Updated: Apr 20, 2021
With falling temps comes cozier (and easier) meals. Like this balsamic pear grilled cheese, made with balsamic reduced pears + onions, melty cheddar, and smoked Gouda. Comfort food at its finest. I used a nice thick, dark, maple infused balsamic vinegar from @evoolution104 for my pears (which is HIGHLY recommended). It’s the perfect blend of sweet and tang, and the maple pairs really well with the pears and Gouda. Makes 4 sandwiches
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 an onion, thinly sliced
1 ripe red pear, sliced into matchsticks
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1 tbs maple balsamic vinegar (I used Vermont Maple Dark Balsamic from Evoolution)
8 slices French bread
3/4 cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 - 3/4 cup smoked Gouda, shredded
2-3 tbs butter, for frying
1. In a medium sized frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, pear, balsamic, salt, and pepper. Stir constantly with a spatula until most of the liquid has dried up and the mixture has thickened slightly, around 10-15 mins. Transfer to a bowl and wipe pan down.
2. Divide the balsamic pear mixture on 4 slices of the bread. On the other end, divide the cheese evenly between the 4 sandwiches. Close each sandwich.
3. Over medium low heat, melt some butter in the frying pan. Use enough butter to coat the entire pan generously, about 1 tbs. Place 2 sandwiches into the hot butter, and press the sandwiches down a bit with a spatula. Once the bottom becomes golden, add a bit more butter to the pan and flip. Grill until the cheese has melted completely, making sure to keep flipping every so often to prevent burning. It took a total of 8 minutes to grill my sandwiches since I cut my bread quite thick. To help speed up the melting process, place a lid on the pan for 30-45 second intervals. Repeat with remaining sandwiches. Serve immediately.