I subscribe to the Tasting Table, a daily email for "adventurous eaters everywhere." Mostly it's advertising for all things food related and I usually wind up hitting the delete button. But a couple of times a week, I get a recipe that sounds rather interesting, so I print it for....well....whenever.
Last February, Tasting Table sent a recipe for French Onion Fondue, which sounded pretty good so I printed it. That's as far as I got.
A few days ago, I learned that April is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich month. I had no idea there was a specific month dedicated to the awesomeness of the grilled cheese sandwich.
I knew I couldn't go the entire month without creating a delicious grilled cheese sandwich, but what? And as I was flipping through a large stack of recipes looking for inspiration, I came across Tasting Table's French Onion Fondue. Voilà! French Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwich, where French Onion Soup and a simple grilled cheese sandwich merge into a gooey, delectable, savory yet sweet, crunchy delight.
The onions are cooked in a deeply rich and flavorful broth that reduces and leaves them in an almost jam-like consistency. Then they are layered on sourdough bread slices, topped with Fontina and Gruyere cheeses and grilled to perfection.
French Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwich
2 slices bacon, cut in small pieces
3 onions, thinly sliced
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup sherry
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Several slices Gruyere cheese
Several slices Fontina cheese
Sourdough bread slices
Enough butter to spread on the outside of each sandwich
In a large frying pan, cook the bacon on medium high heat until almost crisp.
Add the onions and stir with the bacon pieces until they are mixed well. Continue to cook until the onions have browned slightly. Add the beef broth, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, sherry vinegar and pepper to the onions, bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium and cook until all the liquid has evaporated, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. This can be done the day before and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. If cold, bring to room temperature or warm slightly in a small pan.
To assemble the sandwich, mound a nice amount of cooked onion on a slice of bread, top with a layer of Gruyere cheese, then a layer of Fontina cheese. Top with another slice of bread.
Heat a grill or large frying pan on medium high heat. Generously butter the outside of each sandwich. Place in the hot pan and grill until the one side is golden brown, about 2 or 3 minutes. Using a large spatula, turn the sandwich over and grill on the opposite side until golden brown, about another 2 or 3 minutes. Serve hot.
Makes 4 - 6 sandwiches, depending on the size of the bread.