I'm not sure why I love cooking with beer so much when I don't like to drink beer at all. Escandalo! A food blogger that doesn't like beer! Yes, it's true; I'm just not a fan.
I do like Guinness and I love me some lambic (my Chocolate Lambic Cupcakes are probably one of my favorite recipes on this blog), but other than that, beer is just yucky to me. And of course, when you don't like beer, people never just take it at face value. No, they assume you're judgy about drinking or that you're uncool or super religious. Can't a person just not like beer? Is it really that strange? C'mon, you know it tastes kind of foul. You know it does!
Cooking with beer is another story, though. And that bitter flavor that keeps me from drinking beer is the very reason I love to cook with it—I like that slight bitter note that it lends to dishes. It adds interest and depth without adding a lot of calories. Case in point? These Drunken Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.
After making Drunken Franks with Field Roast Frankfurters last week, I became a little bit obsessed with the idea of sautéing onions in beer. They had the sweetness of sauteed onions, tempered with the bitterness of the lager I added. I was looking for any excuse to make these onions again, and putting them on a grilled cheese sandwich seemed like a pretty good excuse.
I hadn't planned on posting this recipe here, but after I made it and ate it (and went on to make it for lunch several more times), I concluded that it was just too good not too share. Whether or not you're a fan of beer, I'm pretty sure you'll be a fan of the Drunken Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion thinly sliced
- ¼ cup lager
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 slices bread
- ⅔ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 tbsp butter
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 10 minutes or until softened and just beginning to turn golden brown, stirring frequently.
- Add lager, salt, and pepper to skillet and increase heat to medium-high. Cook 5 minutes more, continuing to stir frequently, until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.
- Divide onions onto two slices of bread and top with cheese and remaining bread slices. Butter bread on each side.
- Wipe out skillet and return to medium-high heat. Place sandwiches in skillet and cook until browned, about 3–5 minutes on each side (depending on how toasted you like your grilled cheese).