This is a lunch toasted open face sandwich of sorts that my mother used to make. I can remember them from back in the 1950’s. I have no idea where she learned these things or whether it was her own idea. I do know that they are very nice and tasty. I do know where the name came from. Sometime in the mid 1970’s I was having lunch with her several times a week and this was her go-to when she was tired or completely out of other ideas. She used to say “I guess we’ll have something exotic and unusual” and then do these. Therefore we started calling them exotics.
Skip forward to today and Herself and I still like these a lot. And we call them exotics in humorous tribute to my mother.
Bread (we like honey-wheat or pain de mie)
Cheese, cover the bread like cheese toast (cheddar, sliced about 1/8” or less)
Tomato, one good sized slice in the center
Bacon, 1 piece, divided into halves or thirds, centered on the tomato
We pre-cook our bacon about halfway (enough to render most of the grease), since Herself just cannot stand undercooked bacon.
Into the broiler until the cheese bubbles and the bread is crisp around the edges. Don’t worry if the bacon gets slightly charred. Adds to the flavor.
That’s all there is to it. Simple, satisfying, delicious.
Herself Sez: I think this must be a Kentucky thing. My grandmother used to make them for me for lunch from time to time, too! Remember, my family was from the same area of Kentucky as your Mama’s family, m’dear. I don’t remember that we called them anything special, though.