Tag Archives: italian

The Bee Sting (remix) – Mozzarella Grilled Cheese with Hot Sopressata, and Basil Infused Honey

I’ve got to get this off of my chest. I care about bees. Like a lot. So much so, that when I have to write up the Links We Love at work each week I try to throw in one story about what’s going on in the world of bees. It’s gotten a little much though. I know. I know. People don’t want to be depressed and sad thinking about these poor little fuzzy insects that are living on the brink of their demise. They just want to think of them as cute little furry things that fly around and pollinate flowers and produce sweet liquid gold with their other bee friends. They have a matriarchic system for cryin’ out loud! They’re even raw enough for Wu-Tang to care about. So yeah, they’re rad.

So to talk about bees without being a total drag, I’ve made a new sandwich to showcase their sweet, sweet nectar. It’s inspired by one of my favorite pizzas OF ALL TIME. The Bee Sting. It’s from this place Roberta’s and it is the best thing I’ve ever had. It’s sweet, spicy and absolutely divine. It’s got fresh mozzarella paired spicy sopressata, basil, and red pepper flakes. Then it’s finished with a touch of honey that just makes your taste buds go “WTF was that? GIVE ME MORE.” Well, at least that’s what happened to me.

So here’s my spin…

Ingredients:

– about 4 slices fresh mozzarella
– 2 hearty slices of a Bâtard
– 5 slices of sopressata picante
– 1 tbs of red pepper flaked butter
  (combine 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
   with one tablespoon of real salted butter, MIX)
– 1 tbs of basil infused honey
  (fresh basil leaves and tupelo honey, OF  
   COURSE)

Ok, so I’m totally obsessed with tupelo honey (and it doesn’t have anything to do with my obsession for Van Morrison either. I swear.). It’s the only honey I’ll eat and you might remember it from the Floridian honey mustard that so deliciously starred in The Homebody. I even get my mom (love you mom!) to ship it to to me, because sadly, I can’t find it ANYWHERE in NYC. It’s a bummer. If you don’t have any, you should buy some. Seriously.

To make the basil infused honey, julienne about ten small basil leaves and stir them into a tablespoon of honey. I let the mixture sit overnight to let the flavors of the basil steep into the honey. When I was searching for a basil laced honey recipe, I found that a lot of people said to heat them together but I didn’t think it was necessary. I found that covering the mixture and letting it sit overnight worked wonderfully. After you’ve got your mixture ready, just spoon on about a 1/2 teaspoon (or more, depending on the size of your bread) onto each slice of the bâtard.

Then add a layer of mozzarella. Fresh mozz won’t melt but it will get super stretchy and warm and delicious.

Then add some spicy sopressata. This salty dry meat pairs perfectly with fresh mozzarella because of how moist and mild it is.

And now add on the last layer of mozz.

Then the top piece of bread… AND THEN…

IT’S TIME FOR THE RED PEPPER FLAKE BUTTER. This stuff is for real. It’s super spicy and it balances perfectly with the sweetness from the honey infused basil.

Then turn your burner up to medium and set your sandwich in. The lower the heat, the better. You’ll want to cook it at a lower temperature so the red pepper flakes don’t burn and have a chance to infuse the butter.

Cook it for about three minutes on each side or until it gets golden brown. WATCH OUT though, you don’t want to burn the pepper flakes because they get nasty and bitter and no one wants that.

Before you chow down, let the sandwich rest for a minute so that the cheese isn’t super stretchy and doesn’t slip out when you try to cut it.

So there ya have it. And even though you might not be thinking about bees like I had originally intended, at least I got to talk about them without making people cry. For that, I’m thrilled. Enjoy!

xoxo,

GCS

The Meatwad – Meatball Grilled Cheese with Rosemary and Olive Oil Asiago and Onion Bread

I saw something somewhere about a danklicious smashed meatball grilled cheese and I thought it was an awesome idea.  I totally forgot about it for a little while until yesterday when I was at Trader Joe’s.  They had this amazing looking Asiago that’s flavored with rosemary and olive oil. YUM, right? So anyways, I had to buy it and make this little meatwad baby for you guys.  I would normally give a shout out here to the recipe that inspired it, but I can’t remember 🙁 meep.

