Recipe for Grilled
All these raw, crunchy, oniony bits seem treacherous: If the constant challenge of grilled cheese is getting the internal cheese to melt thoroughly before the bread burns, how is that same just-melted cheese supposed to cook a bunch of onions, too? Even Brooks Headley, an otherwise daring chef, sautéed them anyway. Of the sandwiches, he declared, "None left over."
But you truly don’t need to cook the alliums, as long as you cut them finely. They'll steam and soften in the melting cheese, losing their crunch but keeping some of their aggressive freshness and funk. (Though as Headley proved, if you don’t want any of that, sautéing is always an option.)Photo by James Ransom
But Reichl, the madwoman, adds a shaggy layer of grated cheese on top of the mayo too, which melts and fuses into a crispy cheddar crust when it hits the griddle, much like a cheese tuile or frico. It's a totally different, deeper, toastier cheese flavor and texture than the gooey party unleashed inside.Photo by James Ransom
It should be noted that she also, for no clear reason—other than, maybe, better cheese retention?—adds a swipe of butter to the insides of the bread, too. But at this point, why not?
Makes 1 sandwich
- Any combination of shallot, leek, scallions, onion (any color)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 pound cheddar cheese, divided
- 2 slices thickly sliced, sturdy sourdough bread
Got a genius recipe to share—from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Please send it my way (and tell me what's so smart about it) at . Thank you to our own Books Editor & Stylist Ali Slagle for this one, even though she didn't really think I'd be crazy enough to go for it.