Tag Archives: thanksgiving

The Modern Mayflower – Muenster, Mashed Potatoes and Cranberry Stuffing Grilled Cheese

Man oh man. Thanksgiving is here again and I’m finally starting to feel like I’m slightly good at this. It’s been about 3 years since I started having my own personal lil Brooklyn food fest sans mi familia, and there’s def been some gross ass turkeys hurdles along the way but I’m actually getting the hang of it. I mean, now that I know that you have to defrost a turkey fifty days in advance and that it’s absolutely necessary to have a meat thermometer if you want edible turkey, then what could go wrong?


A lot.

So based on my personal experiences, if you want to have the best stress-free thanksgiving ever, then take the following advice:
1. I think it’s important that one understands that it’s absolutely vital to have at least one bottle of champagne per person the morning-of.
2. If you’re inviting friends over, give them the hard recipes or the ones you’re not familiar with – stick to your favorites because it makes you look like a pro. Genius advice right there.
 3. Remember, be a good host and keep everyone’s glasses full and bowl’s packed. Not only will the meal be absolutely delicious when it’s fiiiiiiiiiiiinally ready, but by getting your guests wa-wa-wasted a lil tipsy, then you can all take a big group nap in the living room with all the pillows and blankets you can find! How fun does that sound?! Oh, and of course if your meal sucks then they’ll prob just forget anyways which is good, too.

So if you keep all of these practical tips in mind, then you should be good to go. But actually who cares about the day of Thanksgiving?  Everyone knows that the leftovers are the best part anyways. And that leads us to this very special sandwich. So go ahead, put on your jeggings, pour yourself a stiff drink, and get ready for some deliciousness because shit just got real.

You know all that soggy leftover stuffing? Yeah? Well, put that slop into a waffle press and get ready to make the best thing that’s ever been created… besides —. Then add some muenster cheese, a little bit of crappy cranberry jelly, and a big ole heaping pile of mashed potatoes and grill it. As Adina, my boss and #1 homey from S.W. Basics would say, “if you make this sandwich, you make turkey the side”. And I say TRUE DAT, Adina. True dat. Let’s get started.

Ingredients:
– 2 stuffing waffles (directions below)
– 2 giant spoonfuls of mashed potatoes
– 1 tbsp of crappy cranberry jelly
– a few slices of Wisconsin muenster

Let’s begin by talking about the greatest thing that I’ve ever done in my life. It’s not some amazing volunteer gig or that time when I rescued a baby sea otter from the middle of the street (that didn’t happen, it would be cute though!), nah, it’s when I discovered that you could put stuffing mix into a waffle iron.

STUFFING WAFFLES. That’s it. Just two simple words that have changed my life.  They’re so easy to make and they’re insanely addicting. Just image this – It’s like all the delicious crispy stuffing parts are perfectly in proportion to the moist parts. And that just happens to be the greatest thing ever.

So let me tell you how to make these. Basically you can just put your wet stuffing mixture into a waffle press, let it cook for a few cycles – they need more time than regular ole waffles. After they start to get crispy and golden, let them sit some more so they can firm up then they’re ready to be used!

Next, add some of your knock-off Aunt Lorraine’s famous mashed potatoes, be sure to really mash the taters into the nooks and crannies of the waffle. It’s like perfectly made little pockets so why not fill they with mashed potatoes? WHY NOT?!

On the other side, repeat the same process but instead use some cranberry jelly. I’ll go ahead and put this out there, I am a fan of the crappy stuff. I don’t want any chunks, or berries as some would say, in my cranberry jelly. No. I want that ultra-smooth, deliciously-weird, and consistently-gelatinous goodness that I remember from my childhood. And I want a lot… but you could add however much you like.

That reminds me, you could also add turkey at this point. But if you’re too poor busy like me and don’t have money time to make a turkey twice, or if you ran out of turkey and had no leftovers, then you can be on my team. Otherwise, eff off! Jk. Jk. I love you forever.

Now add a few slices of muenster. I added three for good measure because I want excess of pretty much everything in my life. And who wouldn’t want want extra muenster. Dumdums, that’s who.

And did you know that muenster has a super high percentage of butterfat so it’s basically the butter of meltable cheeses. Amazeballs.

Gah, brb, gotta go gobble down a slice…

Almost done, almost done! Now just put the two halves together and clap your hands. You can also call all of your friends into the room to let them admire what you
‘ve done. I’m giving you a internet-pat-on-the-back as we speak!

