Friday, January 4, 2013

Grown Up Grilled Cheese: A Meaty Brie

I had a little fascination with Brie not too long ago. I felt the need to broaden my love for cheese so I thought I'd grab some at the grocery store and make whatever my mind could create. What did I come up with? Grilled cheese, of course! Well, also a quesadilla but that's another story... Anyways, if you've been following my posts, you know that I like to make 'grown up' grilled cheese sandwiches every now and then that aren't part of the normal 'american cheese' variety. It's a little ongoing project of mine...

This grilled cheese is no exception to the grown up theme because of the specific ingredients used. I've taken that brie and paired it with some caramelized onions, slices of steak and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar that has been reduced to a super sweet syrup: a balsamic reduction. Not sure what a balsamic reduction is? It's simply cooking about 1 cup of balsamic vinegar over a very, very low boil until it reduces to about 1/4 cup. It brings out a sweetness to the vinegar and gets rid of the tartness that makes you scrunch up your nose. And it's just fantastic. You'll have some extra if you start with the 1 cup listed above so save the leftovers to top bruschetta, pasta, crusty bread, pizza, or pretty much anything else you think of.

Grown Up Grilled Cheese: Brie, Steak and Caramelized Onion with Balsamic Reduction

 1/4 c caramelized onions (click here for the 'how-to')
 1 tsp balsamic reduction
 A few slices of cooked steak, thinly sliced (leftovers work great for this sandwich!)
 About 1 1/2 oz Brie
 Butter or non-stick spray
 2 slices of bread

1. Spread the brie on both slices of bread. (If you leave it at room temp for about a half hour, it will spread very easily)
2. Layer the steak and onions on one slice of bread, on top of the brie.
3. Drizzle the balsamic reduction over the onions and top with the other slice of bread, cheese side down.
4. Melt a little butter in a pan or spray with non-stick spray.
5. Grill on both sides until golden brown and serve. 

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