Dutch grilled cheese sandwich

  • 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 medium red onion (about ½ pound), thinly sliced
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 6 ounces Wisconsin gouda (or other gouda), coarsely grated
  • 8 slices rye bread with caraway seeds (¼ inch thick)

From Great Grilled Cheese, by Laura Werlin, published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang, a division of Harry N. Abrams, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over low heat. Add the onions and cook very slowly, stirring occasionally, until they turn a dark golden color; 30 to 40 minutes. If the onions begin to scorch, add about a tablespoon of water. Remove the onions from pan and set aside. Wipe the skillet with a paper towel, but do not wash it. (The onions can be prepared up to 6 hours in advance and kept covered at room temperature.)
  2. Heat the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and toast just until they become fragrant, about 3 minutes (watch carefully, they burn easily). Remove the seeds and let cool briefly. Do not wash the skillet. When the seeds are cool, crush them using a mortar and pestle, or place them in a resealable plastic bag and lightly pound with a mallet or the bottom of a heavy skillet. In a medium bowl, toss the crushed seeds with the cheese.
  3. Butter one side of each slice of bread with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Place 4 slices on your work surface, buttered side down. Distribute cheese evenly over the 4 slices, followed by the onions. Place the remaining 4 bread slices on top, buttered side up.
  4. Heat the same skillet over medium-high heat for two minutes. Put the sandwiches in the skillet (in batches if necessary), cover, and cook for two minutes, or until the undersides are golden brown and the cheese has begun to melt. Uncover, and turn the sandwiches with a spatula, pressing firmly to flatten them slightly. Cook for one minute, or until the undersides are golden brown. Turn the sandwiches again, press with spatula, and cook for 30 seconds, or until the cheese has melted completely. Serve immediately.

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