Emmentaler on Rye with Sweet & Sour Onions and Vinegar Slaw with Cucumbers & Dill

Who needs grilled cheese with tasteless white bread and gummy wrapped processed cheese, when you could eat this-gooey melted Emmentaler with sweet & sour red onions on grilled rye? Yes please. The fresh cabbage, cucumber and dill slaw is the perfect accompaniment.

adapted from: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Slaw (serves 8-10)
1 medium head green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced or shredded
1 large seedless or English cucumber sliced in round discs as thinly as possible (a v slicer comes in handy)
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
½ cup white wine vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
4 teaspoons sugar
½ cup cold water

Onions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
2 teaspoons brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
freshly ground black pepper

Sandwiches (serves 2)
Four ½ inch-thick slices rye bread
2 tablespoons butter, softened
¾ cup (about 3 oz) Emmentaler cheese, grated

For the slaw: Toss the cabbage, cucumber, and dill together in a large bowl. It will look like a lot, but it settles as it marinates. Whisk the vinegar, salt, and sugar together in a small bowl until the salt and sugar dissolve. Stir in the water. Pour the liquid over the salad, and let it marinate, tossing the cabbage occasionally. After 1 hour, it should be a bit wilted and crunchy; at 2 hours, the flavor is even better. The salad keeps, covered in the fridge for a week.

For the onions: Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, and saute for 5 minutes. Add the brown sugar and salt, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the vinegar, and scrape and stuck onion bits from the bottom of pan with a spoon. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, until the onion mixture thickens, and season to taste with black pepper. Cool to lukewarm, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerated until needed, up to 5 days.

For the sandwiches: Generously butter 1 side of each slice of bread. Arrange one slice, buttered side down, on a plate. Spread thickly with jammy onions (about 2 tablespoons per sandwich; you’ll have extra). Sprinkle with half the grated cheese. Arrange a second slice of bread on top of the cheese, buttered side facing up. Repeat with the remaining slices.

Heat a heavy 12-inch skillet to medium-low, or an electric griddle set to 325. Once it’s hot, place the sandwiches on the griddle, and cook them until crisp and deep golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Slice the sandwiches in half and serve alongside the slaw.

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