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

26 comments

  1. One of my best friends married a guy who was super involved in our university's Bee Lab (yes, we have a bee lab). In fact, she was interested, because he worked with bees, and she had never met somebody like that. Anyway, I'm terrified of bees because I've never been stung, but I would eat that sandwich. 🙂

    Like

  2. I don't like bees because I want food to just go away. I suck the salt from rocks and absorb energy from the sun. The rest of you should follow my lead. Good riddance, bees.

    And barring that, I mean, think of the job creation when masses of people have to go from flower to flower with paintbrushes to pollinate crops. BEZE R TAKIN ARE JOBBS!

    Like

  3. Peter Fonda of Ulees Gold would be so proud of this sandwich!! Watch the movie if you are a lover of Tupleo Honey and bees! with recipes like this I will keep sending you Tupelo!

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  4. Hooray for including SVB Co's Tupelo Honey! Have you had their Black Sage honey? Gorgeous, subtle and slightly addictive. Much more subdued than the Tupelo.

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  5. I love any recipe that gives a little honey love!! Seriously this sandwich looks amazing, especially with the beautiful crusty bread:-) So excited to find your lovely blog:-) Take Care, Terra

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  6. Oh my gracious. I stumbled upon the final pic on this page on Pinterest and just about had a heart attack! Too flippin beautiful. I am a long time admirer of the grilled cheese and am ready to eat one for lunch now! Thanks! Never tried Tupolo honey… what's dif. about it? I tend to be a local honey girl to help with allergies. 🙂 Um, is there someplace I can subscribe to your posts via email?

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  7. This was so yummy. I live in a province that jokingly brags about having all 5 kinds of cheese (sigh), so didn't quite manage the fresh mozzarella. Did find a major brand name bocconcini, and sadly, upon opening the tub, found only 6 tiny balls of it floating in a cup of brine. Barely enough for one sandwich, let alone the two I'd planned. So I added a little regular mozza. Not anywhere close, I'm sure, to what your sandwich was, but it was still a very interesting, and lovely combination. We're soon moving to a real city (2 million people as opposed to 200,000) and I told my husband, one of the first things we're doing is hunting down fresh mozzarella and re-making this. He agreed. I think I'll be dreaming about it until then.

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