We’re cooking, eating, and posting a grilled cheese sandwich every day for 30 days. This is No. 19. See all of our grilled cheese sandwiches >> here << .
We’re always late to the flavor game…
We thought we were geniuses (genii?) when we thought to throw wine-braised onions on a grilled cheese sandwich with gruyere and call it the French Onion Grilled Cheese, for what else is a crock pot of French Onion Soup with a cheesy “crouton” than an open-faced grilled cheese sandwich floating on onion soup?
It’s been done before, so we’re not that inventive (not that we are trying to be in the first place), but we made it anyway because we knew it would be delicious.
And it was.
When caramelizing and braising the onions, ho ahead and just make 4 or 5 pounds of them. They take a good 40 minutes to cook down, so you may as well make a bigger batch, pull out enough for the sandwiches, and continue cooking the rest into actual French Onion Soup for the next day. You will already have the bread and cheese for the garnish, too.
French Onion Soup Grilled Cheese
makes 1 sandwich
1 tablespoon each grapeseed (or olive) oil and butter, for frying
2 slices of french baguette or french bread
1 tablespoon softened butter
enough shredded gruyere cheese to generously cover both slices of bread
about ½ cup wine-braised onions (see recipe below)
fresh thyme leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Heat grapeseed oil in frying pan over medium low heat. Add butter and allow to melt.
Spread each slice of French bread with softened butter. Add half the shredded cheese to one, pile braised onions on top, sprinkled with fresh thyme leaves, salt and pepper, then add the rest of the cheese. “Close” the sandwich with the other slice of bread, and gently press together.
Place the sandwich in the hot pan and cook until bread is toasted brown and cheese has started to melt. Carefully flip the sandwich over in the pan and cook until the other side is toasted brown and cheese has completely melted.
Remove the grilled sandwich from the pan and serve.
about 1 small clove garlic per 2 onions
onions (cook about 3-5 at a time, as you will find many uses for leftover caramelized onions)
salt and fresh cracked pepper
red or white wine
beef stock (optional)
Cut the onions in half lengthwise, then slice thinly again lengthwise.
For every 1 large onion, heat about 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large, heavy-bottom pan over medium heat. Add the same amount of butter, allow to melt, then add minced garlic. Allow the garlic to soften (but not color), then add the onions. Stir to coat the garlic and onions in oil+butter, add a bay leaf and a small sprig of thyme, then turn down the heat to medium low (so onions don’t burn). Continue to cook the onions until they are soft and deep golden brown, 30-40 minutes (depending on how many onions you cook).
Add about ¼ cup red or white wine (doesn’t matter), and allow to cook down with the onions, another 5-7 minutes. You can also add beef stock, but I didn’t.
Remove from heat and set aside enough onions for grilled cheese sandwich. The rest, throw into a pot and make French Onion Soup.