Tag Archives: swiss

A Super Legit Ybor-Style Cuban Sandwich… OMG

Classic Ybor-style Cuban Sandwich

I spent about 8 years of my childhood in the Tampa Bay area, which… if you didn’t know, is pretty much The Cuban Sandwich capital of the world. I can tell you that this deliciously pressed pocket of awesomeness and I have some history and we go way back. Like way way back before I really even knew what it meant to have an awesome sandwich. It’s everything you’ve ever watned – salty, rich, crispy, meaty, and tangy! Umm brb I think I need to go get another bite. Ok, back.  And to be totally honest, you don’t have to go to Tampa, Miami or Cuba to find the perfect Cuban sandwich. With this simple and easy recipe, you can make it right at home! Continue reading

The As If – Gruyere, Swiss, Black Garlic Mayo Tuna Salad, and Cherry Peppers Grilled Cheese

When you’re a mid-twenties creative-being trying to do your own thang while living broker than a joke in the city, it’s safe to say that you’re going to have some major ups and downs thrown at you – sometimes in the form of a steaming bag of poop and sometimes on the shiniest silver platter you’ve ever seen. And even though the effects of these highs and lows might sting more than a cheap glass of white zinfandel to the face, they can also lead to some sweet treats.

What the hell am I talking about? Did someone slap the pessimist out of me? Not that I can remember…  I think it has something to do with a super-sweet email that I got from a GCS reader the other day. Like me and every other 20-something I know, she’s been going through a rough spot – crappy boys, unemployment, lost favorite sweater, ya know, the type of problems that don’t necessarily make you want to jump in front of a bus, but still drag ya down. When she opened up and shared, it made me realize that even though the original purpose of starting my blog was to share grilled cheese recipes, the best and most rewarding part has been interacting and relating to you guys.
By inadvertently bitching writing about my own drama, reading your responses has made me realize that I’m not alone in this world. Ridiculously lame things happen to everyone, and even though it’s the pits, it’s important to remember. Basically what I’m getting at is that life can suck sometimes but it can also be really fucking cool, super exciting and completely euphoric. I know it’s not easy making the transition, but I wanted to share some of the ways that help me get pumped on life. It’s not much, or that ground-breaking by any means, but here’s what I got.
1. Dump the dummy that’s been dragging you along for too long – you don’t need him. He sucks and your friends don’t like him anyways. To make this easier, you’ll need another man to get excited about. If you don’t have anyone lined up, make some eyes at the bar tonight. Seriously, it’s surprising how well and easy this method works. Just don’t stare too long or lip your lips or wink or anything creepy like that.
2. Bliss-out your summer playlist – Refresh your tunes to make your summer feel new. Add some super blissed out electronic music that’s guaranteed to make you bop around like that first time you heard Spice Girls. You’ll also want some serious girl power swag like bikini kill or le tigre. I just got myself a soundcloud account so if you’d like, you can follow me as I blast my stream with the most hyper-happy tracks I can find.
3. Host a homegirls night – It may be hard when all your friends are all wified up, but do it. Grab some wine, make some cookies, have some cheese out. Play clueless while you pump some 90s jock jams. Reminisce, talk trash, and make it awesome.
4. Update that wardrobe, girlfriend – Winter’s over and you may be broke, but hanging out in those ratty black leggings and old sweatshirts isn’t doing anything for your mindset. There’s no better way to make the transition than by spending an afternoon at the thrift store and finding the perfect cutoffs that make your booty look like Beyonce’s. Or at least sort of like Beyonce’s. We can always dream big, right?
5. Soak it up – The rays, the weather, the positive vibes that are leaking out of everyone’s brains as they enjoy the beautiful weather outside. Take a minute to think about how funny your friends are. High five a stranger, Pet a dog, smoke some  Lay on the grass and breathe. Ride the chill wave as long as possible
As for this sandwich, well let’s just think of it as the Girl-Power // Clueless version of grilled cheese. Tai is the tuna salad that gets a makeover from Cher and Dionne, who are represented by the sweet, buttery, and nutty gruyere and swiss combo. The everything bread is Josh, Travis, and Murray, you know all the good guys from the movie. The cherry peppers are Christian, for a little pop of unexpected flavor and the butter is ummmmmm…..you.

Live the dream with these:

-1/3 cup of Wisconsin gruyere and swiss, shredded
-2 slices of EVERYTHING seed bread
-1 tbs of cherry peppers
-2 pats of salted butter
-1/3 cup of tuna salad (recipe below)
-1/2 jar of tonnino yellowfin tuna filets
-1 tbs EMPIRE mayo’s black garlic mayo
-1 tsp red onion, finely chopped
-1 tsp celery, finely chopped
-salt and pepper to taste
-combine and season to taste


Give a little kiss to your gruyere and swiss before you pile half of it onto one slice of bread.
It’s such a great combo; nutty, slightly sweet, and oh so buttery. The best part about combining these two lactaid lovers is that they melt perfectly to create the ultimate union of melted cheesiness. LIke I said before, this combo is like the Cher and Di of Beverly Hills.
 Now it’s tuna salad time. Like Tai, tuna salad doesn’t look so great on the outside. It actually looks totally disgusting, but it’s full of delicious flavors and fun. Wait, can tuna salad be fun? Totally.
Anyways, scoop on your tuna salad and make it so that it’s evenly distributed.
Now to make things a little more exciting, add some cherry peppers. These are sweet, spicy, and they really pop against the tuna salad. It sort of wakes you up, just like Christian did to Cher when she realized that not all guys are immature assholes. Sure he was totally gay, but if she didn’t have him she would have never fallen in love with Josh and we would have all cried and thought the movie sucked.
Now get your life together and add the rest of the cheese and the top piece of bread. You’re almost there! Self-improvement – grilled cheese style!
Butter your bread and heat your burner to medium. Place your creation in the middle and watch it evolve into a beautiful toasty grilled cheese! See any metaphors here?
Once it finishes cooking, take it off the burner and let it sit for a minute. Slice it down the middle, examine it for it’s awesomeness, take it all in and get pumped that you get to eat this crazy thing.
I know this post might’ve sounded a little too cosmo’d out and self-helpy, especially coming from me, but seriously, it’s time to get hyped up about life. Force yourself to make moves that’ll make you excited. The results are too cool not to.

