Burger Note:
Patty Melt
6 April 2018

ΒΆ To make the classic patty melt, you cook a burger until almost done, plant it between slices of rye bread, along with Swiss cheese and caramelized onions, and then grill the sandwich in the pan.  The result would be delicious, but, at least for us, there’s too much bread. (Indeed, when it comes to cheeseburgers, Kathleen prefers no bread or bun at all.)

How to create an open-faced patty melt? With a toaster oven, obviously, but I don’t have a toaster oven. What serious cook has a toaster oven?

When our building’s cooking gas was interrupted two years ago, I bought a Kitchen Aid countertop oven that has lots of fancy settings. Despite which, it failed, again and again, to reproduce the powers of the stove. When the gas came back on, I put the electric burner and the electric frypan away, but I kept the Kitchen Aid unit on the counter, thinking that it might come in handy. It has taken two years make use of it β€” for the most part, as a toaster oven.

While the burger is cooking, toast a slice of bread β€” I prefer the Peasant bread that Bread Alone markets β€” until it’s nearly done. (This is a matter of timing, not optics. Toast begins to color only toward the end, and then, as we all know, it proceeds rapidly toward the burning point.) Take it out of the oven. Sprinkle it with the caramelized onion, and cover that with slices of Swiss cheese. Using some sort of pan to catch any dripping cheese, return the bread to the oven until the cheese melts, which won’t be long.

Put the bread on a plate, and top with a burger. Now is the time for ketchup or chili sauce.

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