Tag Archives: pizza

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

P-I-Z-Z-A PaRtY – Pizza Grilled Cheese with Pepperoni and Basil

Guess what?! I just finished my last midterms of grad school EVER.  Oh yes, i’m super pumped and even more excited that this Friday marks the beginning of my spring break!  So what better way to celebrate this exciting milestone than by making a pizza party grilled cheese!  As the Olsen Twin’s say (in the best/creepiest video I’ve ever seen) – GIMME PIZZA, P I Z Z A!


To make it finger lickin’ I used:

 Ingredients:
-1 rosemary focaccia
-1/3 cup of pizza sauce
-1/2 cup of Trader Joe’s lite 3 cheese blend
– 2 tbsp of shaved parmesean
– a few slices of all natural/organic pepperoni
  (I used Applegate, of course)
– a few basil leaves
– 2 tbsp of garlic olive oil & butter blend
  (one tbsp real butter (room temp) mixed with
   1 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of garlic salt)
*depending on size of loaf, amount of ingredients may differ*

 So to begin you’ll want to slice your focaccia in half.  Mine had a giant hole in one side so I had to cut it into thirds and use the most solid pieces. They happened to be the bottom and the middle.

Because I wanted the grilled cheese to brown evenly on both sides, I flipped the bottom piece so that the cut side would be the one that eventually got buttered.

Then I sprinkled on half of the lite 3 cheese blend.  I think it was something like mozzarella, colby jack, and cheddar cheese. I know these aren’t your typical pizza cheese, but hey, it’s spring break next week and I have to be seen in a bathing suit…HELP *panic attack ensues*

 Now it’s time for those pep pep’s.  Pile on however many you like.  To please my friends, I put on a ton, because let’s face it, they’re absolutely delicious.

 Now gently spoon on the pizza sauce.

 

Now tear up some of the basil leaves and put em on top. This lil’ herb will make it hit the spot!

Shaved parmesean, awwwww PUT IT ON THE PIZZA.

Almost done… HOORAY! Put on the rest of the cheese blend and then the top piece of focaccia and now it’s ready to get grilled!

This is where it gets tricky, but don’t sweat!  I have some helpful hints to get this gigantic grilled cheese to cook to perfection.  The first thing you’ll want to do is to transfer
the whole entire sandwich to a plate.  Once it’s on, smear on half of that garlic butter/oil mixture on.

From here, you’ll want to put a big frying pan on top of the plated sammie.

Then flip the entire thing, making sure to hold the plate snugly to the pan.  Once it’s flipped, turn the heat to medium and butter the other side.  EASY RIGHT?! (I wouldn’t lie to ya).


From here you’ll want to cook it for about 3-5 minutes on one side.  If it starts to get golden and crusty really early, turn the heat lower and continue to cook.  You’ll want to avoid browning too much at the beginning because it’s such a gigantic sandwich and it takes a while to cook through.

If you think you’re screwed because it’s too dark, simply place a lid on the pan and turn down the heat super low, this will melt and heat the insides without grilling the crust.

Once you see that the cheese has melted and that your crust is beautiful and golden on one side.  You’ll want to use the same pan/plate technique to flip the grilled cheese over.  Make sure to use oven mitts because everything is super HOT HOT HOT at this point.

After a few more minutes on the other side, and you should have a beautifully cooked, melted cheesy pizza concoction.  Slice it in like a pizza for even more fun! hahaha, but seriously, it’s way more fun this way – TRUST ME.

If you can make it through the whole video that I linked at the beggining of this post then you will appreciate this ending (and should still be questioning what you have just seen):
“Here it is, ready to serve.
This pizza is made…Yeah!”

If not, I suggest you catch up on the best thing that the Olsen’s have ever done (besides designing, that is)!

xoxo,

GCS