If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you’d probably guess that starting the new year off with a healthy recipe isn’t really my game… But hey! Ya know what? After hanging with my family in Florida for the last month, I’ve decided that this is probably a good idea. You see, my family is obsessed with food. Literally the first question I got asked every morning two seconds after I cleared my breakfast plate was “What do you want for dinner?” Now don’t get me wrong – it’s totally great and I love it, but who in the world knows exactly what they want for dinner first thing in the morning?! Anyways, you get what I’m saying. And after having to think about food 50% more than I already do and realizing that looking good in a bikini is still a thing, I kind of need a little detox. So here’s this. A healthy sandwich that will fill you up and pack you full of feel-good vitamins and nutrients. It’s got beet hummus, cracked pepper turkey, yellow tomatoes, baby kale sprouts, and feta cheese on 2 toasted pieces of bread.
Yesterday I got drunk (off jell-o shots nonetheless) and tried my hand at writing under the influence. I’d always heard that a ton of literary superstars have used this method to get into flow so I thought what better day than yesterday. Then once I got drunk, I got side tracked, ordered a bunch of Thai food, ate some more jell-o shots, watched some Ted Talks on Netflix, and let my computer die, which then led to the
stupid ass the most hilarious blog post I’ve ever written being forever lost on the internet. Shit. Well, that sucks, huh? Maybe it wasn’t the best idea but hey it was an excuse to get drunk by myself off of rainbow jell-o shots at 2 in the afternoon which most people probably haven’t done, ever will do, or have any desire to do so at all. So yeah, that was pretty great.
From what I remember, I went on a pretty long tangent about these delicious gelatinous blobs of Smirnoff. My roommate and her girlfriend, who are both named Sarah (what are the odds?!), made insane neon-rainbow versions to celebrate PRIDE. And because they highly overestimated how many jell-o shots they could actually take with them, there were quite a few left for me…. including a giant cup of yellow, orange, and red leftovers that had my name written on it, well at least in my overexcited mind it did.
There was also a part about how the jell-o shots visually symbolized PRIDE – they were rainbow after all – but there was also a troubling realization that the amount of time it took to make these shots (you’ve got to wait 4 hours between adding each color) totally paralleled with how long it’s taken our country to accept that love is love no matter who it’s between. Which is like totally weird and sad, but I digress again. The last realization I remember having was that this sandwich almost looks rainbow which is a total coincidence! It’s got the red/purple and golden beets against some vibrant green frisee and then there’s the blue goat cheese from France that makes the spectrum almost complete. Oh, and the best part, this sandwich tastes so insanely good that it might even hold up against how much I loved eating those jell-o shooters, even with the memory of losing the blog post. But who cares, time to move on! Let’s make this thaaaaang.
Get you some of these!
– a few slices of cooked red beets
– a few slices of cooked golden beets
– 1 small head of frisee
– 1/2 tbsp of balsamic glaze
– 1 wedge of Bleu de Chevre
– 2 slices of sourdough
– 2 pats of butter (not pictured, sorry)
Even though it’s unlikely that you have any jell-o shots on hand, I’m just going to go ahead and say begin making this grilled cheese by shooting a few. Then after you choke ’em down, gently break up your blue goats cheese, aka Bleu de Chevre from France, and place them evenly around one slice of bread.
Remember, although this blue cheese is super buttery, sweet, and delicious compared to its typical cow counterparts, it’s also pretty strong so don’t go crazy with it.
Then add some cooked beets on top of this. I started with the red beets but I bet it would be even prettier if you alternated colors.
Next, add some frisee and drizzle on that balsamic glaze. The frisee is sort of bitter compared to other lettuce but the balsamic glaze evens out the tang by adding a nice rich sweetness to the sandwich.
Now it’s time for those yellow beets! Add them on and think about how rad nature is for making these crazy things.
Top those beets with some more of that goats blue and clap your hands in excitement. Call you mom, too. I think she’d be excited to know you’re not just lying around again.
Add that top piece of bread and start salivating.
Turn your burner to medium, butter both sides of the sandwich, and place your sandwich in your griddle.
