Italian Patty Melt

“You’re a good whipper-upper” my wife told me after tonight’s dinner. Stuck at home during the current pandemic, I was foraging through the freezer looking for some ground beef to make something simple for dinner, when I found two odd packages, one  of ground beef and one of bulk Italian sausage.

I say “odd”, because they were not my usual one pound packages, obviously left over from some prior culinary adventure. I had ten ounces of grass- fed ground beef and about five to six ounces of hot Italian bulk sausage. Together, they added up to approximately the one pound I was seeking. Instantly, I was inspired to make a different kind of patty melt.

I told my wife I was making some special patty melts. She was not excited and reminded me that patty melts are usually pretty boring things. Often over cooked, dry and covered with a slice of so called “American cheese”, they hardly excite the pallet. But she did not know I had other plans.

While the main ingredients were thawing in the microwave, I quickly gathered other items from memory:  garlic powder, an egg, some Italian seasoned bread crumbs, parsley (alas, I had to use dried, but fresh would have been better), kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. And, or course, some freshly ground Parmesan cheese.

An Italian cook will recognize these as the fundamental makings of meatballs. And four big meatballs I made. After heating the griddle on medium heat, I smashed my big meatballs into patties.

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After a few minutes they had a nice sear and I turned them over and added some shredded motz and provolone I happened to have left over in the fridge.

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While the second side was browning, and to insure the cheese melted before the patties burned, I used a lid from my favorite Dutch oven to hold in some heat.

20200501_1833282743390303738158142.jpgThe result was some perfectly melted cheese on a nicely browned patty! After checking the temperature of the patties with my instant read thermometer to be sure they were not raw in the middle, I plated them over some delicious warmed over (also leftover) jar sauce,  and served with a nice tossed salad on the side. No pasta required.

Now this is a patty melt one can get excited about!

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Let me know if you want the recipe, I can add to this post.