When I was a kid, I would wake up at 7 am on Saturday mornings, watch my cartoons, and eat grilled cheese. As soon as my mom woke up, I would sing, "grilled cheese please!". I was obsessed. Every so often, I recall these mornings and have a sudden urge to make grilled cheese. So today, I've made an adult's version of the childhood classic: grilled cheese with bourbon caramelized onions drizzled with rosemary honey. It's definitely an upgrade and quite possibly, the best grilled cheese I have ever had.
Grilled Cheese with Bourbon Caramelized Onions
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 large onion thinly sliced
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup bourbon
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 8 ounces fontina shredded
- 4 slices bread
- 2 tbsp butter softened
- Make the caramelized onions. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until softened, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and season the onions with ½ tsp salt, and cook another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add ¼ cup bourbon and simmer until all of the alcohol has cooked off. Continue to cook the onions until deep brown and caramelized.
- Prepare the rosemary honey. Combine ¼ honey with 1 sprig rosemary in a small saucepot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce to low and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 more minutes. Remove the rosemary and set aside.
- Spread the softened butter on one side of each of the bread slices. Flip the bread over and place the caramelized onions and shredded fontina on 2 of the bread slices. Top with the remaining bread.
- Heat a nonstick saute pan over medium-low heat. Carefully lay the sandwiches on the pan and cook until golden brown., about 3 minutes. Flip the sandwich and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until golden brown and the cheese has melted.
- Drizzle the rosemary honey on top and serve immediately.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
I'm not the biggest fan of mixing sweet and savory except when it comes to caramelized onions. I can put caramelized onions on just about anything and would love it. Today's grilled cheese is the perfect opportunity to mix a little sweet with a little savory. Add a little alcohol in there and we have ourselves a party.
The key thing to remember when making caramelized onions is to wait. Let the sugars break down slowly over low heat, allowing the onions to achieve a deep brown color. Rush the process and you will end up with burnt onions. It takes about 25 minutes to get the onions caramelized so while they're doing their thing, make the rosemary honey.
Rosemary honey is simply just that, rosemary and honey. Simmer rosemary in a small amount of honey for 10 minutes over low heat. Turn off the flame and continue to steep the rosemary in the honey, letting that herb release its natural oils. As the honey cools, it can harden. If this happens, just pop it in the microwave for a couple of seconds and it should become liquid again.
Now it's time to make the grilled cheese! Pick your favorite bread, smear on a generous amount of butter, pile on the cheese and onions, and cook until golden browned. Keep the flame on low so that the cheese melts and the bread doesn't burn. Finish with a drizzle of that rosemary honey and serve while hot.
My husband took one bite and muttered that this grilled cheese with bourbon caramelized onions was the best grilled cheese he has ever had. And you know what? I completely agree. Everything meshes together perfectly from the bourbon to the fontina to the onions to the honey. Pair it with a side of creamy tomato soup for a complete meal.
For another fun grilled cheese idea, check out this tomato soup with grilled cheese and bacon croutons recipe.