November 25, 2011

Gruyere & Caramelized Onions Panini

I've been wracking my brain for a few days now on what I was going to write about this sandwich. The beginning of the holiday season has already gotten me into a tailspin. Busy, busy, busy! I can't think of anything super-creative or any special circumstances surrounding our meal on this particular night, so I think I'll just give you the facts. This was a really delicious version of a ramped-up grilled cheese. The onions were a bit labor-intensive, but totally worth the time and effort. The combination of flavors hit the mark, especially for the adults at my house. We served our paninis with a green side salad and our meal was pretty darn satisfying. Hmmmm...I think that's about it, except to say that this grilled sandwich did not disappoint!

Gruyere & Caramelized Onions Panini
Adapted From: ‘wichcraft: Craft a sandwich into a meal–and a meal into a sandwich cookbook via the Panini Happy website

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 medium yellow onions, halved and cut lengthwise into 1/8″ slices
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano, or 1 tablespoon dried Sicilian oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated
8 slices rye bread

In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and onions and stir vigorously to avoid scorching. Add the oregano and season with salt and pepper. Continue stirring until the onions have a deep brown color. Reduce the heat and continue to cook until the onions are soft, 30 to 45 minutes. Set aside.*

Preheat the panini grill to medium-high heat (375°F).

For each sandwich: Place 1/4 of the cheese on a slice of bread. Follow with a generous amount of onions. Close the sandwich and place on the panini grill. Grill for 4-5 minutes until the cheese is completely melted and the bread is toasted with golden grill marks. Serve immediately and enjoy!

(***Either use the onions immediately to make the panini or refrigerate them for up to 1 week.***)

The Result:
These were really good. I liked the melding of flavors with the rye bread, gooey cheese, and syrupy was pretty spectacular. I ended up using my surplus onions (I think I had about a cup leftover) in my Thanksgiving green bean casserole (recipe to come). Yum! They were a welcome addition to both this sandwich and our holiday veggie side dish.

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