Someone who spends their entire day around cheese must know how to make a pretty dank grilled cheese. That’s why when we had the opportunity to hang out with the cheesemongers from Whole Foods Market South Street at our Wine & Cheese Party, I couldn’t help but ask their go-to cheezy sammy of choice. Would they choose something classic —a hefty dose of sharp cheddar and bacon —or something bizarre and boundary pushing —like Roquefort, figs and honey (both of which I recommend by the way). What they chose was the grilled cheese version of French onion soup: gruyere + caramelized onions.
After receiving this goldmine of information, the next logical step was to make it myself. The caramelized onions are sweet and rich and the gruyere is nutty with just the perfect hint of sharpness. I took a cue from the most gorgeous food-porn scene ever created (grilled cheese scene in the movie Chef, duh), and slathered the bread with mayo before smacking it on a piping hot stove. Let’s just say the cheesemongers know what they’re talking about.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: About 50 minutes
Servings: 2 sandwiches (2 biiiig, honking sandwiches)
1 large yellow onion
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons red wine or beef broth
4 pieces good sandwich bread
2 tablespoons mayo
½ lb gruyere cheese, sliced thinly
*Note: I got my gruyere and unreal sourdough sandwich from Whole Foods Market. You should too.
1. Place a skillet over medium-low heat, add 1 tablespoon butter and then add in the onions once the butter is totally melted.
2. Stir the onions every 5-10 minutes. They’ll become a deep golden brown and all of their natural sugars will release. This will take patience! Perfect caramelization should take around 30-35 minutes.
3. When your onions are a deep brown and fully caramelized, add the red wine or broth to deglaze the pan, being sure to scrape off all the brown bits from the bottom that might be stuck. Season with salt and let cool to warm.
4. Slather one side of each piece of bread with mayo (these will be your outside pieces).
5. Place a huge heaping spoonful of your onions and hefty slices of gruyere onto one piece of bread (the un-mayoed side). Top with the other piece of bread.
6. Melt remaining tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Make sure the pan is very hot, and then place your sandwich on one side and put something heavy, like a pot, on top to weigh it down.
7. Flip the sandwich, brown the other side, and wait until cheese is melted.
8. Cry about how perfectly glorious and golden this sandwich is.
9. Wipe your tears with the other half of the sandwich, then eat that too.
Making your own ultimate piece of heaven? Tag @wholefoodsmarket_southstreet on Instagram with your creation!
A huge thanks to Whole Foods Market for being a proud Spoon sponsor.