Sandwich #294–“Vive Le Frenchie” French Onion Soup Grilled Cheese

By 300 Sandwiches

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294frenchonLOI used to have a French bulldog named Lucy. E hated that animal.

I don’t blame him. The dog was a sweet lovable, big hearted soul. But she was a bit unruly. She barreled over smaller dogs at the dog run, and she shed black hair everywhere, including my white blankets and bathroom.

She also attacked E’s heirloom bearskin rug that his great grandfather shot back in the middle part of last century when I was out of town dealing with a family emergency. Not only did she eat all of the fingernails, padding and fur off of the paw, she swallowed it all, then vomited up parts of it around his apartment. She had to be rushed to the emergency vet care, where I was told it would cost me $5k (five thousand dollars!) to have surgery on the dog to get the nasty bits out.

After a day of panicked phone calls from me to vet to E, I didn’t have to pay the $5k. The dog ended up passing out all of that matting and nails naturally a few days later, and was totally fine. I loved that dog, but for reasons beyond the eating of the bear rug, and tied to that aforementioned family emergency, I had to give her up. I believe she’s living a happy life on a farm in Pennsylvania right now, and the only bears in site might be the ones living wild in the forest preserve nearby.

To remember that rambuctious puppy—and to feed the fiancé that despised her—I cooked up a French onion soup grilled cheese for E and I over the weekend. Sweet onions in beef broth and melted Gruyère. The sandwich was so good I was kicking myself as to why I hadn’t tried it earlier.

As I took a bite, I looked over at the bear rug that lies in E’s office and smiled. Then I looked down at that paw and was reminded I still needed to call the taxidermist to get that rug fixed.

1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 tablespoons butter, plus another pat to grill sandwich
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons beef broth
2 slices of hearty sourdough or white bread (I used this bread in my sandwiches).
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup shredded Gruyère cheese

Caramelize onions: in a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium low heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently until onions are brown and translucent, about 30 minutes (keep stirring the entire time. Don’t be like me and try to do dishes and answer emails at the same time. Watch the onions and stir). When there’s about 5 minutes left of the cooking time, add broth to onions. Stir some more. Then, when onions are a deep brown, remove from heat.

On a workable surface, lay bread slices flat. Top one with shredded Gruyère cheese, then onions. Then sprinkle the onions with fresh parsley. Top with other slice of bread. Melt the additional pat of butter in a clean non-stick skillet over low heat. Place sandwich in skillet, and brown until bread is toasted and cheese is melted. Flip the sandwich once, and brown the other side. Remove from heat, slice in half and serve. Makes 1 sandwich.

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