The weather turned chilly in San Diego this week and in spite of my unemployed status, I am feeling very happy about things! Whenever it is cold and rainy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches come to mind and we’re not talking Kraft processed cheese on wonder bread in this beer geek’s casa. Today I whipped up a yummy little creation that was simple, delicious and affordable.
I started with a few slices of organic purple onion from California and caramelized the rings in a saute pan with about 1 tablespoon of my staple item, Trader Joe’s President’s Reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add Salt and Pepper to taste. Be careful to cook slowly so they get that yummy look of perfection. While doing this I placed about 8 (cut in half) small cherry tomatoes on a tray sprayed lightly with olive oil and baked them in the oven for about 15 minutes until soft and slightly shriveled. You can also add them cut side down to the pan with the onions (after caramelized) and let cook for a few minutes until they turn into sweet deliciousness. After mine are finished in the oven I add them to the pan with the onions and mix gently to add the caramelized goodness to the tomatoes 🙂
Remove onions and tomatoes from pan and wipe clean. I use olive oil in place of butter because I try to watch the foods I eat and also because I am an olive oil whore err…fan! I pour enough to coat bottom of pan and then place two slices of Trader Joe’sSourdough Wheat Bread, flat ends touching in the pan. Heat is set on Medium. Place one slice of Trader Joe’s Lite Havarti on each side of the bread. I choose lite again because I try to watch what I eat but regular is great also. I have to save calories for my stupendous craft beer selections!!!
Cover the pan for a minute or two until the cheese melts and the bread begins to brown. I like to see it start to bubble but be sure to pay attention to the bread browning also. Once ready, spoon the caramelized onion and tomato mixture onto one side of the bread, on top of the cheese. Add to taste but remember to be sparing enough that it doesn’t make the sandwich mushy. Flip the opposite of the bread over onto the side with the mixture. Flip the entire sandwich once to check that both sides are sufficiently browned. Remove from pan and place on a plate. I used the extra caramelized onion and tomato mixture as a side on my plate because I absolutely adore the combination. Let the sandwich cool for a couple of minutes while you admire the pure beauty of your delicious creation. If appropriate…pair with your favorite Craft Beer Selection. I would likely choose a divine California IPA like Stone Ruination – a staple item in my home. Cut in half, curl up on your favorite chair and enjoy!