I admit it. I love action movies and comic books, so when the two come together, I get especially excited. Case in point, the recent release of the film Venom.
Based on the comic book by the same name, the film features one of what could arguably be called one of Marvel’s most fascinating characters. Part antihero, part villain, Venom is one mind-bending monster of a movie that’s packed with absolutely eye-popping visual effects, with some of the most impressive centering around the transformation of the main character, Eddie Brock, into the symbiotic alien-hybrid blend Venom.
I love movies like this. In fact, you could say I seriously cheesed out with nerd excitement when I found out Venom was getting his own standalone feature, which is why my take on an edible Super Cheesy Venom Symbiote Grilled Sammy isn’t just delicious, it’s stretchy, symbiote cheesy good!
For this recipe you will need:
- 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp black food coloring OR black bamboo charcoal powder* + ¼ tsp more, separated out
- 1 cup warm water (between 90° and 110°F/32° and 43°C)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting
- 4 to 5 cups boiling water
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 3 slices white mozzarella cheese
- 2 tbsp butter
- ¼ tsp red food coloring
You will also need:
- Large bowl for mixing
- Wooden spoon
- Bread pan
- Cooking spray
- Roasting pan
- Cutting board
- Bread knife
- Rolling pin
- Sharp paring knife
- Ziplock bag
- Small food-safe paintbrush
- Frying pan
The first thing we have to have for our Symbiote Sammies is a good loaf of black bread!
Combine your yeast, sugar, salt, water, and 2 tbsp of your black food coloring/charcoal powder and water in your large mixing bowl. Allow it to stand for about 10 minutes or until the yeast is dissolved. The mixture will foam up as the yeast is activated.
Carefully add in your flour to your yeast water mixture, one cup at a time, mixing thoroughly using either your wooden spoon or a mixer.
You should end up with a dough that pulls away from the side of the bowl.
Turn this dough out onto a floured surface and begin kneading. This part is gonna be really really messy, so we suggest either wearing gloves or using a bread kneading bag. You also want to make sure that you have a protective layer between your black dough and any porous surfaces you may be kneading on (like certain stones and wood countertops). When in doubt, lay down a layer of wax paper first!
Knead your bread dough for approximately five minutes, sprinkling it and your work surface with flour as needed.
As you work it, the dough will lose its stickiness and become smooth and pliable.
Clean out your original mixing bowl and give it a light spritz of cooking spray to grease it.
Roll your kneaded dough into a ball and place it back into your greased bowl.
Cover with a damp dish towel and allow it to rise in a warm location for approximately one to two hours or until the ball has doubled in size.
While your dough is rising, preheat your oven to 400°F/204°C. Place your roasting pan on the lowest shelf in your oven and add your 4 to 5 cups of boiling water to the pan. This step is optional, but the steam created by the boiling water will help to give your bread a crisp, crunchy crust.
Grease and flour your bread pan.
Once your dough has doubled in size, punch it down in size until you can fit it into your bread pan. Cover with your damp cloth and set it aside to rise for an additional 15 minutes.
Brush the top of your loaf with cold water, sprinkle with your sea salt, and place in the oven on the middle shelf.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. Because this loaf is black, you won’t be able to tell it’s done just by looking at it. The best way to check black bread is to pull it out of the oven at the 35-minute mark and give it a gentle tap. A baked loaf will sound hollow when tapped.
Remove your baked bread from the oven when it’s finished cooking and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
Now that we have our black bread, let’s start our symbiote Sammies.
Carefully slice your loaf into slices approximately ¾-inch thick and set aside two slices per symbiote sammy.
Using your paring knife, carefully cut an inverted pear shape into each slice, with the fat end at the top and the narrower end at the bottom. This will make up Venom’s face.
Use your rolling pin to flatten each slice.
Carefully, using the tip of your paring knife, cut out the eye shapes for Venom on ONE of your slices of bread using the guide below and then set both slices aside for now.
Make sure when you're cutting out the eyes that you only use the top half of your bread piece.
Combine the remaining ¼ tsp of your black food coloring/charcoal powder with your ¼ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese in your zip-top bag and gently knead until all your cheese has been turned black.
Take one of your white mozzarella slices and cut out Venom’s tongue using the guide below.
Using your food-safe paint brush, give it a coat of red food coloring (you can also substitute any red vegetable or slice of meat for the tongue as well, including roasted red peppers, tomato, or my favorite, prosciutto ham!)
Using your paring knife from before and the image below as a guide, carefully cut out the top and bottom teeth for Venom from your second slice of white mozzarella.
Set both your tongue and your teeth aside for now.
Now let’s assemble our sammy!
In the center of the slice of bread without the cutouts, pile up your black mozzarella cheese.
Place your remaining slice of white mozzarella over this, lining it up so that it shows through the cutouts of your top slice of black bread (trim as needed so it fits inside the edges of your bread).
Brush a border of butter all around the edge of your bottom slice of bread and then seal the top slice to it, pressing the edges together using the tines of a fork to create a cheese-stuffed bread pocket.
Heat up your frying pan and melt your remaining butter.
Grill up your sammy just like you’d do to a regular grilled cheese sandwich, making sure your bread is nice and toasty and your cheese is all melted.
While your sammy is still hot, plate it and place your top and bottom teeth and tongue where you want. The retained heat from the bread will melt them just enough to really stick to the sandwich.
Go ahead and nosh on Venom’s cheesy noggin, or, to truly get the symbiote experience, crack that hot sammy in half and stretch it out.
The black cheese inside will spiderweb out, just as it does in both the comic books and feature film.
Unlike the film, however, once this symbiote is inside you, all you’ll experience is a feeling of deliciousness.