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Grilled Cheese with Onions

March 19, 2010

SoupAddict has a few philosophies that she lives by. Soup is the perfect food, is one. Bacon is love on a plate, is another. Don’t give a feral cat a bell rub, no matter how much it looks like he wants a bell rub, is yet another (the acquisition of that philosophy cost SoupAddict $100 at the emergency room and a course of antibiotics so strong she saw polka dots for a week).

But, one of SoupAddict’s favorite cooking philosophies is that grilled cheese was not meant to be prepared according to a recipe. Why? Because, people, it’s a sandwich that can’t be screwed up. Just about anything you could do to it that sounds delicious probably will be delicious.

Seriously. Grilled cheese with roasted garlic? Yum. Grilled cheese with sautéed mushrooms? Oh, yeah, bay-bee. Grilled cheese with shredded coconut? Hm, not so much. See? Your gut will tell you what’s good.

In fact, let’s test that statement, right here, right now. Grilled cheese. You. SoupAddict. No recipe.

SoupAddict happens to have a new package of organic applewood smoked bacon in her fridge. Gut check: bacon on grilled cheese? […really, you had to ask?…]
SoupAddict likes to bake her bacon when there are other tasks at hand. And the applewood bacon fills the kitchen with yummy smells that make the natives restless.
SoupAddict has a sweet onion sitting around with no place in particular to go, so she slices half of it in thin half-moons. (This will make 2 sandwiches; for 4, use the entire medium-sized onion.) Sauté in the melted butter until they begin to caramelize. Make sure your pan is large enough to allow all of the onion slices to have contact with the pan at all times, for even browning.
Last minute change in plans: SoupAddict has had “cheese sauce” on her mind all day. Once these onions got to cooking, though, “cheesy onion sauce” took center stage (originally, they were simply going to be added to the sandwich in their bare onion goodness).

Pour some heavy cream or half and half into the pan. Add enough cream to surround the onions, but not drown them. Reduce heat to medium low and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the cream has thickened and taken on some of the caramel color of the onions.

Add a handful of your favorite shredded cheese and stir. SoupAddict loves Gruyère.
Hm. More cheese? Yes, please. SoupAddict then adds a handful of shredded extra sharp cheddar. SoupAddict loves shredded extra sharp cheddar.
SoupAddict does not love shredded coconut, so, even if she allowed it in the house, it would not be going anywhere near this fabulously-progressing improv’d grilled cheese sandwich.

Mmmm … cheesy onion sauce. A few twists of freshly-ground black pepper, a few shakes of salt. Ah, yes. That’ll do the trick.

Earlier in the day, SoupAddict baked up this gorgeous loaf of bread, completely unaware at the time of the delicious purpose to which it would be put. Don’t you just love when everything comes together?
A little dijon mustard on one fresh slice. Gut check: thumbs-up.
Add some bacon.
Pile on the cheesy onion sauce.
Top with another delicious slice of fresh bread.
Grill to perfection. (SoupAddict loves her panini grill.)
Oh, yeah, bay-bee. Grilled cheese nirvana.
Does it taste as good as it looks? [Chomp] Yup. [nom nom] Can’t screw up grilled cheese. Hope yours turned out just as luscious. SoupAddict loves happy tummies.

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15 Comments
  1. Nick Decker permalink
    March 19, 2010 9:11 am

    I can almost hear my arteries slamming shut, but yeah, I’ll be trying this one.

    • SoupAddict permalink
      March 19, 2010 9:17 am

      I’m pretty sure my tombstone will read “Done in by grilled cheese.” I’ve come to terms with that.

  2. Nick Decker permalink
    March 19, 2010 10:04 am

    Yes, it’s a quality of life issue. I once went on a low-cholesterol diet. It wasn’t nearly all it was cracked up to be.

  3. March 19, 2010 12:39 pm

    I just love how you think…it’s a wonder to watch. Gruyere should be it’s own food group!

    Onions and cream and cheese, oh my…

  4. March 19, 2010 2:43 pm

    Cheese + bread – I think you covered two of the most vital food groups (at least in my food pyramid).

    I am so with you on the shredded coconut – blech.

  5. Sandy permalink
    March 19, 2010 2:50 pm

    You’re in the Cincinnati area, right? Where do you get your organic bacon?

  6. Nick Decker permalink
    March 19, 2010 2:59 pm

    I’m gumming up my keyboard with this sammich as I type. A most excellent combination!

  7. SoupAddict permalink
    March 19, 2010 4:04 pm

    Rocky Mt. Woman: it must be like watching a whirling dervish. Here comes a thought … oops, there it went … wait … there might be a point to this rambling coming … no … yes … almost … no.

    My local grocery store is trying to go all high-end gourmet with its cheese selection (which, of course, suits me just fine). The cheese steward knows by now when she sees me to have a slice of whatever gruyere or gruyere-related thing they’ve got going. She’s knows a sucker when she sees one.

    Cher: When I see the food group pyramid, I pretty much just see a big pointy block of cheese.

    Sandy: To my shock, I found it at Trader Joe’s (in Kenwood). I can’t remember the brand now, and I don’t know if it’s one they always carry, but, next time I get out that way, I’m heading straight for the pork display.

    Nick: Lucky you. I’m eating rice cakes right now. But they are cheddar cheese flavored. So, that’s something. (not)

  8. PhyllisRyan permalink
    March 20, 2010 11:25 am

    Cheese, Bacon, fresh bread. Oh My.

    • SoupAddict permalink
      March 20, 2010 2:20 pm

      Phyllis: 😉

  9. March 26, 2010 8:39 am

    droooool 😛

  10. April 5, 2010 12:18 pm

    you might like to know that this recipe of yours is guilty of making me buy a panini grill. Always lived without it, shortly after reading this recipe and drooling over it I started to feel the urge to own one. Managed to delay it for quite a few weeks, then gleefully surrendered two days ago. I told myself that since my toaster had died, I might as well buy something useful for other things too – yep, multitasking definitely had me. I still have to try the recipe though – but knowing that now I can, any time, helps me sleep at night 🙂

    • SoupAddict permalink
      April 5, 2010 10:00 pm

      I, too, can justify anything. “Oh, look, I forgot to wash my frying pan last night. Guess I’ll have to buy a new All-Clad pan.” 😉

  11. MaryJane @ KAF permalink
    April 12, 2010 3:22 pm

    Oh my GOD! I can’t wait to make this. I wish I had any excuse to leave work early today to go make this RIGHT NOW! I know exactly what we are having for dinner tomorrow night and probably for breakfast the next day too.

    Can you imagine making a whole huge batch of the onions/cheese and having it on pasta too? Heaven!

    ~ MaryJane @ KAF

  12. SoupAddict permalink
    April 12, 2010 10:16 pm

    MaryJane, you got me back! I read this after getting home from work, and far too lazy to go back out and get an onion and some cheese. On pasta … I’m going to be craving that like crazy….

    I’m so bummed I wasn’t paying better attention to the KAF web site – a class with Gesine, followed by a long, dreamy stop at the KAF store (and maybe even rubbing elbows with certain baker/bloggers). That would’ve been an awesome day!

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