Sandwich is ‘inside out’ onion soup
Caramelized onions don’t rank very high among foods I typically eat or cook. Let’s just say they’re better than non-caramelized onions.
But I sang a different tune this week when my 8-year-old son helped to prepare a potato-Gruyere tart for dinner from his very own cookbook. Onions factored into the ingredients, but I knew they wouldn’t cook enough to my liking if mingled raw with raw potato before baking. So 30 minutes before my son joined me in the kitchen, I started cooking down the onions to hopefully render them as rich and silky as the cheese.
And the dish drew rave reviews. My friend, a fellow foodie and prolific home cook, couldn’t help but break her no-carb diet because she LOVES caramelized onions. I said that — minus the potato — the dish put me in mind of French onion soup.
Here’s another dish that does the same thing, essentially turning French onion soup “inside out” in the words of food writer Daniel Neman. And now that my son has a taste for Gruyere, I think he’d gobble up this gourmet grilled cheese. I’ll be joining him.
Gruyere With Caramelized Onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, peeled, halved and cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch slices
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
Salt and pepper, to taste
16 slices Gruyère cheese
8 slices rye bread
2 tablespoons butter
In a skillet over medium-high heat, combine the oil and onions. Add the oregano and season with the salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until onions turn light brown. Reduce heat and continue to cook until onions are soft and golden brown, for 30 to 45 minutes. These can be kept refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Place 2 slices of the cheese on each of the 4 slices of bread. Put 1/4 cup onions on top of each; top each sandwich with another 2 slices of cheese and slice of bread.
Melt 1/2 tablespoon of the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat (if skillet is large enough to make 2 sandwiches at a time, use 1 tablespoon of butter). Place 1 (or 2) sandwiches in butter and press down lightly until bottom is golden brown and toasted.
Flip and cook other side until cheese has melted. Makes 4 servings.
Recipe adapted by Tribune News Service from “’Wichcraft” by Tom Colicchio and Sisha Ortúzar.