I've written about grilled cheese before on this here page -- the scrumptious and off-the-beaten-path Blackberry Preserve Grilled Cheese. For a long time I thought it was a two dog race between that sandwich and it's original style brother. Then, one fateful night last year, I wandered into a bar in Brooklyn and had the Best Grilled Cheese Of My Life. That grilled cheese, ladies and gents, is the recipe you find here.
The bar is a little place called Dram, known for its cocktails as much as for its eats. My ladyfriend and I ordered the truffle grilled cheese to split. I wish I could have eaten 10. But I foolishly did not. Instead, I bided my time, waiting to get my hands on some black truffles to give it a shot at home.
As luck would have it, some friends of mine gave me some black winter truffles for Christmas (THANKS!). I bought the requisite ingredients and made this sandwich, and I have serious doubts that my life will ever be the same.
Black Truffle and Gruyere Grilled Cheese (serves 2)
2 small black truffles
1 small wedge Swiss Gruyere
1/2 small yellow onion, caramelized
challah bread (or ciabatta, if you can't find challah)
pat of butter
Start by caramelizing the onions. To do so, cut them into thin slivers and toss them until lightly coated with oil. Toss them into a pan and cook them on medium high heat for ten minutes or so, stirring as they wilt. Then, turn the heat down a bit and add a pinch of salt. Cook the onions on low to medium heat for twenty minutes or more, stirring occasionally. The onions will sometimes stick to the pan -- that's fine, let them brown. In fact, I let mine go a little long so that they crisped up a bit. It's not perfect caramelizing, per se, but it adds some nice texture to the sandwich. After cooking for a total of around half an hour, you should have some tasty caramelized onions. Put them aside for now.
Then, grate your gruyere and cut up your truffle. Don't forget to marvel at how weird truffles are and how amazingly expensive they can be. In 2010, a two-pound white truffle sold for $330,000. Don't think about that for more than a second or your brain will implode. Anywho, you should be done chopping your small truffles by now, so let's move on. If -- for some crazy reason -- you can't put your hands on truffles, try substituting dried mushrooms.
Once everything's ready, cut your challah in half and butter the insides. I use the bread inside out so that a great crust forms on the spongy bread. Put the bread down into a pan, top with cheese, truffles, onions, and more cheese. Place the other piece of bread on top, and cook on low heat. Once the cheese has melted and the bread has browned, whip it onto a plate and make happy sounds while you eat it.