© Antonis Achilleos
Roast beef and blue cheese grilled cheese
Brunch and lunch sandwiches that will make you melt
Warm savoury roast beef and salty pungent blue cheese give this grilled cheese its name; the purple-black, sweet and acidic balsamic onion marmalade ties everything together. If you don’t have time to make the marmalade, you can substitute store-bought onion jam, but don’t skip it altogether — it takes this sandwich over the top.
1½ tsp. (7.5 g) salted butter at room temperature
2 slices white country bread
2 tbsp. (30 ml) balsamic onion marmalade (recipe follows)
2 slices Muenster cheese
3 oz. (85 g) thinly sliced roast beef
1½ tbsp. (22.5 ml) crumbled blue cheese (like King Island Dairy’s Roaring Forties Blue from Australia and New Zealand; see note)
Heat a cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.
Spread the butter on one side of each bread slice, dividing it evenly. Place one slice, buttered-side down, on a clean cutting board. Spread with the onion marmalade. Layer one slice of the Muenster, the roast beef, blue cheese and the second slice of Muenster on top. Finish with the second slice of bread, buttered-side up.
Using a wide spatula, place the sandwich in the pan, cover and cook until the bottom is nicely browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and cook until the second side is browned and the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes longer.
Cut the sandwich in half, if desired, and serve immediately. Serves 1.
Note: the sharpness of blue cheeses can vary considerably. Some are creamy and mild, others so sharp you can smell them across the room the minute they’re unwrapped. Adjust the amount you add to this sandwich depending on the strength of the cheese as well as your own tastes.
Balsamic onion marmalade
This sweet and piquant onion marmalade is delightful in a simple grilled cheese with mild cheddar and a few crumbles of your favorite blue cheese or just on a cracker with a sliver of good cheese.
2 tsp. (10 ml) vegetable oil
2 medium red onions, cut into ¼ in (6 mm) dice
1 tsp. (5 ml) salt
½ tsp. (2.5 ml) freshly ground black pepper
¼ c. (60 ml) sugar
¼ c. (60 ml) plus 2 tbsp. (30 ml) balsamic vinegar
In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the vegetable oil. Add the onions, salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Cook, stirring every couple of min¬utes, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 8 minutes.
Stir in the sugar and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid from the onions and melted sugar is reduced, but the mixture is not yet sticking to the pot, about 8 minutes longer. Turn the heat to medium-low, stir in the vinegar and cook, stirring often to prevent scorching, until the liquid is reduced to a thick syrup and the mixture is starting to stick to the pan, about 30 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 1½ cups (375 ml).
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