French onion soup is one of my all-time favorite flavors, and that’s saying something coming from a soup lover such as myself. Once spring weather starts to appear though, I’m not really in the mood for soups any more. I’d rather be outside breathing in the fresh air than inside breathing in the smells from a simmering pot of soup, no matter how enticing they might be. If there is one food I do love all year round, it’s grilled cheese. I decided to combine the best of both worlds in this French onion grilled cheese. It has all the flavors of French onion soup in the form of a fabulous gooey, cheesy sandwich.
The method here is fairly simple. I caramelized some onions with a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper, and a little bit of fresh thyme. I love to let them cook until they get to that magical point where they are perfectly tender, browned, and slightly sweet. Near the end of cooking I added a splash of wine to enhance the flavor of the onions. Then I piled these lovely onions onto baguette slices sandwiched with thinly sliced Gouda and Gruyere cheeses, and cooked them until they were oh so melty good. Just before serving I rubbed the bread with the cut side of a clove of garlic for a nice finishing touch.
I have a vivid childhood memory of going to one of my mom’s favorite restaurants and ordering my old standby a grilled cheese sandwich. It arrived with a slice of onion on top and I refused to touch my meal. Oh, how times have changed. All in all, this is a sophisticated spin on one of my childhood favorites, and at least in this instance, I’m glad to be a grown-up.
Note: This recipe was developed as part of my ongoing contribution to the Go Bold with Butter blog. Head over to see my posts as well as those of the other awesome bloggers involved with the project!