Epic Grilled Cheeses

When you think of the ultimate comfort foods, what are the first things that come to mind? If you’re thinking something with carbs and cheese, which I really hope you are, you’ve come to the right place.

Today we had two midterms, lasting 3 hours each, so by the end we all wanted to devour something melty, savory, and comforting.  The first thing that popped into my head was a grilled cheese. Oh, but not just any grilled cheese. How about crusty bread smeared in garlic butter, laden with caramelized onions, and dripping with cheddar. Not enough? Fine, let’s make a mozzarella, fresh basil, and sun-dried tomato pesto one too, because why not?? Here’s what you’ll need for both sandwiches:

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To make 2 of each kind of sandwich (you decide the serving size):

  • 8 slices of good white bread. Wheat is fine, but it kind of defeats the “comforting” aspect of this
  • A jar of sun dried tomato pesto
  • 2 sweet or yellow onions
  • A slab of butter, maybe about 4 tablespoons.
  • Garlic powder
  • Fresh basil
  • 8 ounces of mozzarella, sliced
  • 4 slices of Cheddar, or any other cheese you think would go well with caramelized onions, so yes basically anything

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Peel and cut your onions in half, and cut those into little half moons. Note: chewing gum when cutting them helps to keep your eyes from watering!

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Melt about a tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat, and then slide your onions in there. Stir around every couple minutes or so to ensure they aren’t sticking or browning too quickly.

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After about 10 minutes they should look something like this: fragrant, soft, and sweet from the release of their natural sugars. Add a pinch of salt to taste, and keep them going until they’re translucent and a beautiful caramel color.

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Set these babies aside, and slice up your mozzarella and pick the leaves off your basil stems.

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If you ask me, I think the recipe turns out better if you have a few bites from this plate before you continue with the next step.

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Now, take some of that gorgeous pesto and slather it generously over one side of two pieces of bread. Repeat for your other two slices.

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Lay your mozzarella slices and basil leaves on top, slip it into another tablespoon of butter, and place the other pesto laden piece of bread on top. Call me crazy, but I notice that talking to your sandwich and tell it how excited you are really makes the difference.

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Let them sizzle away for a minute or two until the bottom looks like this:

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I find putting a plate on top to weight them down while they sear helps get them extra crispy and melty.

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Dear God they’re perfect. Now, on to the next ones.

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Mix a tablespoon of softened butter with a little salt and garlic power. Taste to see if you need to add more of either, and then smear it on one side of two pieces of bread. Repeat. Dollop some of the caramelized onions on top, and lay a couple slices of cheddar on top of that. Sear just like you did above and devour while still warm and gooey.

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Let’s just take a moment of silence for these. Crispy, buttery bread, dripping with cheese, caramelized onions, and pesto. Don’t you feel better just looking at them??

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