On Wednesday night Tony was on his own and he made Smitten Kitchen’s Emmentaler on Rye with Sweet and Sour Red Onions. Here’s how it went.
As the recipes lays out, there are only three steps to this recipe: cooking the onions, assembling the sandwich, and cooking the sandwich. I usually start my recipes by doing all the prep work up front, which is not always the most efficient way to work, so I decided to just do things as I went along to save some time.
I cut half a red onion into thin slices and sautéed it for about 5 minutes in half a tablespoon of butter and half a tablespoon of olive oil. While the onions were cooking, I measured out the brown sugar and salt and also “buttered” the bread. (The butter was straight out of the fridge, so all I did at this stage was place small pats of butter on the bread so it could soften a bit.) I next added the brown sugar and salt to the onions and cooked everything for another ten minutes. While this was going on, I grated the cheese. I added the vinegar to the onions, cooked for a minute or two and then put the cooked onions in a ramekin. The recipe says to cool the onions to lukewarm, but I was too hungry to wait for that to happen, so I put them into the freezer for about 5 minutes. While waiting for the onions to cool, I finished buttering the bread
Next, I started heating the grill pan over medium-low heat. While the pan heated, I assembled the sandwich. I spread the onions on the non buttered side of one slice of bread, sprinkled the cheese on top, and then placed the other slice of bread, butter side out, on top. I put the sandwich on the grill pan and cooked it for about 10 minutes per side; this is a lot longer than the recipe calls for, but I was working over very low heat. I sliced the sandwich in half, popped open a beer, and sat down to dinner.
The sandwich was as good as I remembered. It’s simple to make, but is such a complex mix of flavors (sweet, sour, salty) and textures (crunchy, creamy), that’s it’s incredibly satisfying. The only mistake I made was to drink the last Stone IPA while making dinner and the last Abita Amber Ale with the sandwich. I wish I had switched the order, because the bitter IPA would have offered a better contrast to the sandwich than the maltier, slightly sweet ale. I’ll have to remember this the next time we make this sandwich!