Everyone has a go-to sandwich order that you can find on the menus of most restaurants. It's typically one of the following three: a club sandwich, a French dip, or a patty melt. While it's hard to mess up those three, it's also hard to perfect them at home. There's just something about a greasy grill at your local diner that makes them taste so much better. However, it seems like the Pioneer Woman has figured out a way to replicate that deliciousness at home.
To begin, a patty melt is a sandwich that has a hamburger patty, caramelized onions, and slices of cheese. The most popular choices are American, cheddar, or Swiss cheese; I prefer a slice of Pepper Jack with two slices Swiss cheese. It adds to the whole melty cheese experience, but I digress. It's often served between slices of rye bread, sourdough bread, or Texas toast, depending on what you have in. So grab your large skillet, and let's watch Ree Drummond make her famous version.
When assembling, try to think of it as a grilled cheese sandwich. Ree uses butter for the outside of the bread, but I like to spread a bit of mayo on the outside slices so they crisp up without burning while the cheese melts.
Many other easy recipes use a cheese sauce, which is delicious if you have the time to make it well, but I prefer slices. You can also easily turn this into a breakfast patty melt by adding a fried egg because everything tastes better topped with an egg. This is a great date night sandwich because when served with a salad or side dish, each of you can have half. After all, it's a thick patty!
I love this patty melt recipe because it reminds me of French onion soup without having to spend hours caramelizing the onions low and slow on the stove. The prep time is minimal and clean-up is easy. The only special grocery list item you need to add is the bread type if you want something fancy.
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I keep my medium skillet on low heat while caramelizing the onions, but turn it up to medium when I build the sandwich. I also don't use a separate skillet, I just remove the onions and pop 'em onto the sandwich. Back onto the stove, it goes to soak up the delicious buttery onion flavor in the pan. I don't like to flip the sandwich until it's golden brown to get that outside crisp.
If you want to add something special, you can top it with bacon. To make it a little lighter, use ground turkey instead of ground beef. However, just be sure to season accordingly when switching the beef. A few pinches of black pepper go a long way in ground turkey, along with a dash or two of rosemary.