This brie caramelized onion grilled cheese is the perfect flavor combination and pairs great with cream of mushroom soup!
Melty, savory brie, with lightly sweetened, golden onions…it’s not super healthy, it’s just a great idea! As much as I’d love to take credit, this recipe was inspired by a delicious crepe I had at Crepes of Brittany, a quaint crepe shop in the heart of beautiful Monterey, California.
I’m a firm believer of all things in moderation. For me this consists of occasional treats, preferably made at home with high quality ingredients and love. Deprivation has never worked for me and I’ve actually lost weight since giving up my all or nothing mind set. I still love going to the gym at least 3 times a week, but I’ve started supplementing my strength training workouts with lots of walking and Pilates. This moderation mindset has allowed me to enjoy things I love, like brie and a good glass of cabernet sauvignon, while preserving my physique and feeling great.
This recipe is all about moderation and enjoying a really really good grilled cheese sandwich with no guilt and immense pleasure. Sure, you can try to “health” this up with quinoa-flax-gluten-free-fiber-bread and vegan brie soy cheese, but why would you want to?? This simple combination of great, real ingredients is so delicious and satisfying, that you can easily enjoy it in moderation without a shadow of deprivation in sight.
A delicious treat to enjoyed in moderation with no guilt in sight.
1 medium yellow onion (sliced ⅛ inch thick)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ Cup water to deglaze the pan
8oz good brie cut into ⅛ inch slices (2 oz brie per sandwich)
16 slices whole wheat bread (use a nice rustic bread instead of sandwich bread for this recipe)
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
Heat the olive oil in a large, shallow dutch oven or large skillet (at least 10”) over medium heat.
Slice the onion in half from root to tip
Chop off and discard the top and bottom half inch of the onion and peel off the skin
Slice the onion halves into ⅛ inch slices (from root to tip)
Don’t slice the onions too thin – they will burn instead of caramelize
Once the olive oil is preheated (it will start to ripple in the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes) add the onions to the pan and allow them to cook slowly over low heat
Stir the onions occasionally so that they don’t burn
Caramelizing should be a low and slow process and it will take about 45 minutes for sweet, jammy onions (resist the urge to crank up the heat – this will fry your onions not caramelize them)
If there are little pieces of fond (brown yummy things stuck to the bottom of the pan) after the onions are fully caramelized add ¼ Cup cold water to the onions and use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon gently scrape the bottom of the pan and lift up any pieces of fond
Continue cooking until the water has evaporated, about 1 minute and place the onions in a bowl and set aside
To assemble the sandwich, heat ¼ Tbsp of butter in the bottom of a nonstick pan over medium heat until the butter melts and begins to bubble
Place one slice of bread in the skillet, place 1 oz of brie on top of the bread, spread 1-2 Tbsp of the caramelized onions on the sandwich and top with 1 oz more of the brie slices along with another slice of bread
Allow the panini to cook for on one side until the brie begins to melt and the bread is golden brown, about 5 minutes
Flip the panini over and cook the opposite side for 5 minutes or until the bread is golden brown
Continue the process with the other sandwiches and serve warm or as an unexpected companion to tomato soup!