One month ago I left my career and title as Scientist II (Level 2) to go full time GrilledCheezGuy IX (Level 9). What the levels mean I’m not sure, the Swiss company I worked for started it. I figured I could open more doors with each level or something but it didn’t quite work out that way. My nine levels of GrilledCheezGuy, however, do have a purpose and meaning. They each represent my nine national trophies. With each cheesy conquering I became a better grilled cheese master and know I’m out on my own grilling the globe.
What I didn’t realize is that the very part of the globe I just walked away from wasn’t finished with me. It seems the Swiss wanted to offer me one more door to open…..and store up to 21 bottles of wine in my VERY OWN NEW WINE FRIDGE! MICHAEL COME ON DOWN!!!!!!
Tis fate by the powers that brie themselves that I was chosen by Emmi cheese company to share a winning recipe using their cheese. For Emmi has been one of my secret weapons in one of my most popular sandwiches for a while now. The blog title is a little deceiving in that we are not using a Swiss cheese but actually there wonderful gruyere cheese! It has been a staple part of our sandwich known as the Le Frenchy. An edible homage to my french heritage melted into a cheesy culinary creation. The sandwich is a deconstructed french onion soup that is loved by fans all over the brie area and now I have been asked to show and share this very recipe with the world, because I know the world is ready. Just as ready as I am to have a wine fridge and not a garage sale fish wine rack that drops bottles once every three or four months.
Cheers and enjoy dear readers and judges for the Emmi cheese company as you learn the secret behind one of our most popular grilled cheeses.
The Le Frenchy (french-EEEEE)
Bread – Best local levain you can find. Seriously.
Butter – Best european salted butter you can find. or churn. Seriously. (1-2 pallets)
Cheese – Emmi’s Emmentaler AOC and Le Gruyere cheeses (1.75 oz of each), mozzarella (fresh 1.5 oz)
Extra’s – Caramelized onions (3.5 oz)
Equipment – Cuisinart’s GRIDDLER, brick.
The first thing you are wondering is why it says brick under equipment. I mean the GRIDDLER is already a panini pro, right? True. But I still wanted to use our cooking technique so we chose to use the griddle side of the GRIDDLER combined with our brick. Any brick will do but make sure it fits your pan and you clean it and wrap it well in tin foil for this process. Here is the beauty of a brick we used in cooking this sandwich:
The next steps involve preparing and stacking your sandwich for grilling. Make sure to cut nice and thick pieces of bread so that they can absorb the butter and fats while being grilled. When starting to stack the inside, the order matters greatly in grilled cheese making as there are certain cheeses you want to be near the outside and certain foods you don’t want to grill as much. For the Le Frenchy, I put the mozzarella ( ~1.5 oz) on both sides of the bread and then both of the EMMI cheeses (1.75 oz of each) followed by the beautifully caramelized onions (3.5 oz).
If you are not an expert at the Maillard reaction yet then buy a bag of onions and start practicing. Most people tend to not cook at a high enough heat and for not enough time leading to not perfect caramelized masterpieces like the one’s seen in the following pictures.
Once you have your sandwich stacked properly close it together and then give it a firm press down. I like to pretend we give a little CPR to each of our sandwiches when making them, mostly to keep everything in place, and a little bit to give a little extra life to each one.
Once you have the grill on a nice medium-high heat you can butter the GRIDDLER and not the sandwich! This is oh so important in getting an even grill across the bread and not just having patches of butter here and there. Apply the brick and press hard on the sandwich. I let each side cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side making sure to butter when you flip. The result is a perfect golden brown beauty. The cheese was perfectly melted and you can see a nice dark golden layer of onions in the center. The sandwich is big, wholesome, and has the nice sharp and perfect gruyere flavor with a little extra stringy action going on from the mozzarella. It takes a classic traditional soup and turns it into a portable plate that you can enjoy anywhere!
So grill up and enjoy this European classic made with an American twist. I’m proud to say we have been using the EMMI cheese line for our Le Frenchy since it’s creation and I hope you enjoy it your home too!
EXTRA CREDIT: Next time make this with an actual onion vegetable soup broth and serve it as a dipping “au jus” for the sandwich!