Saturday, March 13, 2010

Lucques' Grilled Cheese with Shallots

We love grilled cheese sandwiches. Did you know that? We do. A lot. Fancy grown-up versions are delicious as well. This one is quite delicious and decadent. It's definitely something special. We couldn't find Cantal so our cheesemonger recommended some Irish Dubliner cheese. Appropriate, given the proximity of St. Patrick's Day. And delicious!

I loved it. The bread and shallots are fantastic. The cheese melts beautifully and is delicious - EXCEPT it's so strong that it is a little bit overwhelming. I loved the preparation of the sandwich. Using my cast iron skillet is awesome. If we made this again, I'd use a more mild cheese. And we probably will make it again, so I need to figure out what kind of cheese to use.



Lucques' Grilled Cheese with Shallots
Adapted from Lucques on Melrose

From chef-owner Suzanne Goin. She recommends serving the sandwich with an arugula salad dressed with lemon juice and best-quality olive oil.

2 large shallots
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
Salt, pepper
2 slices country white bread, sliced 1/2 -inch thick
5 ounces Cantal cheese, sliced 1/8-inch thick

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the shallots in half lengthwise and peel them. Place the shallots cut-side down. Slice lengthwise into about one-eighth-inch wedges. In a small sauté pan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and thyme and season lightly with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook gently, stirring often until the shallots are caramelized, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Heat a cast iron or heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium heat. Add the remaining butter and swirl in the pan until it is melted. Place the two slices of bread in the pan and toast for a minute or two until just beginning to color. Divide the cheese evenly between the two pieces and top with the shallots.

Place the pan in the oven and cook 5 to 6 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden and crispy. Remove to a cutting board and carefully assemble the sandwich, placing together the two slices of bread. Cut in half on the diagonal and serve immediately.

Yield: 1 serving

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