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The Hamburger Fatty Melt

For those of you coming directly to this recipe from other sites, here's the backstory of the Hamburger Fatty Melt.

Update: So many of you asked for bacon on this thing that we just had to oblige. Here is the Bacon Hamburger Fatty Melt. [10/13/2008]

Photograph by Robyn Lee

It's a hamburger whose bun is TWO GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES!

This is pretty straightforward, and you probably don't need the recipe below now that you've seen the photo and grasped the concept. But if you want details from my trial-and-error session with this thing, have at it:


Bread: To maintain proper beef-to-bun ratio, it's important to use Pepperidge Farm's Very Thin white bread.

Cheese: American cheese melts perfectly for burgers and even more so for the grilled cheese sandwiches here. Kraft's Deli Deluxe line trumps its regular American singles. For ultra cheesiness, use two slices for each sandwich.

Tomato: A grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of tomato soup is a classic pairing. Pay a nod to this duo by topping your burger with a slice of ripe tomato--or better yet, by layering a thin slice of tomato directly into the sandwiches between the cheese slices.

Patty Size: I experimented with two different size patties--6 ounce and 4-ounce. Given the thinness of the sandwich buns, the 4-ounce patty yielded the better beef-to-bun ratio. But I wouldn't fault you for going with 6-ounce patties, either; just buy enough meat and cook it about 4 minutes to a side.

Equipment: I used an electric griddle to prepare these, and it was big enough to handle two grilled cheese sandwiches and two burger patties at a time. The electric griddle was perfect for the grilled cheese but not quite hot enough to put a good sear on the burger. I'd recommend using a good cast-iron pan or griddle for the burgers and a separate pan for the grilled cheese.

Timing: If using two pans, start your patties about the same time you start the grilled cheese. FYI: The bread is so thin that the cheese melts quickly, so be prepared to flip sandwiches and remove from pan earlier than you might normally do.

BACON!: So many of you asked for bacon on this thing that we just had to oblige. Here is the Bacon Hamburger Fatty Melt. [10/13/2008]

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