Because the stuffing was already so buttery, I didn’t think it was necessary to add any more sandwich lube. Strange, I know, especially when you consider what I just said in the last step, but you get it. If I would have added more butter, it probably would have burned too quickly and would have gotten a lil soggy and I might have cried.

So anyways, just cook the sandwich for a few minutes on each side at a low heat – remember the stuffing waffle is already cooked so you just want to get it hot enough to where the cheese melts. And like I said before – muenster melts magically!

Once it looks all deliciously crispy and you can’t wait any longer, take it out of your pan and let it chill for a sec. During this time, you can run down to the liquor store or coffee shop and re-up on mimosas or whatever else you drink the day after Thanksgiving. Then indulge and enjoy the leftovers!

So hopefully this post will help you use up your leftovers in a fun, new, and creative way. If you’ve gotta a better weirder idea on how to use up the leftover food, then please share! Until next time homies…

xoxo,

GCS

The FrankenPie – Goat Cheese, Pumpkin Butter, Dried Berries and Toasted Nuts Grilled Cheese

I’ve always hated sports. Not because I don’t know what was going on or because I think they’re stupid. It’s because I hate how absorbing they are and I’m still sort of traumatized from that time when my dad decided to coach my 8 year old team, and then got ejected from the game for getting too angry at the ref. That being said, it’s probably understood that I grew up in a serious basketball family and it was always the same thing…every single game. When the game was on, no one would pay attention to me and because I’m an attention whore, I would freak the fuck out. And by freak out, I mean I would put on performances like this particular one when I draped a dirty towel over my face and put on an elaborate rendition of Phantom of the Opera. I literally wouldn’t stop until my dad picked me up and moved me to the other side of the house. So yeah, sports and me, we didn’t get along.


As I got older, I moved to Tallahassee, FL and I quickly learned that I had picked a seriously sporty school – FSU. To deal with this, I accepted the fact that to be part of the team, I needed to be the best pre-gamer ever. And because I like to do everything to the extreme, I’d go all out and get totally wasted sporty. One of my most exciting experiences? Being one of the only gals doing a 30 person beer bong off of a roof in Indian Village. Still super proud of that, sorry mom. I never took off my shirt and waved it around or anything like that but I definitely was one of the girls that would would sneak out of the entrance line before the game and spend the next few hours at the mall with my girlfriends secretly sipping on a flask of Jim Beam while shopping at Forever 21. No one ever really knew that I hated sports,  but now, 5 years later things have seemingly changed.

On Saturday, I spent the whole day eating cronuts and chugging Blue Moons at The New York Wine & Food Festival. After it ended, my friend Gaby and I decided that we should keep the party goin’ so we met up with our friends at a sports bar in Williamsburg, called 4th Down. I wasn’t super stoked about going to the bar, especially since it’s an FSU bar and I knew everyone would be freakin out about the game, but I bit the bullet and went. To my surprise, I had the best time EVER. Buckets and buckets of Miller High Life (yeah, we ball out like that), a secret flask in my purse, an enthusiasm that came from the previously mentioned fun enhancers, and a team that was kicking ass appeared to be the perfect potion to get me going. I had so much fun. I got so into it – I was leading cheers, doing the war chant, and screaming at the TVs. My scratchy voice and sore arm are proof that I’m a whole new person. A FOOTBALL PERSON! Weird, right?

Anyways, this has nothing to do with Fall except that I guess football is played in the Fall, but this grilled cheese is really good. It tastes like a creamy pumpkin pie and I’m obsessed. Pumpkin Butter, goat cheese, toasted nuts and dried berries all get piled up on some sprouted wheat bread. You should probably make it and bring it to the next sports game you watch. And I bet if you do, then people will pay attention to you! ahha jk, but seriously, it might help.

Ok, here’s what ya need!

Ingredients

– Goat cheese
– Pumpkin Butter (I got mine from Trader Joes)
– Toasted nuts (almonds, pecans, pumpkin, pistachios
– Dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, coconut)
– Sprouted wheat bread
– Salted butter

I had originally intended to make this GC after I had got a log of honey infused goat cheese but once I tried it with the pumpkin butter, I decided that it was way way way too sweet.
Regular ole’ goat cheese seems to do the trick in this sandwich. So just crumble a moderate amount on – so it looks like the pic below – and start doing little personal cheers to get yourself ready.

Now drizzle some of the pumpkin butter on top. Again, not too much because it’ll ooze right out if you go overboard. I’ll admit that it was hard for me to just stop here, but trust me a little bit goes a long way.

Now add some toasted nuts, dried fruit, and whatever else trail mix type things you have on hand. I bet granola would be really good, too. These ingredients not only bring in some color, but they also add some nice texture to an ultra creamy sandwich.

