked Bacon
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Pecans, finely chopped
Chipotle Aioli
1 Cup Mayonnaise
3 Tbsp Chives, finely chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Tsp Fresh Lime Juice
1 Tsp Chipotle Chili Powder, add more to taste
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
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