Let the sandwich cook until it’s all golden and brown and the cheese starts to melt. At this point, take it off the burner and let it sit for a second before you cut in. Remember, this is always a good idea. It lets the flavors meld and the cheese won’t ooze out of the sandwich so you don’t have to lick your cutting board
So I guess losing that blog post wasn’t the end of the world and that three minute crying fest/mental breakdown was completely unnessary. I’m just impressed that I remembered most of what I was writing about…. I think? Anyways, until next time my babies…. Have a great 4th of July and remember that jell-o shots are the perfect treat to bring to any patriotic party.
Since I’ve been back in Florida for about a week and a half now, I’ve come to a startling realization – Florida thrift stores are RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME. You’d think that by living in Brooklyn I’d be spoiled by all the secondhand stores that litter lower Manhattan, but nope – not true. Most of the thrift stores in NYC are overpriced, over-picked, and just sort of
sad because I can’t afford anything blahhhhh. In Florida however, the exact opposite is true. The low cost of living and the elderly population here in FL really makes for an awesome thrift market and I just can’t stop buying (and having allergy attacks for that matter, F U dust). But anyways, because I have already filled my suitcase to the brim, I thought I’d focus my energy on something else and make a new grilled cheese that’s inspired by all the vintage and retro things that I’ve found in the good ole’ Sunshine State.
When I was thinking about which ingredients to use, I wanted to pick foods that reminded me of the old days but also were making a reemergence in the hip restaurants of my neighborhood in Williamsburg. So I decided to use kale, beets, and ‘shrooms, because let’s be honest they’re on almost every menu in the ‘burg…
-2 slices of white mountain bread
-1/2 cup of goat cheese
-2 tabs of real salted butter
-2 tbs sauteed kale
-2 tbs sauteed oyster, portabello, shitake mushrooms
-2 tbs diced roasted beets
*I didn’t include the exact recipes for the kale and ‘shrooms on this post, but feel free to refer to the hyperlinks that I’ve connected above if you’re unfamiliar.*
After you’ve got all your ingredients ready, go ahead and dice up a few slices of the roasted beets. I only had red on hand, but it would be absolutely beautiful if you had some yellow beets as well. After you’ve cut them up, stir them in with the goat cheese. I chose this sort of geometric cut because I think it sort of gives a fun vibe and the mixture sort of resembles those old retro jello salad dishes that were so hip in the 60’s and 70’s.
Once you’ve got the beets evenly stirred up, spread the goat cheese and beat mixture evenly onto both of the slices of bread.
Then put a layer of the sauteed mushrooms on top of one of the pieces of bread. I love mushrooms so it was hard to pick just one to use, so I just said eff it and used a mixture of oyster, shitake, and portabello mushrooms and sauteed them in butter with salt and pepper over medium/high heat for about five minutes.
After that, you’ll want to put on the kale. This was my first time cooking kale and it was actually really easy and super delicious. I basically used a recipe I found on the food network and modified it by chopping up some organic bacon, frying it for a minute, and then drained some of the fat but left a little for the kale to soak up for flavor. Once the kale was in the bacon grease (I bought a bag of the pre-cut/pre-rinsed stuff), I stirred it up, salted, peppered, and vinegar-ed it, and added some chicken stock, covered it and let it cook down for like 15 minutes, and it turned out really swell!
At this point, all the ingredients of the sandwich have been used so it’s time to put on the top piece of bread, OH BOY!
Like some of the grilled cheese’s before, this sandwich is pretty big so you’ll want to follow the “big grilled cheese rule”. Add a pad of to the pan, start to melt it on medium heat and put the sandwich on top of the melted butter. Then place another pad of butter on the top of the sandwich to let the heat start to melt it.
Then when it’s ready to be flipped (once that pretty golden brown crust develops) you’ll want to smear the melted pad of butter that was on the top and flip it carefully. I didn’t have a problem with the ingredients falling out because the goat cheese sort of glued everything together but if you do – just basically reassemble and keep going!
When it’s like that on both sides, it’s time to take it off the skillet and eat it!
If you’re feeling nostalgic for a time
that myself and probably most of my readers weren’t even alive for where Elvis was the only king that mattered, greasers and screamers were the bee’s knees, and a hipster wasn’t defined by riding a fixie or for one’s taste for Pabst Blue Ribbon then this is the perfect treat for you!