Grilled cheese sandwiches are great but there’s always room to elevate them. I absolutely love adding caramelised onions to my sandwiches for that sweet and salty combination. Sandwiches are a crowd favourite and they’re so easy to make. However, since there are only three elements in this dish it’s always a good idea to invest in good quality ingredients. Choose any type of bread you like, I would love to use ciabatta but there’s no way to get one where I live unless I bake one myself! Standard sandwich bread and multigrain bread work great as well. The choice is yours. The other big decision is the type of cheese to use. I’ve gone for a mix of sharp cheddar and mozzarella but you could definitely use a mix of gouda, gruyere or goat’s cheese. Just choose a cheese you like to eat!
Caramelised onions are typically made on a cast iron skillet, but I wanted to put my Wonderchef Non-Stick Granite Fry Pan to the test. Since you’re making it on a non-stick, there’s no need to deglaze the pan. One thing that really helped was adding the onions in batches. When caramelising onions, you want to make sure you don’t crowd the pan since the onions begin to sweat. I like to add the onions in batches to avoid this issue. Onions shrink pretty quickly and suddenly you’ve got a ton more room in the pan. Add another batch and repeat until you’re done with all the onions. The end result also has some variety, since some of the onions cooked for a bit longer than the others.
When I first got the Sanjeev Kapoor Tandoor Ultima I did wonder whether it was worth it. It seemed quite similar to a sandwich press and I already have a pretty decent sandwich maker. However, given my great track record with Wonderchef products I figured I’d give it a go. I began to eat my words as soon as I unboxed the tandoor! The super sleek and clean design looked way better than any sandwich maker I’ve had in the past. I had a ton of tandoor recipes to try out but there was no way I wasn’t including a sandwich on the list, hence this recipe!
The biggest plus point of using this tandoor over a sandwich maker was how it helped keep the shape of the sandwich. Ordinarily, you would assemble your sandwich, place it on a sandwich maker, close and lock it. Since you’re forcing it closed, the sandwich gets compressed, loses its shape and more often than not, your filling will come spilling out the sides. The tandoor eliminates all those issues! My sandwiches came out looking picture perfect and I didn’t have to deal with any cheese loss at all.
How much onions and cheese you add is completely up to you. This recipe yields about 1 cup of caramelised onions. Ideally you should be able to make about four standard sized sandwiches with it but it does depend on how large your bread is. I usually love a side of fries with my sandwiches but since this one is cheese heavy, I like to serve it with boiled corn and my current favourite side – air-fried broccoli. Just toss some broccoli florets with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. All it took was 5-6 minutes for a batch of crispy, delicious air fried broccoli!
No matter the side, these sandwiches will soon be one of your favourites!
Makes: 1 cup of caramelised onions
- 5-6 large onions (about 500g)
- 1 tbsp butter
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 tsp white sugar
- 4 slices Sandwich Bread
- 2 tbsp softened butter
- ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup mozzarella cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the caramelised onions:
- Prepare onions by slicing into ½ cm thick slices.
- Heat butter in a large non-stick pan on medium-low heat.
- Add the onions a few handfuls at a time so as to not crowd the pan.
- Once all the onions have been added turn the heat down to low and salt.
- Stir the onions occasionally so they don’t burn.
- After 15 minutes of cooking, sprinkle the sugar over the onions.
- Continue to cook for another 30-35 minutes until onions are caramelised.
For the sandwiches:
- Turn the tandoor on and allow it to heat while you prepare the sandwiches.
- Mix both types of cheese together.
- Generously butter the outer sides of the bread.
- Add a layer of cheese and grind fresh black peppercorns over.
- Add an even layer of caramelised onions
- Top with more cheese and black pepper.
- Grill for 2 – 2 ½ minutes on the tandoor.
- Remove the sandwich with a silicone spatula.
- Enjoy straight from the tandoor!
Author: Sneha Sundar is the creator of You Dim Sum, You Lose Some; a philosophy she adopts both in and out of the kitchen.