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In a large skillet over medium heat toast the bread on one side in a bit of oil or butter until lightly browned (about 3-4 minutes)
Flip the bread and place a slice of cheese on each. Move the skillet over so that the area where the bread is is not directly over the flame and raise the heat to medium-high.
Shape a patty that's slightly larger than the bread, handling it as little as possible. Season with salt and Pierre or ground black pepper and add to the hottest area in the pan.
Flip the patty every 1-2 minutes or so, and when it's built up a nice crust (about 5-6 minutes), move it to the side and add the onions and a pinch of salt where the burger was cooking.
After a minute give the onions a little stir to mop up the browned bits the burger left, and then leave them alone. Continue to flip the burger until it's done to your liking (about another minute or two for rare, 3-4 for medium)
Assemble the patty melt (bread, patty, onions, bread) and enjoy!
• Also great with sautéed mushrooms. I recommend cooking starting these in a separate skillet. Add a good splash of water to the sliced and washed mushrooms (the water paradoxically helps them release moisture and cook evenly) and cook until they have given up most of their liquid. Add butter or oil and seasoning (a bit of Aleppo is great) and cook until lightly browned.
• If you're looking for something simple and refreshing to serve with this sandwich, try making the Cajun remoulade in this recipe, add a little bit of ketchup, then toss with arugula or salad greens.
• Also great with lamb (or a mix of lamb and beef), Le Poivre, and slices of Kasseri cheese. Serve with a simply dressed salad of arugula with lemon and olive oil.
Food images and recipe © Christian Leue.
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