Please tell me I am not alone in having a dependable supply of bread on its way to being stale, but still edible. Kind of. It cries out: Grill me! So I do.
And we always have onions lying around, right? And some kind of cheese. This sandwich has all my favorite flavors and textures this side of a bowl of soup.
FRENCH ONION SANDWICH
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
- A few grinds pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
- 2 ounces white wine
- 4 slices good, crusty bread (I used ciabatta)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 wedges brie cheese, 1/2″ wide (or other soft, melty cheese)
- Dijon mustard
- Peel and halve the onion. Slice as thin as possible, less than 1/4″. Smash garlic cloves with the flat side of a bench scraper, peel, and mince. Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat with butter and olive oil. When butter has melted, add the onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Add minced thyme. Stir to blend. Sauté mixture until onions have softened completely and most of their water has cooked away. Add wine and continue to sauté until most of the wine has cooked off and onions have begun to caramelize slightly.
- While onions and garlic are cooking, set oven to broil. Lightly brush the outside sides of bread slices with olive oil. Arrange them on a baking sheet (NOT lined with parchment!). Set under broiler until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from oven and turn all slices of bread so that the unbrowned side faces up.
- Also while onions and garlic are cooking, slice wedges of brie cheese. Trim the rind off; I don’t find it objectionable, but the cheese will melt more evenly without it. Then slice each wedge in half the long way through the center. Arrange 6 wedges nose to tail on two of the bread slices.
- Spread the two other slices of bread with Dijon mustard – as much as you like. Use tongs to divide the onion and garlic mixture between these two slices.
- Slide baking sheet under broiler. Broil until cheese is melted and onions are well caramelized; the additional sweetness they will acquire will pair beautifully with the tart flavors from the wine, the creamy tenderness of the brie, and the crusty browned bread. This will only take a couple of minutes.
- Remove baking sheet from oven. Use tongs to lift and turn over the slices covered with cheese onto the slices covered with onions. Cut each sandwich in half, and serve while still hot. Bon appétit!