Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanks'gibbons

For the first time in my life I didn't spend Thanks'gibbons with my family.  I was really depressed about missing my Uncle Bro's mac & cheese that he makes me every year and also that I was going to miss out on a crazy Smith family drunken gorge fest. I got over it though and perked up as soon as I heard that most of my friends were staying in the city as well. We decided on having a giant potluck and because it was our first time doing this, we ended up with wayyyyyy too much food, but surprisingly enough we had the perfect amount of wine! WOW! Anyways, I just had to do something with all these leftovers so I made a Thanksgiving leftovers grilled cheese sandwich. and here it is.... GIBBONSSSSSSSSSS!




The leftovers...


Ingredients
- 1 tbs mashed potatoes
- 1 tbs turkey - thigh meat
- 1 tbs stuffing
- 1 tbs cranberry & jalapeno jelly
-3 tbs gravy
- 1 biscuit
- a few slices of brie
- 2 pads of salted butter




We had a ton of other leftovers, but I thought these would be the best ingredients without going overboard (even though it's totally overboard already but whatevs).  The way that they're stacked on top of each other is done so that each layer kind of glues the other one together so it won't fall apart as you make it. 

The first thing I did was cut the biscuit in half and then flipped it so that it was inside out.  After that you'll want to apply the brie.  I chose brie because it's creamy and delicious and kind of tastes like butter and it's super sticky.


Then I put the cranberry jelly on top of one side of the sandwich.  My mom sent me this delicious homemade jalapeno and cranberry jelly she made so I just had to use it, but feel free to use any of the leftover stuff you have on hand.


Now it's time to lay on the turkey! I used the little pieces of meat that were from the thigh because they were super moist and already in small pieces.  I'm not really a fan of dark meat because it sort of freaks me out, but this area is like a mixture of dark and light - the best of both worlds.


Now the mashed taters!  My roommate made these for us and they were wayyyy too addicting.  She used three creams: cream cheese, sour cream, and heavy whipping cream.  Basically super fattening but way too good to care about it.  This is a good ingredient to put in the middle because everything kind of bonds to it and nothing can slip out because it's almost like the other ingredients are getting a big mashed potato hug!


Now for the stuffin'. My friend Pete made this and he did a hell of a job. It's filled with veggies, croutons, fresh herbs and spicy sausage. Perfect for a grilled cheese!


Once it's built go ahead and put on the other piece of bread.  But don't let me stop ya, feel free to add way more goodness to the sandwich if you've got any.


Because this is so tall you'll want to melt a pad of butter in the skillet and place the sandwich inside.  To get this sandwich to perfection you'll want to put the heat on medium and cook it for about 2-3 minutes on each side.


After a few minutes of browning, flip the sandwich.  Don't be scared though, this sandwich actually flips really easily because there's so many "glue-like" ingredients. 


When it's equally golden on both sides, take it off the stove-top and pour your gravy on top. Watch in amazement as the gravy fills the nooks and crannies of the biscuit. Repeat if necessary.




One last thing, this is definitely not a grilled cheese that you'll want to eat with your hands.  Try a knife and a fork and you should be good to go!  Oh yeah and happy Thanks'gibbons!

xoxo,

GCS

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Old Goat

When it starts to get cold my roommates and I make our annual switch from gin to whiskey. Around October we always have a bottle of Jim Beam ready to roll in our kitchen, but we're not alcoholics, I swear think. We love this stuff and I was thinking about how much fun it would be to incorporate it into my life other than nights/weekends of binge drinking. You can totes use whatev Bourbon Whiskey you have on hand, but let's face it, I spend all my money on cheese, clothes, and going out, so I've got to be cheap in one department.  You can thank whiskey for this belly warming, alcoholic, and free spirited grilled cheese.


So Here's what I used to make this drunker of a grilled cheese.



Ingredients

-2 pads of real salted butter
-1 whole wheat pita
-1/4 tbs of roasted red/yellow peppers
-1/4 cup of DRUNK 'SHROOMS
-1/4 pound of Tome Chabrin cheese
(depending on your pita size, you may need more or less, you'll be able to tell from the pictures)



Before we begin, I've got to tell you about these drunk 'shrooms.  I saw some fresh shitakes at Trader Joe's this afternoon and they looked so pretty I had to get them.  I combined them with the following ingredients and they came out savory, sweet and super earthy - in a good way, not in a strung out hippie kind of way.


Drunk 'shrooms ingredients

-a few shiitake caps
-1 ts chopped fresh rosemary
-1 ts chopped fresh thyme
-1/2 shot of JIM BEAM!
-1/2 tbs real salted butter
-a few pinches of salt.
-1 thinly sliced shallot




The first thing you'll want to do is melt some butter in a small sauce pan on medium heat and add the herbs.  I add the herbs during this step because I believe it softens them and makes the butter super flavorful.  After about a minute you'll want to add the sliced shallots and cook them down for about a minute.  Once they start to get translucent add the whiskey and let it cook down for another minute or two.  Then add the shiitakes and a pinch of salt.  Cook until the mushrooms are tender and then set aside.

Once you get everything ready you'll want to slice open the pita and add the cheese.  You can totally just slice the pita on one side and stuff everything in, but for aesthetic purposes I cut it all the way open.