Add the reamining goat cheese and then stick the other bread on top. Meanwhile, heat your pan to medium high and butter both sides of your sandwiches. I made two because they were little. Meep!

Now add your sandwiches and cook until they start to develop a toasted crust and the goat cheese starts to soften up. It wont’ ever really melt like a velveeta or muenster or anything like that, but you can definitely start to see it change from a textural nugget into a blobby ball of cheesy gooeyness.

After a few minutes on each side, the sandwich will be ready for you to gobble down. Just give it a second to set then go at it. Eat it in the da
rk, at the park, at a football game, or sitting alone, crying about your own personal deficits.

So there ya have it. I’ve admitted to the whole internet that I like sports and now I must go get a new sporty FSU shirt so all the hottie sporty hipsters can know that I’m a part of the “team”.

Or I’ll just make ’em some of these sandwiches and that’ll be good enough.

xoxo,

GCS

The “I’m never eating again” Sandwich – Gruyere, Mashed Potatoes, Turkey, and Cranberry Mustard Grilled Cheese

Minus having a broken meat thermometer and one too many morning mimosas, I’m happy to report that yesterday was a total success. As you can imagine, because of our blood alcohol concentration and the absence of a certain kitchen tool, our bird ended up sort of dry. But whatever, it was still edible and that’s all we seemed to care about after what seemed like an eternity of cooking.Proudly, we even managed to not eat ourselves into a coma and got all pretty and went to hit the strip on Bedford. To our dismay, we discovered that not a lot of people actually go out on Thanksgiving here in the grand old neighborhood of Williamsburg, but we did! And after about five drinks at a bar where we were the only patrons, we all decided that it was the perfect time for Thanksgiving round II. So we went back to my apartment to destroy my perfectly clean kitchen what was left of our feast.One of our creations consisted of a grilled holiday citrus roll with cranberry mustard, leftover turkey, mashed potatoes, and some nutty, gooey gruyère. So I decided to share that with you all, only a prettier, less-sloppy version, of course.

Here’s how we made use of our leftovers.

Ingredients:
– mashed potatoes
– gruyère
– turkey
–  Inglehoffer cranberry mustard
– 2 pats of butter
– leftover roll (we had some weird citrus-y
ones that had nuts in them)

GET THE EXACT (printable!) RECIPE FROM MY ABOUT.COM SANDWICH EXPERT PAGE [HERE].

So any leftover roll will work, but the trick to getting a nice, evenly grilled cheese is all about making sure your bread is level. If your roll has a huge, ridiculous top like this one, simply cut it off and eat it right away. Consider it your appetizer. Then make sure the other end of the roll, aka the butt, is used as the inside of the GC.

I have absolutely no idea what kind of rolls these were besides that they contained chunks of nuts and orange zest. My roommate’s brother, who forgot the meat thermometer and the yeast rolls, managed to somehow get his hands on these citrus-y babies, so of course, we utilized them.

Then pile on whatever cheese you have on hand. I always have some sort of fancy fromage in my fridge and last night I just happened to have some leftover gruyère from our sweet potato gratin*.
Gruyère’s a semi-hard, nutty, and caramel-y cheese from Switzerland. It’s one of my favorites and it melts really beautifully but sort of takes a long time.

*The sweet potato gratin was voted as the majority favorite, so one of 
these days when I start a non-grilled cheese blog, I’ll share the recipe.

Then you’ll just want to slap on some mustard.

I got really lucky and was handed a bottle of cranberry mustard before I left work last week so I used that. I think you could totally mix some of your homemade cranberry jelly with some honey mustard and it would probably be the same thing.

Now it’s tater time! Just put a dollop right in the middle and don’t worry about spreading it out. Once you add the turkey, it’ll naturally squish out everywhere.
 

Then add some turkey…

… and another layer of gruyère…

… and the other piece of bread and then do a little dance because your sandwich is done being built! Smear on some butter and turn your flame to low and place this Thanksgiving treat in your pan.

Cook for about 10 minutes on each side or until everything gets warmed up and the cheese starts to melt.

Then pull the GC off the grill and you know the drill – let it sit for a minute to firm up, and dig in!

I want to give you all a virtual high five for making it through Thanksgiving without cutting off any fingers or drunkenly yelling at any family members. If you didn’t make it through without any disasters, then i want to give yo
u a hug and say it’ll be better next year, as long as you give me your booze, promise.

And as for a booze pairing, I’d follow my lead go with a bright and crisp brut champagne to play off of the citrus flavors in the mustard and bread.

xoxo,

GCS