I’m not much of a cook.
Like most people in the city, I enjoy good food and eat out at restaurants more often than I should. But let’s face it: we have some of the best chefs in the world in our backyard, home-cooked food just doesn’t cut it.
With all this restaurant-going, the bills add up. It’s about time I learned how to cook properly, and I’m bringing you all on this ride along with me.
Each week, I’ll borrow a restaurant-style recipe from an acclaimed chef in New York City and conjure up my own version of his or her creation. It won’t be perfect — and I’ll venture to guess sometimes the results will be disastrous — but I’ll be chronicling it here for you all the same.
Here’s how it went this week…
Makes one sandwich
Courtesy of Melt Shop, NYC
- 1 potato bun, such as Martin’s
- 3 slices muenster cheese
- 1 tbsp. cranberry jam
- ¼ cup caramelized onions
- 2 tbsp. butter, softened
For the caramelized onions:
- 1 white onion, peeled and sliced thinly
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 ¼ tbsp. butter
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 ½ tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
- Caramelize the Onions: In a medium skillet, heat the butter and olive oil
- When the butter melts, add the onion. Sprinkle with salt and thyme and reduce heat so onions cook slowly but do not burn
- Flipping every 5 or so minutes, for about 20-25 minutes total.
- After 20-25 minutes, add the sherry vinegar, stir, and cook until the vinegar evaporates, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Make the sandwich: Pre-heat another skillet over medium heat.
- Cut the potato bun in half and flatten both sides gently. Butter each inside half of the bun and place each butter-side down on a work surface.
- Evenly distribute 1.5 slices muenster on each side then layer about ½ tbsp. cranberry jam over each cheese-covered side.
- Spread ¼ cup of the caramelized onions over the jam and gently close the sandwich.
- Place it on the heated skillet, pressing the top half down with a spatula, watching closely to make sure none of the sweet ingredients leek out and burn.
- After about 4 to 5 minutes, flip the sandwich and cook the other side, pressing down on the sandwich, until the cheese is completely melted. Cut in half and serve.
In terms of ingredients, I made due with what I had. I used regular white toast instead of a potato bun and substituted sherry vinegar with rice vinegar plus a little dash of sugar. The only thing I had to buy was the muenster cheese and cranberry jam. For some reason I couldn’t find cranberry jam in the regular jam aisle and ended up purchased jellied cranberry sauce in a can.
The rest of the recipe went fairly well with absolutely no complications. This made for a delicious variation on the classic grilled cheese and is a pleaser for those with a slight sweet tooth.