Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Patty Melt

[Photographs: Nick Kindelsperger]

As I found out from an epic post on eGullet, a patty melt is a very definite thing. You can dress up a burger in many different ways but the patty melt is locked in stone. It only has a few ingredients, all of which are crucial. Rye bread provides the foundation and the Swiss cheese is a natural partner. Then it's just grilled onions and a hamburger. Thanks to the interplay of all the ingredients, you don't need ketchup or mustard. Believe me, I tried a little of both and it was oddly distracting.

It only has a few ingredients, all of which are crucial.

The only trick I could discern from Saveur is to cook the burger and onions separately, combine them on the sandwich with a couple cheese slices, then griddle the whole thing. The sandwich comes out of the pan all buttered and crisp on top with two slices of melted Swiss cheese, griddled onions, and a perfectly cooked patty inside. It's a wonder.

This is honestly the first time I've ever made one from scratch. I'm going to have to change that.

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