Before we move on, of course, I'm going to brag about this cheese.  It's called Tome Chabrin and I got it at The Bedford Cheese Shop.  It's a French goat cheese that is absolutely delicious.  It's not your typical goat's milk cheese, but it's probably one of my most favorite cheeses I've had on this blog so far.  Let me just give you the explanation that the cutie pies at The Bedford Cheese Shop provided.

"Ever wish we had a goat's milk cheese from the Pyrennes that even a pregnant lady could eat?  Well wish no more, here it is for all you procreating puppies out there. A delicate balance of fresh pressed olive oil, raw hazelnuts, and ripe figs.  That's right this cheese has all that going on and a bag of chips. Pair it with last nights of freedom you'll have for 18 long years and a Shiraz, don't worry, we won't judge, you lush."

Gahhhhhhh, I freaking love this store.  I don't think there's a more perfect cheese to pair with some tasty drunk 'shrooms, RIGHT??

Anyways, back to the recipe... Add the roasted peppers!


And then the drunk 'shrooms!


Then place the rest of that young lovers free spirit cheese on top.


Now it gets sexy.  Place the other half of the pita on top and step back and stare. Do this as long as necessary. 


Now place a pad of butter in your skillet and turn the heat to medium low.  I cooked it on this temp because I wasn't sure how fast this cheese would melt and there were a lot of ingredients that I wanted to warm up.  Once the grilled cheese is in the skillet butter the other side.


Then when the cheese starts to melt and the pita is a crisp gold on one side, flip it!


When it gets all pretty on both sides, take it out and let it rest for about a minute.  After a minute, the cheese will set a little bit and you can slice it without everything oozing all over the place.


Oh and feel free to take as many Jim Beam shots as you wish.  Just don't over do it because this grilled cheese is way too good to puke up.

xoxo,

GCS

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cheddar Cheddar BANG BANG!!

I had candied bacon for the first time at Egg in Williamsburg a few months ago. It was the most delicious and orgasmic meat I've ever had and I couldn't get enough of this stuff! So obvs I've been thinking about it ever since then. Finally, enough was enough, I couldn't take it any longer - I just haaaddddd to make a grilled cheese with this stuff.  This morning I ended up going to the Union Square Greenmarket and went crazy!  Here's the nom nom nom nom resultzzz.


Here's what I used!



Ingredients
 
-2 tabs salted butter
-1 tbs pickled jalapeno's
-a few slices of cave-aged cheddar cheese
-3 slices of organic candied bacon
-1 whole grain croissant sliced in half






This was the first time I made candied bacon but it was super easy.  I followed Paula Deen's recipe and I was very impressed!  It takes about twenty-five minutes to make this stuff so make sure you give yourself some time before you start to make this sweet and spicy grilled cheese.

So while I was at the Union Square Greenmarket I found this awesome cheese vendor - Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse. They handcraft their cheese right out of New Jersey and they were super helpful.  I was talking to them about their cheese and I learned something interesting about white cheddar vs. orange cheddar.  I had no idea orange cheddar was just colored that way to mock the natural color of the cheese that's made in warm months. What it boils down to is that in the spring and summer months the animals have a diet that contains more beta-carotene and it makes the cheese a more orange-y color.  I guess that people started to color their cheddar in order to make it appear that it was produced during the tastiest months.  Crazy, HUH!?

Anyways, get yourself some local cheddar and slice it up and put it on your croissant!


After you get that done, try not to snack to much - break up your bacon and lay it on top! Try to lay it evenly so the sandwich will grill nice and pretty once it's all put together.


Now it's time for the pickled jalapeno's!  I love these things but I've had a hard time finding some at Whole Foods that I was really impressed with, so I  made my own sorta made my own.

I am absolutely obsessed with McClure's Pickles and they are made out of my lovely borough - Brooklyn!  I know they're expensive and every time I throw down $12 for a jar of 'em I sort of die a little inside, then I eat one and I'm totally revitalized (thank god for my mom, who buys them when she visits!)!  Whatevs though, they're so good, I think it's worth spending that much money because you can use the brine to pickle other things once you've devoured everything in the jar!

If you check their website they give you some recipe's. Once I read their McClure's Round Two I decided I had to do it. Wayyy, wayy, way too easy not to. So I threw in some pre-sliced jarred jalapeno's into the brine and two weeks later I had these little beaut's! And of course, I threw em on the GC.


Eeeek! I only added a few jalapeno's because I'm kind of a baby about the spiciness of these little suckers, but feel free to add however many you can eat!  Now put on some more cheese and you're almost done!


After that, you're going to want to slice off the top of the croissant top so you can eat an evenly grilled sandwich.


Now lay it on top!



You'll want to turn your stovetop to a very low heat and melt 1/2 tab of butter in your pan and put the sandwich in.  As it's heating up, take this time to butter the top slice.  I know the croissant is already super buttery, but this is still necessary to get that crispy golden goodness.


Golden brown yet?? Flip it!


Then when it's like that on both sides, take it out and serve it immediately!



This sandwich is not only buttery, creamy, smooth and crunchy BUT it's also sweet and spicy!  I think this grilled cheese is perfect for when you can't decide what you want because it's EVERYTHING YOU COULD EVER WANT! haha seriously though.

xoxo,

GCS

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Meatwad

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