The Colestrami – Cheddar, Pastrami, Coleslaw and 1000 Island Grilled Cheese

Guys! it’s happening. Mr. Frost has finally blown his goose bump inducing breath all over my neck of the woods. I’ve said goodbye to all my short shorts and tank tops and organized shoved all of ’em under my bed and hung my puffy coat. Staring at the this black mass of warmness serves as a constant reminder that I’m about to have diamond-cutting nips for the next five months. TMI? Hah. Sorry, not sorry because I’m totally ok with that… but it’s always shocking when the weather goes from feeling like a giant blow dryer blasting down on you to what it would be like if you lived in the walk in freezer at Dairy Queen. Oh New York, why must you be so drastic?

I’m not even bitching though. I’m totally excited about it actually feeling like winter – which is surprising especially since I was born and raised in various Florida beach towns. But that warm bloodedness is behind me, I now embrace having seasons and a reason to not work out wear really cute jackets for a few months. It’s awesome. It’s like it’s completely acceptable to wear a super comfy blanket around all the time. Back when I was living in FL, I’d get excited just to wear a hoodie… But now I can wear a hoodie, a sweater, and a giant puffy coat all at once (and still be freezing)! My how the times have changed!

I do have some qualms though – where the eff are all the bonfires in NYC?? That was always my favorite thing to do back in my hometown. What’s better than bonfires, booze, some things that haven’t been legalized in NYC, and good friends to cuddle under a flannel blanket with? NOTHING. That’s what. Well, maybe big pimpin’ in a jacuzzi with a bottle of champagne with all your homies, but that doesn’t really exist here either. Well, at least not in my neighborhood or class age group. But no sweat, because there are some things that’ll warm your soul that you can have (mostly) anywhere in the world! Take this reuben spinoff for example – is something that I’m very proud of. It features Tillamook cheddar, my homemade 1000 island and coleslaw, beef pastrami, rye bread, and salted butter. It’s warm and gooey and super hearty. It also goes perfectly with an Old Fashioned which’ll also help you feel a little warmer, too.

Oh, oh, oh! I’m also GIVING AWAY a $50 giftcard for WHOLE FOODS today on FB so you should totally enter HERE!


– Tillamook 2 yr Cheddar from Whole Foods
– Beef Pastrami from Whole Foods
– Coleslaw
– 1000 Island
– Rye Bread from Whole Foods
– Salted Butter (I only use Kriemhild brand)

To begin, you’ve gotta have some bomb-ass 1000 island dressing. Sure, you could buy it OR you could do it big and make it yourself. It takes like 2 seconds and you probably have everything in your fridge already. It’s sooo GOOD, you’ve gotta try it!

Ok, so this is how I do it – Add a 1 heaping tbsp of kewpie mayo, 1 giant squirt of sriracha, 1 lil squirt of ketchup, and a drip of worcestershire. Then dice up one half of a medium boiled egg, one small red cherry pepper, add a dollop of McClure’s Spicy Relish. Then just mix that stuff up and salt and pepper to taste. It’s so easy and it’s seriously the best 1000 island that’s ever existed. You can quote me on that as you watch me lick the bowl.

Next add some of Tillamook’s 2 year cheddar.

A few years ago, I could barely find Tillamook anywhere in NYC. But I’ve always loved them and actually won a trip to the Grilled Cheese Invitational from this awesome company a few years ago.

Now you can find it at almost any Whole Foods, which is rad. So yeah, go get you some, shred some, and plop it on this sandwich.

Now it’s pastrami time! I can’t believe I’ve never done a pastrami grilled cheese before – That’s like elementary shit but whatever  – what better time than now! So it’s simple, just pile some on. More or less depending if you’re more of a Ron Swanson type or a Yoko Ono type.

If you’re veg, this would be SOOO good with some super crispy fried tempeh. Which reminds me of an awesome date-non-date that I had like 5 years ago when me and this super hot hippy boy ate tempeh reubens on the beach and danced in 711 to Fleetwood Mac. 

Coleslaw, coleslaw, COLESLAW! I know reubens typically call for sauerkraut but I need to make everything 1000 times more rich and creamy so we’re doin’ coleslaw style. My recipe for this is easy, too. Add equal parts full fat greek yogurt, mayo and rice wine vinegar to chopped cabbage and diced carrots. Add some sugar, salt, and pepper to taste and then let it sit for a bit.

Almost done building! Just add some more Tillamook 2 yr cheddar, and the top piece of bread. You gotta butter that baby, too.

Now put your sandwich in a skillet and turn it to medium high. Let that baby sizzle, melt, and start goo’ing. Once it gets all crispy and melty looking, flip and repeat. It should only take a few minutes on each side so keep your eyes on the prize.

Once it’s all evenly golden, let it chill on your cutting board for a few minutes – letting all the flavors meld and come together. This will also help the cheese to firm back up so you don’t lose any of that goodness.

So now I gotta say goodbye and  go change the spooky skeleton hanging on my wall into a Thanksgiving skeleton. Indian or Pilgrim? I can’t decide. More on that next week. So yeah, have a good one everybody! Stay warm!




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