French Onion Grilled Cheese
In an effort to keep things simple, we generally have a soup and sandwich night at least a couple of times a month. I keep a few different homemade soups in the freezer, so it’s just a matter of thawing the soup and deciding what type of sandwiches to serve along with it. One of our favorite combos is the ever popular grilled cheese and tomato soup.
While there’s nothing wrong with a good old fashioned simple grilled cheese (American or cheddar cheese between two slices of buttered bread), sometimes it’s fun to mix it up a bit. I’m a HUGE fan of french onion soup, and one day while I was eating it at a favorite restaurant, I realized that the flavors would be just as good in grilled cheese form. I went home and tried it a few days later, and it’s now one of my new favorite ways to eat grilled cheese. The combination of sweet onions, melted swiss, and buttery grilled bread is just SO good!
French Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwich
For the Onions:
- 3 large onions, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbs Butter
- 1 Tbs Olive Oil
- 1 tsp salt
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/4 C apple juice
- 1/4 tsp ground thyme
For the sandwiches:
- 8 slices thick sliced Italian bread (sold in loaves with the sandwich bread at the supermarket)
- 8 slices Swiss cheese
- Butter, softened
For the onions, heat a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the butter and olive oil. When the butter is melted, add the onions and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium low. Allow the onions to cook for about 15 minutes until softened. Uncover the pan, and cook for an additional hour, stirring every few minutes.
Once the onions are a deep golden color, pour in the apple juice and scrape up all the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the thyme, taste, and season with more salt and pepper, if necessary.
To make the sandwiches, preheat a griddle to medium high heat. Layer the sandwich with one slice of Swiss cheese, a layer of onions in the middle, and top with another slice of Swiss cheese. Butter both sides of the sandwich, and repeat to make 3 more sandwiches. Place two sandwiches on the griddle. Cover with a metal bowl (or if you don’t have a metal bowl you can use another frying pan or even a pot lid), and cook for 3-4 minutes until one side is golden brown. Flip sandwiches, cover again with metal bowl, and cook additional 3-4 minutes until golden brown on both sides.