Welcome to the first installment of FoodGeek Cooks? My adventure into the world of cooking!
When I was picking my first recipe to make in my quest to become a competent cook I knew I had to be realistic – easy, little equipment needed, as few ingredients as possible, but still allow me to try something I hadn’t done before.
Then I was having a bit of a snoop around on the internet, I came across a recipe on Serious Eats for a French Melt Grilled Cheese. This requires only 1 pan and 6 ingredients, and two of those were salt and pepper….so I figured I could just about manage to bash this out 🙂
First things first, the recipe calls for a cast iron skillet…now I don’t have a cast iron skillet, so I improvised and used a frying pan. Although, I am now on the hunt for a nice iron skillet since I am assured that I can not learn to cook properly without one.
Excited to get going with my first recipe I popped to my favourite cheese shop, George Mews to pick up some gorgeous Comté and Gruyere. I always love a trip to this glorious cheese heaven, they always have the most delicious cheese and goodies, plus it has the best smell ever!
So with gorgeous cheese now in hand, I made my way into the kitchen to give this caramalised onion grilled cheese a bash.
What I learnt
I’d never caramalised onions before, and I basically watched them like a hawk for 45 minutes because I was scared they would burn.I would say that this is not something you can put on and go watch TV, it needs constant attention.
I was also worried that my bread would rip into a shreds when I tried to slice it, as crusty bread often does. So I used a day old loaf and it was surprisingly easy to get clean, even slices and toasted up like a dream.
All in all for a first attempt at a proper grilled cheese I would have to say it was a fairly successful first cook…and now I can caramelise onions!
4 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 slices crusty country-style bread
40g Comté, sliced
40g Gruyère cheese, sliced
In a large frying pan melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over a low heat, once melted add the onions and season with some salt and pepper. Stir the onions frequently (I did it about every 2 minutes) until the onions are caramalised and a deep brown colour – this should take about 45 minutes. If you feel that the onions might burn add 1 tablespoon of water to the onions and keep a close eye on them. One ready pop the onions on to a plate and leave to one side for the moment.
Using some kitchen roll wipe out the frying pan and place it on a medium heat, add another tablespoon of butter to the pan. Once melted add the bread to the pan and allow to toast for a couple of minutes until light golden. Move the bread toasted side up onto a plate – add the cheese to 1 slice, spread the onions over the top and then close up with the other slice of bread (toasted side on the inside)
Time to melt another tablespoon of butter in the frying pan over a medium heat, add the constructed sandwich to the pan and lightly fry for 3 minutes. Flip the sandwich and add the last tablespoon of butter and toast for another 3 minutes – keeping an eye the whole time to make sure that the bread doesn’t burn. Once the cheese has melted remove from the pan and enjoy this glorious melty buttery treat.