Thursday, March 13, 2014

Caramelized Onion BBQ Grilled Cheese

Last week, I attended an event put on by Blog and Tweet Boston - in conjunction with popchips and Kitchensurfing - at Workbar in Cambridge.

Workbar Cambridge | The Economical Eater

The event featured three Kitchensurfing chefs, who were competing to see who made the best dish that evening. The catch? Their dishes had to incorporate popchips in an innovative - and delicious - way.

Kitchensurfing chefs | The Economical Eater

The chefs above prepared a banh mi sandwich - appropriately named "A Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwich & Popchips Had a Baby" - made with delicious pickled vegetables (they made me a vegetarian version)...and a bun made out of popchips. (They also incorporated popchips in several other ways, but the bun impressed me the most). Due to the taste and overall creativity, this was my favorite dish of the evening.

Banh Mi made with Popchips | The Economical Eater

Following the event, Blog and Tweet Boston challenged us bloggers to incorporate popchips in our own innovative recipes. Growing up, I loved putting chips in my sandwiches - that added crunch and salt just made every bite of a plain old sandwich that much more special. I haven't even thought to add chips to my sandwich as an adult...until I was faced with this popchips challenge.

But I didn't want to make just any old sandwich. I wanted to incorporate popchips' barbeque potato chips into a gloriously cheesy, melty, decadent grilled cheese sandwich. To start, I ground one bag of the chips in my spice grinder to help flavor and caramelize some onions. (You can also grind them by simply crushing them in the bag, if you don't have a spice grinder).

Barbeque Potato Popchips | The Economical Eater

The sandwich is then finished off with barbecue sauce, a dash of maple syrup, sweet pickles, and lots of cheese.

Caramelized Onion BBQ Grilled Cheese | The Economical Eater

Caramelized Onion BBQ Grilled Cheese
Yields: 2 sandwiches
-2 individual bags of Barbeque Potato popchips
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1/2 yellow onion, sliced
-1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
-Dash of maple syrup
-4 slices sourdough bread
-4 slices muenster cheese
-6 bread & butter pickle slices

1.) Pour one bag of popchips into a spice grinder and grind until finely grated. (Or, simply crush in the bag with your hands).
2.) In a medium saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Pour in finely grated popchips and cook until fragrant, about 10 seconds. (This will help flavor the oil and onions). Add onions, and cook until they begin to soften and caramelize, about 7 minutes. 
3.) Add barbecue sauce and maple syrup to onions; stir, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
4.) Spray a sandwich press (or frying pan) over medium heat with oil. Place a piece of muenster cheese on each slice of bread. Pour onion mixture over two slices of the bread; top each with three bread & butter pickles and several (about 4-5) barbeque popchips. Place the other slice of bread on top and push down lightly with your hand.
5.) Place both sandwiches on the sandwich press or pan and cook until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Flip, squishing sandwich down lightly with a spatula, and cook until the opposite side is golden brown. 

Caramelized Onion BBQ Grilled Cheese | The Economical Eater

Melty, gooey, and delicious. Napkins required.

Caramelized Onion BBQ Grilled Cheese | The Economical Eater

The crunch of the popchips mixed with the sweetness of the onions, barbecue sauce, pickles, and maple syrup was an incredible combination. The cheese on both slices of bread also helped to "glue" everything together - so, although this is a messier sandwich, it all stayed together after each ravenous bite.

What's your favorite flavor of popchips?


  1. YUM!!! Oh my gosh, I am so going to have to make this. It looks delicious Michelle!!

    1. Thank you!! I must was pretty damn tasty, haha.

  2. Damnnnnn....think i need to veganize that recipe asap! looks incredible!

  3. Your sandwich is so creative. I like that you ground up the chips! I bet they would make a good coating for onion rings too!

    1. I actually had that same thought as I was putting the onions in the pan. I'll have to try that next....

  4. This looks awesome! Love your inventive recipe.