Tag: Sandwich

North to Porto: Portugal #5

North to Porto | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
North to Porto | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
North to Porto | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
North to Porto | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
North to Porto | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
North to Porto | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
North to Porto | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

From Lisbon we went north to Porto. It rained during most of our time there, but we still made the best of it. The ten days we spent in Porto was our time to relax a bit. We knew there wasn’t necessarily ten days of stuff to do in Porto, especially without a car. But we made sure to do most of the things in the town that we had read about.

The first was to eat francescinha, a regional sandwich made with 3 kinds of meat: steak, ham, and smoked sausage. The meat sandwich is then covered in cheese, heated (so the cheese gets melty) and then drenched in a beer, tomato, and piri-piri sauce. We knew we needed to try this dish, but I must admit I wasn’t particularly looking forward to it. I’m not big into sandwiches, and we had been eating so much meat that I kind of wanted a break. But try it we did, and I actually really liked it! My friend Caitlyn sometimes describes things as “gut bombs” when they’re particularly heavy or fatty and you know you’re going to be feeling it the next day. That’s exactly what this francescinha was. But it also kind of reminded me of the classic combination of a grilled cheese with tomato soup. It was warming and super flavorful. I’m just glad Jonah and I split one.

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The Best Grilled Cheese

Grilled Cheese

Caramelized Onions for Grilled Cheese
Grilled Cheese assembly

When I was little, I called grilled cheese sandwiches “girl cheese” sandwiches. Makes sense, right? Boys had cooties and therefore shouldn’t be allowed to eat something as crispy and buttery with perfectly melted cheese. I thought it made perfect sense.

Last summer, my friend Corey worked at a food cart here in Portland called the Grilled Cheese Grill. If you haven’t heard of it, they have these really wonderful, creative, goofy grilled cheese sandwiches. My personal favorite is the jalapeno popper: roasted jalapenos, colby jack, cream cheese, and tortilla chips on sourdough.

Sometimes, when lunchtime rolls around in our apartment, I go hunting through our cabinets and fridge shelves and I am just so uninspired. But the other day, that was not the case. We had a fresh loaf of sourdough bread from New Seasons (usually we get whole wheat, but when I have my way, sourdough it is), and all I wanted was a grilled cheese. But I wanted to make it interesting, and the other thing I had been craving? Caramelized onions.

When I told Jonah of this amazing sandwich, he got jealous and made himself one for lunch the next day. The fever is catching…

Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions

Makes one sandwich


Two slices of bread (preferably sourdough)
Cheddar cheese, sliced into thin pieces (we buy Tillamook sharp cheddar)
Parmesan cheese, sliced into thin pieces
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/4-1/2 tsp brown sugar


The first step is to caramelize the onions. Throw your onion slices in a pan over medium-low heat. Cover and let them soften for a few minutes, then sprinkle the brown sugar and a pinch of salt over them and stir to coat evenly. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, allowing the onions to brown and soften all the way. After the onions are softened turn the heat up to medium-high and let them cook for another couple minutes, stirring. This will give them a nice sear on the edges.

While your onions are softening, butter the outsides of your sandwich bread (the side that will hit the pan). Thinly slice the cheddar cheese and put it on BOTH sides of the bread. This is key. Nothing is worse than making a grilled cheese with stuff other than cheese on it and then having the bread slide around because there’s no cheese sticking it in place. I’m serious. I put slices of parmesan on just one side so there wasn’t too much of it: parm is a strong cheese and you don’t want it to overpower anything.

When your onions are ready, lay them on the bed of cheese you have created for them. Put the two sides of the sandwich together, and throw it in the pan over medium heat. Cover it while it cooks (this makes the cheese melt quicker so that you don’t have to burn the bread while you’re waiting for the melting to occur). When the bread is golden brown, flip, and cook until the other side is golden brown too. Put on a plate, cut down the middle, and serve, warm and gooey and cheesy. Enjoy!