April 12, 2007

Patty Melt

1 lb lean ground beef
1 large onion, sliced
1 medium onion, minced
6 oz mushrooms, sliced
Montreal seasoning OR kosher salt, coarsely ground pepper, garlic powder & red pepper
1-2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
4 slices cheddar cheese (horseradish cheddar is excellent on this)

8 slices toast

In a large bowl, mix together the seasoning(s), worcestershire sauce, meat and minced onion thoroughly. Divide into four even patties. Heat a large pan. Place the burgers on the pan, surround with the sliced onions and mushrooms. Cook the meat until brown on one side, then flip. When almost done to your liking, add a slice of cheese to each patty. Cover the pan for about a minute to melt the cheese. At this point, the onions should have caramelized and the burgers should be done. Drain the patties on a paper towel lined plate then place on a piece of toast. Top with onions and mushrooms, then top with another piece of toast. Repeat for the other 3 burgers and serve.

My thoughts:
The patty melt is quintessential diner food. Basically a cheeseburger on toast that is often served with fried onions, it easy to make at home as well. Patty melts always remind me of the episode of Dead Like Me when Rube (Mandy Patinkin) takes over as cook at Der Waffle House (episode 1.8, A. Cook for the truly obsessed) and when someone complains the that cheese was melted on the burger and not the toast as he requested, he replies that the patty melt is more than just a name, it says how the dish is made, namely that the cheese is melted on the patty. It escalates from there when the guy continues to balk and the scene ends with Rube dumping the sandwich on the man's lap. You can check out the whole scene here. If you melt the cheese on the bread and I catch you, I promise not to dump it on your lap, but really, it is called a "patty melt" for a reason.