Moons Over Morocco – Smoked Swiss, Cranberry Jelly, and Honey Ham Hawaiian Grilled Cheese

As I’m writing this in seat 11H of flight 201 to Casablanca, I’ve compacted my arms as tightly as they can be to my body so much so that I’m typing like I’m a Velociraptor or something. I have absolutely no space to spread my wings and there’s a flight attendent that keeps wheeling by me with a ciggarette cart (why are they selling cigs on this flight??) and she keeps sneaking up on me and hitting my funny bone – just like that scene from The Wedding Singer. The turbulance has been pretty gnarly for the last 30 minutes, and the bumpiness has me seeing double. The balding man in front of me keeps slamming his seat back so hard that the bottom of my keyboard keeps jabbing me in my stomach, which is way too uncomfortably full from pizza flavored Combos, peanut butter m&ms, and warm Coca Cola.

Yeah, I know, I’m sorry that I’m whining about how unpleasant my current situation is, but there are some fun things going on too. I’m really excited about this strange wall-mounted crib that’s holding a cute little chubby baby next to me. It makes me wish they made one for people my size. I’d totally pay extra for that. The airline is also playing episodes of Friends which was really relatively cool until I plugged in my headphones and realized it was dubbed over in Arabic. I’ve also got a shit ton of new music on my iphone that’s almost dead and I’m jamming out to some bassed out electronic music that makes me feel like I should be rolling in da club or something. I’m trying not to dance but I just can’t help it, maybe that means it’s time to switch over to something more chill, like that new Unknown Mortal Orchestra album or something.

In reality though, I think I might be going crazy. Why am I so antsy? Why am I so insanely itchy? Gah, it’s so hot and I have a headache from squinting because I decided to buy the version of “Consider the Lobster” that has the smallest font visible to the human eye. I’ve got 4 more hours before we land and I am ready to get the F off of this plane. It’s hot as hell up in here and everyone has warmed me not to show my shoulders and what did I wear on the plane? A stupid sleeveless shirt. I know, i know,  it’s a noobie mistake but I’ve never been this uncomfortably hot on a plane before. I’m always freezing cold and the sleeveless shirt was meant to hide under my over-sized cardigan that I never thought I’d have to take off. I am anxious in ALL THE WAYS. Especially about traveling to Morocco….alone.

But enough griping, I’m truly so excited about this trip and if you want to follow me and see my adventures you can find me on Instagram @grilledcheesesocial. I’m also excited to share this recipe with you – that is not exotic in any way, shape, or form but it is super good and a solid sandwich.  Smoked Wisconsin Swiss cheese, honey baked ham, cranberry jam, and a sweet and buttery Hawaiian roll make up this delightful GC.

 Get yo’self some of dis stuff


-1 Hawaiian Roll
-3-4 slices of Wisconsin smoked swiss cheese
-1 tbsp of cranberry jelly with real cranberries
-1/4 pound of thinly sliced honey baked ham
-2 pats of butter which are not pictured

(Don’t ask me why it’s neon in this picture)

When you make a GC with any type of roll, the trick is to turn it inside out so that you’re grilling the doughy center. Once you’ve cut the roll in half and flipped it, smear on that cranberry jam. I have something to admit, I am a HUGE fan of the canned fake cranberry jelly. Like, it’s my favorite thing on a Thanksgiving table and I get really bummed out when someone makes their own version from scratch. In this sandwich however, you need the kind with the real berries because it just makes it so much more texturally appealing.

Then add some of that smoked swiss. I chose to use cheese from Wisconsin because it is my favorite and I think the Wisconsin Milk Society is an awesome group of people who know how to keep it real. The farmers and makers both care about food, and that’s what matters to me… and i love them. 

Next! Add some of that ham and layer it on pretty, just like they do in a Subway commercial.

Almost done! Finish with the other slices of cheese and the remaining half of the roll and smear some butter all over that baby.

Let that butter work its magic…

Turn your grill pan to medium and let that sandwich grill, butter side down of course. When it’s all crisped up on one side and the cheese is melting over the corners, butter the otherside and flip it. Let it cook for a few more minutes until it’s all perfect and melty and then remove it from the heat and let it sit for a few minutes to tighten up.

And if I ever make it off this plane and can actually post this recipe, then cheers to everyone. I didn’t think I was gonna make it. I’m gonna go take a stroll around the plane now, because my left butt cheek is asleep.

UPDATE! I made it and am sitting in my hotel room in Morocco, stealing internet from the restaurant next door. I’ve spent two days wandering ALONE, getting lost, and being hissed at. Today, my group has finally made it and they seem like a pretty chill bunch. Even though it’s been kind of scary, it’s also been absolutely awesome and I’m leaving for Essaouira tomorrow! Follow me on the internetz and I’ll talk to you all soon!