grilled cheese with a twist

5:07 PM sians 0 Comments

i was so inspired and tempted to make a grilled cheese sandwich since my visit to sprout two weekends ago. i was so excited about it that i even bought ingredients on the monday after and had it all planned out what i was going to do.

the first step was to get my caramelized onions going. it is simple to make but slightly time consuming and tedious since you need to constantly keep an eye on it. since i am on a semi-diet, instead of putting butter, i halved the butter and substituted with olive oil to make myself feel a lil better. sliced vidalia onions were added next which is seasoned with salt, pepper and sugar to taste and sauteed at a medium-low heat, constantly stirring until it turns golden brown.

while that was going, i trimmed some bread off the ciabatta - didn't want to have too much bread since the cheese was supposed to be the star here.  

at sprout, they added some honey crisp apple slices in their grilled cheese but instead of using honey crisp i decided to go for granny smith apple to give that tart flavor. my selection was also swayed by the fact that granny smith is usually the apple paired with cheese fondue.

next step was to assemble to sandwich. the cheese is a crucial ingredient and i didn't quite know what to get but i finally decided on a wisconsin white cheddar. it had a bitter undertone but wasn't as sharp as i wished for the sandwich. 

so the layering goes bread, cheese, tons of yummy, sweet caramelized onions, slices of granny smith apple, top with more cheese and finally complete it with the other slice of bread. (doesn't that sound yummy?)


it doesn't end there.  i slathered both slices of bread with butter and toast it on the pan for a several minutes to crisp the bread and to melt the cheese. c'mon, you need the butter to make a good grilled cheese sandwich... no exceptions! i prefer spreading the butter on the bread itself instead of melting it on the pan to ensure both sides get enough amount of butter to toast it right.

i paired the sandwich with a bowl of cream of tomato - the classic pairing (i made it from a can.. too lazy to make from scratch..) and to make it a lil special, i added a small dollop of creme fraiche since i had some in the fridge. i know it would be better with fresh basil leaf too but i didn't have any of that.

finally, a finished product of yummy grilled cheese sandwich that i've been dying to try.

my verdict?

the grilled cheese sandwich was pretty good. i've always liked adding caramelized onions in my sandwiches. i am not so sure about my choice of granny smith apple slices because it was slightly too tart but i did like the fact that it cuts through the richness of the cheese. the cheese, on the other hand, i would have liked a sharper type that could mellow the tartness of the apples and counter the other flavors that stood out slightly more. also i could have used a cheese that melts better. a combination of cheddar and gruyere/provolone may be the answer since gruyere and provolone has a light flavor but melts beautifully.

i was supposed to do the whole letting the cheese ooze out on the sides and crisp them up but i think i might have not added enough cheese for it to ooze. and another thing i would like try is adding a layer of cheese between the caramelized onions and the apple slices to bind them better together. i loved the added creme fraiche to the cream of tomato that added a smoothless and creaminess that is comforting. even with this room for improvements, i think it was still a pretty successful experiment and this sandwich was yummy in my tummy.

this grilled cheese sandwich with a twist is definitely a keeper and when i crave for something crispy and cheesy, i know what i would be making. :)