Ever since they were first served commercially in the 1940s, patty melts have been a terrific stand-in for burgers.
Served between two slices of buttered, griddled bread instead of a bun, a patty melt is a humble yet tasty sammie that doesn’t take long to prepare. It’s classic American comfort food.
Tradition calls for making a patty melt with rye bread and topping the meat with sweet and jammy caramelized onions. This version is made with plant-based Impossible burgers and thick-cut white sandwich bread with mayonnaise slathered on the outside for frying instead of butter. A chipotle-spiked mayonnaise flavored with quick-charred scallions adds a touch of smoky heat.
The original recipe called for making the burgers with 80 percent lean ground beef but I substituted Impossible burgers because 1) it’s a little kinder to the Earth, 2) I’m trying to eat more vegetables and 3) they were on sale at my local grocery store.
I used sliced smoked Gouda, but any melting cheese would work well.
Impossible Patty Melt With Charred Scallion-Chipotle Mayo
Makes 4 patty melts. Adapted from foodandwine.com
1 bunch scallions (6-8 scallions), root ends trimmed
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon plus a pinch of kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon plus a pinch of black pepper, divided
1/2 cup mayonnaise, divided
2-3 canned chipotle chiles, minced, plus 3 teaspoons adobo sauce from can
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 Impossible (plant-based) burgers
8 thick slices white sandwich bread
8 slices melting cheese such as Gouda, Monterey Jack or cheddar
Cut scallions in half lengthwise and toss together in a bowl with oil, a pinch of salt and a pinch of black pepper.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high. (I used cast-iron.) Add scallions and cook, turning occasionally, until charred in spots and tender, about 4 minutes.
Transfer scallions to a cutting board and coarsely chop. In small bowl, stir together chopped scallions, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, chipotle chiles and adobo sauce; set aside. Wipe skillet clean.
Add butter to skillet and melt over medium-high. Add Impossible patties and sprinkle evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cook patties, pressing tops occasionally using a spatula to keep them thin and flat, until bottoms are well-browned, about 2-3 minutes.
Flip patties; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
Cook patties, pressing tops occasionally, until a crust forms on bottoms and they’re cooked to desired degree of doneness (an internal temperature of 160 degrees). Transfer patties to a plate lined with paper towels. Wipe skillet clean.
Spread about 1 tablespoon scallion-chipotle mayonnaise on 4 bread slices. Top each with 1 cheese slice, 1 patty and 1 more cheese slice. Cover with remaining bread slices.
Return skillet to heat over medium. Spread one outer side of each sandwich with 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise. Place sandwiches, mayonnaise side down, in skillet. Cook, pressing tops with a spatula, until bottoms are golden, 2-3 minutes.
Spread other side of each sandwich with 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise and flip. Cook sandwiches, pressing tops occasionally with spatula, until bottoms are toasty and cheese is melted, 2-3 minutes. Cut sandwiches in half, and serve.