The Diva of Grilled Cheese

Sure, everyone knows how to make a grilled cheese sandwich: a couple of slices of processed cheese between bread, buttered and fried in a pan until it’s gooey and golden. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

But this is better. Quite a lot better. A little more effort sure, but this is definitely a ramped up version of a grilled cheese sandwich. Use better cheese than the kind you have to peel plastic off of and chop some onions and enjoy a far superior sandwich.

To start: get a bunch of different onions.

An assortment of alliums.

An assortment of alliums.

Mince them.

Minced onions.

Minced onions.

Grate some old cheddar cheese. Why grate the cheese? More surface area = more taste.

Grated old cheddar cheese.

Grated old cheddar cheese.

Mix the grated cheddar and minced onions together.

Mix together the onions and cheddar.

Mix together the onions and cheddar.

Get some good bread and butter the inside sides.

Butter the bread.

Butter the bread.

Mound on the onion-cheddar mixture.

Mound on the onion-cheddar mixture.

Mound on the onion-cheddar mixture.

Spread mayonnaise on the outside (it’s not yuk… it’s good).

Spread mayonnaise on the outside.

Spread mayonnaise on the outside.

I put some of the reserved cheddar in the fry pan in the approximate shape of the sandwich.

Reserved cheddar.

Reserved cheddar.

Then placed the sandwich on top of the cheese.

Into a heated fry pan.

Into a heated fry pan.

While one side is getting toasty, spread mayo on the other.

Spread mayo on the other side.

Spread mayo on the other side.

Add the rest of the reserved cheddar and flip to cook the other side.

Add the rest of the grated cheddar.

Add the rest of the grated cheddar.

The Diva of Grilled Cheese.

The Diva of Grilled Cheese.

The Diva of Grilled Cheese.

From My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes that Saved my Life by Ruth Reichl.
http://montrealgazette.com/life/food/where-ruth-reichl-found-comfort-in-her-dark-days-the-kitchen-naturally

The Diva of Grilled Cheese
Makes 1 sandwich

Shopping list

leeks
scallions
1/4 pound cheddar cheese
2 slices sturdy sourdough bread, thickly sliced

Staples

shallots
1 onion (any colour)
1 clove garlic (minced)
Butter
Mayonnaise

Gather a group of shallots, leeks, scallions and an onion, red, yellow or white — as many members of the allium family as you have on hand — and chop them into a small heap. Add a minced clove of garlic. Grate a few generous handfuls of the best cheddar you can afford (Montgomery is particularly appealing), set a little aside, and gently combine the rest with the onion mixture.

Butter the bread, and heap as much of the mixture as possible between the slices. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on the outside of each slice (this will keep it from scorching on the griddle). Press the reserved grated cheese to the outside of the bread, where it will create a wonderfully crisp and shaggy crust, giving your sandwich an entirely new dimension.

Fry on a heated griddle or in a skillet about 4 minutes a side, until the cheese is softly melted.

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