Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy Grilled Cheese Month!

April is my favorite month.  Yes it signals the start if Spring, by the end if it we are in full on warmer weather, flowers star blooming, we basically get out of the Winter funk.  But none of that is why April is my favorite, because the real reason is it' Grilled Cheese Month. A silly foodie holiday?  Absolutely! But it is one I will always recognize because grilled cheese is by far my favorite sandwich of all time.  Anything from bad for you whit bread and cheese slices to the mother (or should I say father) of all grilled cheese Croque Monsieur.

Because if this, you should be prepared to see lots of grilled cheese variations posted this month.  Lucky for me I'm back into a good workout routine, so I'm hoping my waistline won't suffer too much.  I'll likely amp it up even more to counterbalance all the delicious bread and cheese.  This first sandwich of the month was inspired by my love for French Onion Soup.

French Onion Soup Inspired Grilled Cheese
makes 2 sandwiches
printable recipe

3 medium yellow onions
3 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil
healthy pinch dried thyme
sea salt & fresh cracked black pepper
4 slices HBin5 Roasted Garlic Herb Bread* - or other bakery style whole grain bread
120g French Emmenthaler - sliced or shredded
2 Tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard
3 Tbsps butter - at room temperature

1. Halve and thinly slice the onions.  Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add the sliced onions to the skillet, toss to coat in oil and lower the heat to low. Add in the thyme, salt and pepper.  Slowly caramelize the onions over low heat for 30 minutes.  Set aside
2.  Spread mustard on one side or two of the slices of bread.  Layer half of the cheese on the mustard slathered slices, top each slice with half of the onions and the rest of the cheese.  Top Each sandwich with remaining bread slices.
3. Spread butter on the outside of each top slice.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium low heat.  Place each sandwich buttered side down in the skillet.  Carefully spread the rest of the butter on the top sides of the sandwich.
4. Cook slowly for 5 minutes until the bottom bread is golden and toasted. Carefully flip each sandwich and cook for 2 minutes.  Place skillet in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.
5.  Remove skillet from oven, being careful of the hot handle, check the underside of each sandwich to make sure it is golden.  if not return to burner over medium low for a few more minutes.  Let the sandwiches rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

First off, this sandwich may take some time but it is so worth it.  The rich melty cheese, sweet caramelized onions and tangy mustard are all a pretty awesome way to kick off Grilled Cheese Month, in my opinion.

Secondly, I apologize if the photos aren't all that indicative of the yumminess of this sammie.  You may have noticed in the cooking directions I said to be careful of the hot skillet handle.  That would be because I wasn't and I sit here writing the with one hand, because my burned hand is covered in a paste of baking soda and water.  Luckily this magic home remedy has worked beautifully on every other burn and I've gotten no blisters since I started using it. Even more lucky it that when I dropped the hot skillet, it landed right side up with the sammie intact.  Maybe someday I'll share how I worked out getting my pics one handed.

Enjoy this grilled cheese, but make it with caution.

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