Celebrating the Hanover BLT-omato: Blogfest, Part 5Posted: July 13, 2011
You can’t celebrate Hanover tomatoes without mentioning the iconic BLT. Bacon. Lettuce. Tomato. These three simple ingredients magically combine to taste like summertime. Have some fun dressing them up.
I dressed up yesterday’s lunch with a little Richmond homage. Though a post celebrating a Hanover Tomato BLT should not include sad details, I will tell you that my friends and I have been in mourning for over a year at the passing of a true Richmond institution, the Ukrops grocery chain. While its successor, Martins, fortunately still carries Ukrops brand prepared foods and bakery items, life in the River City has just not been the same since the chain changed hands.
One of the many things that I loved about Ukrops was the little specialty market that it opened in 2002 on Libbie Avenue. It was called Joe’s Market in honor of the founding Mr. Ukrop. Luckily two of Joe’s Market’s managers were able to purchase it when Martins owners didn’t want it, and now Libbie Market is my preferred grocery stop.
Over the years, Ukrops developed a specialty line of food offerings under the name “Joe’s”, including one of my favorite’s, “Joe’s Special Sauce”. Creamy and delicious, it was served on sandwiches at both Joe’s Market and all of the Ukrops stores. Somehow I discovered that it was a wonderful alternative to cocktail sauce and always offer it alongside the traditional dip when I serve shrimp at parties.
Though I can still get this special sauce at Libbie Market, after my daughter’s graduation party, I decided to see if I could recreate this tasty condiment at home. With a little experimenting, I found a combination that seems just right. Even if it’s not Joe’s original, this spread has a little Richmond flair. I call it “Sauce ala Joe”. Just mix together these basic proportions:
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise (Duke’s preferred in these parts)
- 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
Back to yesterday’s BLT. I dressed two slices of sourdough bread with Sauce ala Joe and piled on three lightly salted slices of a Hanover tomato purchased at the Hanover Tomato Festival, three slices of thick cut bacon baked in a 375° oven for 18 minutes, and some green leaf lettuce. Behold
All photos by Avad Fan.