Grilled cheese is my enemy. I remember being so frustrated when I was eight, in front of the stove, and cursing at the black, burnt toast and the unmelted Kraft single sandwiched between. I was disheartened and felt like I lost a great battle. I then added it to the axis of evil of all elementary students: division table and fractions. I eventually gave up on the whole idea of grilled cheese, and admitted that I just wasn’t good at it. I rarely eat grilled cheese now out of fear. When I do get a craving for it, I just head over to the local diner and order it. I’ll let the professional fry cooks deal with it. But I got challenged the other day to make one, and, because I am a prideful person, I did it.
I was having drinks with a friend of mine and , over musing over her love life, she began to rant to me. Not really venting any specific incident, but more of a “I hate men because of this…” moment. She proceeded to tell me about how at 3 am, her “friend” asked if she wanted anything. To test him she said “yes…a grilled cheese”. Being the chivalrous man that he is, he said “ok”. However, he knew full well that my friend was going to rescind because it was a lot of work. And she did.
So, because of that, I had to hear about it the next day. How men promise that they will do something just because it will give them bonus points, but not really doing them because others don’t want to bother. This went on for a couple of Jameson and sodas with a lime, until it dawned on me. I need to try to make a grilled cheese sandwich again. I promise I was listening to my friend.
This sandwich is adapted from Busboys and Poets in DC. It was a very frequent weekend lunch of mine during my stint in the District because I lived only two blocks away, which was nice. This is definitely nothing like your standard American cheese sandwich. The combination of the creamy-ness from the Brie mixes well with the smoky flavor of the caramelized onions. The addition of the apple creates a crisp soft texture that is amazingly balanced with the harsh crunch of the bread. I would pair this with a simple salad and a balsamic dressing. I like the nuttiness of toasted sourdough bread, so I used that. Any crusty bread will do. And if you caramelize the onions in advanced, you can make this in a jiffy no matter what time it is (*ahem, 3 am).
I used the broiler to toast the bread, I don’t have a toaster, and melt the cheese. It allowed it for a easier process, quick grilled cheese without the use of butter or oil and me not regressing to my 3rd grade self. Ashamed and in the corner. Men: make this.
2 slices of sourdough bread or crusty bread
¼ inch slices of brie, enough to create a layer
thin apple slices, enough to create a layer
1 tbs of carmelized onions
1.5 tsp honey mustard
broil or toast bread until almost begin to turn golden
spread mustard on both slices of bread, put onion on one side
cover other slice of bread with brie
broil on high until cheese melts
assemble sandwich with the rest of the ingredients and either brown in a pan or brown in broiler