This Knife and Fork Camembert Grilled Cheese, also features Gruyere cheese, Balsamic Onions on Sourdough bread and a drizzle of rosemary honey!
If you are anything like me, the grilled cheese has long been a go-to for a quick, easy and delicious lunch (or dinner, when time was short or the pantry was bare!). But I’ve learned that kicking the ingredients up a notch can turn the humble grilled cheese into a pretty special meal! This is a “Knife and Fork” grilled cheese.
My Knife and Fork Grilled Cheese starts with Sourdough bread, topped with generous slices of Camembert cheese, a few chopped balsamic onions, then topped with some shredded Gruyere cheese. It is all slowly grilled in butter, then served with a drizzle of homemade rosemary honey and a side of peppery watercress.
The beautiful thing about the gourmet, “knife and fork” grilled cheese, is that the combinations of bread, cheese and condiment are virtually endless. Read the Cook’s Notes below for my tips!
Cook’s Notes for Camembert and Gruyere Grilled Cheese
I cut my bread slices from the centre of a round of Sourdough bread, so it made 2 large slices. Be sure your skillet is big enough for the sandwich to lay flat. I cooked one sandwich, then sliced in half for two servings. With these gourmet grilled cheese, as they are quite filled with cheese and flavour, a half per person is all you need.
I started with just a small round of Camembert (200g-ish), so I cut slices from the centre of the round, placing the longest ones in the widest, centre part of the bread and fitting the shorter ones on the sides. I cut the rind off one side of the Camembert cheese, so when it melted it would run out of the sandwich a bit, because we all know that’s the best part!
I used jarred whole balsamic onions that I chopped up. You can easily make some caramelized onions and flavour with balsamic at the end to achieve a similar flavour.
Rather than buttering the bread, I like to melt the butter in the pan, then add the sandwich to the pan. When it’s time to flip, I lift up the sandwich, melt some more butter, then place the un-grilled side down in the fresh butter.
You’ll need to cook these low and slow for the cheese to melt well. Medium low works well.
If your sandwich is golden and the cheese is not fully melted, simply reduce heat to low and cook a little longer, flipping once or twice more.
There are endless options for creating your own Gourmet, Knife and Fork Grilled Cheese, but here are a couple of tips …
- • Start with a great bread! While “wonder” white might be perfect for the classic grilled cheese, for your gourmet version, pick something special. Sourdough, Seeded mutligrain, cheddar, raisin are all good choices.
- • Don’t cut your bread slices too thick, as it will hinder the cheese melting process.
- • Use at least 2 types of cheese. Go for opposites, like I’ve done here with the creamy, mild Camembert with the sharp, nutty Gruyere.
- • If you like, add some additional flavour in between your cheese layers, like I’ve done here with balsamic onions. Any sort of condiment you like, such as a chutney, cranberry sauce, caramelized onions, red pepper jelly or nice jam would work. Go for something that complements the flavours of the cheese. Don’t use too much though, as you want it to complement the cheese, not over-take it.
- • While greens complement the flavours of the grilled cheese, I find it’s best to keep them on the side and not in the sandwich.
Camembert and Gruyere Grilled Cheese
Camembert and Gruyere Cheese with Balsamic Onions, on Sourdough Bread, served with a drizzle of honey and a side of watercress.
- 1/4 cup runny honey
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 slices Sourdough bread cut from the centre, about 3/4 inch thick
- 6 slices Camembert cheese cut from the centre of a 200g-ish round
- 2-3 Tbsp jarred balsamic onions, chopped or onion jam/marmelade *see notes
- 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- 2 Tbsp Butter for grilling
For the rosemary honey: Heat honey and rosemary in a small saucepan (or in a glass bowl in the microwave, just until it starts to boil. Remove from heat and allow to stand with the rosemary sprig in it until cooled.
Cut your bread slices and lay out on a cutting board. Cut the rind off one of the long sides of the slices. Top bread with Camembert slices, laying side-by-side in an even layer, cutting the slices in half or as needed to fit the bread. Scatter the balsamic onions over-top, then top with shredded Gruyere cheese. Top with other slice of bread.
Melt a 1 Tbsp pat of butter in a skillet over medium heat, trying to keep it in just the area that the sandwich will cover. Add sandwich and immediately reduce the heat to medium low. Cook, pressing down on the top lightly several times until golden underneath. Life sandwich with a spatula and add another 1 Tbsp pat of butter to the skillet. Once melted, return the sandwich to the skillet with the un-grilled side down. Continue cooking until golden underneath. Check cheese. If not completely melted, reduce heat to low and continue cooking, flipping once or twice again, until cheese is fully melted. Remove sandwich to a cutting board and cut in half. Serve with a drizzle of your rosemary honey and side of watercress.
I used jarred whole balsamic onions, which were a President's Choice brand. You can use a jarred onion jam/marmalade, bacon jam or make your own balsamic onions by caramelizing onions and flavouring with a bit of balsamic onion.