Wednesday, September 12, 2012

French Onion Grilled Cheese

Have you ever veered off the traditional grilled cheese route? Maybe it's time.
Let's start with the primary "rules" on what makes a grilled cheese a grilled cheese.  
A Grilled Cheese Must...
  • be a closed sandwich, griddled on both sides.
  • have cheese as the primary ingredient. Other ingredients can complement, but not overwhelm the cheese.
  • be made with sliced bread. Thus a sandwich made with whole, crust-on loaves like an Italian panini or a Cubano do not qualify.
  • be served hot all the way through, with the cheese melted.
  • be cooked on a flat, greased surface until golden brown. In extreme circumstances it may be cooked on an outdoor grill over an open fire. A grilled cheese may never be baked.
Now that that's out of the way. How about this French Onion Grilled Cheese which captivates the flavors of French onion soup in a simple, handheld grilled cheese.

French Onion Grilled Cheese
2 onions, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup beef broth
2 sprigs thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
4 slices bread
6 ounces gruyere cheese, shredded
softened butter as needed
To make the caramelized onions, heat the sliced onions with the butter over very low heat. Stir occasionally, cooking slowly for about one hour, or until the onions are sweet and brown. More butter may be needed as the onions cook.
Add the beef broth, thyme, and garlic to the onions, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon as the liquid sizzles. Cook until all the liquid in the pan has evaporated. Remove from heat and set aside.
Build the sandwiches by dividing the cheese and onions between two slices of bread. Top with the remaining slices of bread.
Butter the tops and bottoms of the sandwiches and heat in a pan over medium heat until crispy.

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