Sunday, April 11, 2021

Grilled cheese and wine

This is a sponsored post by Challenge butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible!

A happy hour cheese plate with a glass of wine is the inspiration for this grilled cheese sandwich.

Experimenting with new food combinations is fun, but it's also important to think about which flavor combinations work well together. It's all about balance. 

There's a reason wine and cheese is a winning combination. The acidity in the wine helps to balance the fat in the cheese. I incorporated wine in this sandwich by cooking caramelized onions with red wine. The onions become sweet after they're caramelized, and that sweet flavor balances the saltiness of the butter and cheese.

It's important to use the best combination of cheeses for your grilled cheese sandwich. I like to use a creamy cheese, a stretchy cheese, and a sharp cheese. I chose Challenge cream cheese, gouda cheese, and white cheddar cheese. Cream cheese is smooth and rich; gouda cheese has a pH level of 5.4 which is the optimal acidity level for melty, gooey, stretchy cheese—gruyere also works really well; and white cheddar cheese is sharp and packs a punch. I used Challenge cream cheese for this recipe because I know they use hormone-free milk from local dairies, resulting in all-natural and high-quality products. 

Another important factor in building the perfect grilled cheese sandwich is the bread. Choose bread that doesn't have large holes and isn't fragile. It needs to support the filling.

When it comes to cooking the grilled cheese, I'm a big proponent of cooking it low and slow. The cheese takes time to melt, and you don't want your bread to burn while waiting for the cheese to melt. Also, press down on your grilled cheese with a spatula while it's cooking for the best results. This creates more surface area for the bread to brown, which means more flavor and better texture. It also helps to melt the cheese.

Grilled cheese and wine


For the red wine onions

  • 1 Tablespoon Challenge butter
  • 1 pound sweet onions, julienned
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)

For the sandwich

  • 2 slices thick, good quality bread
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, softened to spreadable consistency
  • 2 ounces Challenge cream cheese, softened to spreadable consistency
  • White cheddar cheese, sliced to fit size of bread, around 4 slices
  • Gouda or gruyere cheese, sliced to fit size of bread, around 4 slices
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil


For the red wine onions

  1. Heat butter in large saucepan over medium low heat until melted.
  2. Add onions to pan, season with salt, and cook, stirring every few minutes, until onions are translucent and starting to caramelize, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add red wine, sugar, and thyme to pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to slow simmer.
  4. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid evaporates, around 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

For the sandwich

  1. Butter one side of each slice of bread
  2. Flip bread over and spread cream cheese on both slices
  3. Add half of the white cheddar and half of the gouda to one slice of bread and then add the other half of the cheeses to the other slice.
  4. Add a layer of red wine onions to one slice before topping with the other slice
  5. Heat skillet to medium-low heat. Add olive oil to skillet, and swirl to coat.
  6. Add sandwich to skillet. After about 30 seconds, push down on sandwich for even browning and to help melt cheese. Flip sandwich after about 2 minutes, or when bread starts to turn golden brown.
  7. Continue cooking until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
  8. Store leftover red wine onions in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Pin It button on image hover