My idea of a grilled cheese sandwich used to be limited to a slice of american cheese melted between two pieces of white bread. I would occasionally fancy things up a bit by adding a slice of ham or maybe a fried egg, but that’s about as far as I would ever go. Then, in college, a restaurant devoted just to grilled cheese sandwiches opened up, opening my eyes to a whole new world of things that I could sandwich between two slices of bread.
In Boston, there was a little grilled cheese truck that would park just down the road from our apartment. I tried a sweet potato, cheddar, rosemary-maple grilled cheese from there once, and decided that I was a fan of the gourmet grilled cheese trend. Since then, I’ve been busy coming up with unique combinations of my own. I’ve made them with goat cheese and blueberry pesto, beets and arugula, apples and beer. I’ve used wheat bread, sourdough bread, oatnut bread, and the like. I’ve used a handful of different cheeses and have created my own special sauce. The opportunities are endless when making a good grilled cheese. As long as I’ve got cheese and bread on hand, it’s one of my go to meals when there’s nothing else around.
I decided today that taking pictures of a grilled cheese sandwich isn’t nearly as fun as eating one. Let’s face it, a grilled cheese really isn’t all that pretty to look at, but who doesn’t love the messy, gooey goodness of a warm grilled cheese? This recipe was inspired by the lack of items in my fridge, and my lack of time to make it to the store. It’s rich and sweet with a small kick of spice, making it one of my favorite sandwich recipes yet.
Caramelized Onion and Apple Grilled Cheese with an Apricot Sriracha Spread
Recipe yields two sandwiches
1/2 cup sliced yellow onion
1 small granny smith apple, cored and thinly sliced into wedges
4 slices of sharp cheddar cheese
4 slices of bread – I used oatnut as it was what I had on hand, but I think that a sourdough would work nicely
3 tbsp apricot jelly
1 tsp sriracha
In a large skillet, melt a pat of butter over medium-low heat. Add your onions and cook until softened and lightly browned. 8-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare your sauce by whisking together apricot jam and sriracha in a small bowl.
Once your onions are lightly browned, add your apple slices and another pat of butter. Cook for 1-2 minutes. You’ll want your apples to soften a bit, but you don’t want them overly soft. I like them with a bit of crunch to add some texture to the sandwich. Once your apples have softened, remove onion/apple mixture from skillet and set aside.
Generously butter one side of a slice of bread. Place bread butter-side-down onto skillet bottom and add 1 slice of cheese, followed by half of your onion/apple mixture. Add sauce to a second slice of bread and place sauce-side-down on top of sandwich. Grill until lightly browned and flip over, adding a pat of butter to the skillet before flipping. Continue grilling until cheese is melted. Repeat with remaining two slices of bread, cheese, sauce, and onion/apple mixture.