Thursday, October 28, 2021
Oct. 28, 2021

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American classic patty melt gets an upgrade

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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.

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