I offer this grilled cheese as a sacrifice to the overseerers of Grilled Cheese Month - whomever those delightful geniuses may be, thank you for this fantastic concept, and please - don't stop there. Bacon is desperately looking for a month to call its own. It's waiting for your call.
This is one of my favorite grilled cheese - um - "recipes." I use the term "recipe" lightly here, with those quotes that are best indicated with a sarcastic scrunching of the index and middle fingers, because the best grilled cheeses aren't conceived by written instructions and years of training. The best grilled cheeses are the lovechild of the hands and the heart. They're the result of spontaneity and innovation coming together between a browned buttery-bready mixture that really can't be done wrong, only differently. Hell, when you get that craving, even the blackest of burnt grilled cheeses will fill that hunger-hole better than any burger or burrito.
But I digress - and without even coming close to touching upon what I wanted to talk about here. Where is that backspace button...
You know, I was going to fall into some rant about the fine line between a melt and a grilled cheese - how a pastrami grilled cheese is no different than a pastrami melt, blah, blah, blah, rant, rant rant, etc.
But I don't really care. If it's delicious, make it, eat it, enjoy it. If Dr. Seuss made this dish, he might call it an onion funion hootanany butter fudder kazoo - and that, my friends, would be fine with me too.
He would be much more inventive than that, as he had talent and I use words with as much precision as a bull with a butcher's knife (see?), but you catch my point. Anyway, here's how to make food:
Grilled Cheese with Balsamic Onions, Gruyere & Ham "Recipe"
1/4 onion (cut into strips 1" long)
3 slices of medium cut deli ham (quartered)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
3 tbs olive oil
3 tbs balsamic vinegar
2 pieces of whole wheat bread
2 tbs butter
1 cup gruyere cheese (grated)
1. Heat a pan to about 3/4 heat and add the olive oil - the oil shouldn't quite sizzle, but it should bubble slightly when you place a drop of water in it
2. Add the onions, and stir well
3. Add the salt and sugar, and stir well
4. Cook for roughly 20-30 minutes, or until the onions have absorbed most of the olive oil
5. Add the balsamic vinegar, and turn the heat to high for 1 minute
6. Add the ham, stir, remove the whole thing from the heat
7. If you got one, heat up that cast iron skillet to a little over 1/2 heat (completely heated - wait until the handle is hot, but, you know - don't test it with your bare hands)
8. Add 1 tbs butter, and place one piece of bread face down on the pan
9. Once that browns, remove from heat, add the second tbs of butter, and put down the second piece of bread
10. Right away, add half the cheese, then the onions and ham, then the rest of the cheese, and then the first piece of bread - push down with your spatula so all that deliciousness oozes together
11. If you have to play with the heat to keep the bread from burning, do so, but don't you remove that sandwich until that cheese is melted. If you do so without making a mess, give the sandwich a flip so the cheese is melted evenly.
That's it - you have finished you official obligation to participate in National Grilled Cheese Month. You've made us all proud - good work! Prove your devotion by taking a pic and posting it on my FB page - www.facebook.com/cutseveryday!
Thanks for indulging me today, everyone - I'm a bit punchy ;)