If you haven’t noticed, it’s cold outside! Even here in Southern California we are feeling winter’s chill. Okay, it may not be snowing or below freezing here, but I am still sporting a sweater, fuzzy socks and drinking hot tea to warm up. And whether my kids are eating lunch or enjoying an after school snack, all three want to curl up with some warm comfort food.
My kids love to enjoy a bowl of soup in any weather, at any time of the day. As they get older, their appetites grow, too. Their latest after-school “snack” is a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s warm, it’s cheesy—what’s not to like?
Did you know that even among the cheeses, there are healthier cheese options to choose from? For example, brie has less fat than cheddar. Now you are talking!
Since I became a mom, I made it my mission to introduce new flavors and foods to them. Sure, we went through the picky years, but my husband and I held our stance and never gave up. So my kids aren’t too surprised when they ask for one “simple” meal and find that I added a new twist to their “usual” foods. And this toasted brie sandwich is no different.
My eldest son loves onions, especially caramelized onions. So I knew I was going to add some onions to this sandwich. I also add another family favorite, naturally sweet Sun-Maid raisins. Add some fresh herbs and a dash of cinnamon and my toasted brie sandwich is done. It’s a very gourmet upgrade to the usual cheese sandwich. And full of flavor, too. Perfect alone or paired with a warm bowl soup.
Let’s battle the winter blues together!
Toasted Brie Sandwich with Caramelized Onions and Raisins
Makes 4 sandwiches
- 1 baguette or rustic bread of your choice
- 6 oz brie, cut into slices
- 1 medium size onion
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp fresh herbs, chopped ( like rosemary, thyme, basil or chives)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- In a small pan over medium high heat add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Once oil is hot add onion slices and sauté until softened. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking the onions until they are browned and caramelized, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Stir in raisins seasonings and herbs and set aside.
- Preheat broiler.
- Cut the baguette into 4 equal pieces. Then cut each piece in half lengthwise. Place each baguette piece cut side up on a baking sheet.
- On the bottom pieces of the baguette add slices of brie.
- Toast under the broiler until brie melts, about 3-5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and begin plating the sandwiches. Divide raisin mixture evenly and spoon over the brie. Top with bread and serve immediately.
Laura Bashar blogs at Family Spice, and is the photographer and co-author of the cookbook: Cooking Techniques and Recipes with Olive Oil. She’s also chaos manager of a family of five while soaking up the sun in San Diego, California.