So to make this little baby you’re going to use :

Ingredients

-2 slices of Eli’s onion bread
-2 pads of real salted butter
-1/2 cup of shredded rosemary and olive oil Asiago
-2 cheese stuffed meatballs

I guess I should begin by telling you about the meatballs.  I used trader joe’s grass fed beef, an egg, some panko, finely diced onions, garlic, and basil, salt, pepper, and this awesome seasoning that I use on about everything…. and it’s called Instant Gourmet.  I combined everything and rolled ’em into little balls and shoved a small chunk of the asiago in the middle.  Once they were shaped, I sprayed some pam into the pan and cooked the meatballs, turning occasionally until the cheese started to ooze out.

Oh, and if you don’t wanna try to wing it with my vague recipe, use this cute little recipe from my good friend Ashley at Lovely Little Vices.

But once you have them on hand, go ahead and pile half of the cheese onto one slice of bread.

NOW SMASH YOUR MEATWAD!

Then center it on top of the cheese.

Now pile on the remaining bit of Asiago.

And put on the top piece of bread.

BUTTER.

At this point you’ll want to melt the other pad of butter in the pan because it’s way tooooo hard to try and flip it before it’s melted.  Once it’s creamy go ahead and put the sammie on the butter and put the press on top.  If you don’t have a metal press, you can use a heavy pan or a tinfoil wrapped brick or something.

Once it gets nice and puuuuuurdy, flip it and put the press back on top!

When it’ equally golden on both sides, take it out of the skillet and slice it!

Although this is a really flavorful grilled cheese, I thought it would be even better dipped in some marinara sauce… and i was right! So pair it with some delicious sauce and have a super fun party time and gobble up this meatwad of a grilled cheese.

Oh, and keep livin’ large, boy, keep living large.

xoxo,

GCS

Green Haze – Pesto Verde Gouda, sun-dried tomatoes, and Garlic Grilled Cheese

Halloween is right around the corner and i’ve been trying to come up with some spooky concoctions for a creepy new Halloween Grilled Cheese. Luckily for me, some of my amazing followers (thanks Susan and Mark!) hooked me up with some crazy green pesto gouda from Amsterdam.  It was really tasty and it works wonderfully for any late night munchie sesh’s and/or Halloween parties!

You gotta see this cheese before we start…. When I was handed this, I was like “WHAT!”.  I thought it was some weed laced cheese from some coffee shop that they smuggled in, but nah, it’s just some serious dank cheese that is colored from the pesto.  Coulda been a good story though.

Anyways, now it’s time for the other spooktacular ingredients:

– gouda pesto verde
– salted butter
– sliced garlic cloves (sauteed in olive oil)
– julienned sun-dried tomatoes
–  organic miche bread
–  garlic salt

GET THE EXACT MEASUREMENTS AND PRINTABLE RECIPE ON MY ABOUT.COM SANDWICH EXPERT PAGE HERE.

Once you have everything out, go ahead and put on two slices of the cheese on top of a slice of bread.  Once it melts, it’ll look like some goopy slimy mess. YAY!

 Then mix together the sauteed garlic and sun-dried tomatoes and sprinkle them on top.  The sundried tomatoes look like some bloody nastiness and the sauteed garlic looks like chunks of skin…Perfect for creeping everybody out!
Then add the last of the cheese.
Now it’s time for the topper. Add the other slice of miche on top.  This is the first time I’ve ever had organic miche and it was absolutely delicious! I got it at Amy’s Bread in Chelsea Market, and it’s a mix of wheat, rye, and sourdough, with a super dense middle and a crunchy crust.
Next, butter the bread, sprinkle on half the garlic salt, and turn your stove top to a medium low heat.
Before it’s all the way heated up, lay your sammie butter side down.  Then butter the other side and sprinkle with remaining garlic salt.   Each side will take approximately 3-4 minutes for the bread to brown.  Once browned, flip it!

When it’s like that on both sides, take it out of the pan and let it sit for a minute.  You’ll want to do this because the cheese gets super gooey and if you try and cut it, it’ll all ooze out.
Doesn’t it look like slime!? Eeeee! I love Halloween, it’s my favorite holiday and this is the perfect munchie for this time of year… and you don’t have to be high to enjoy it!
Happy Halloween, spook somebody!
xoxo,
GCS