When the urge for the Patty Melt came over me, I tried to suppress it. Red meat came up for another beating this week. An article in a British journal called “Nature Medicine” has piled on beef’s already questionable reputation. I won’t go into all the depressing detail except to say that a chemical called Carnitine is heart disease’s newest culprit. Carnitine is broken down by the bacteria in the gut, which then creates another substance that is found to clog arteries, raise cholesterol levels and with that, the risk of heart disease. The study stopped short of saying to cut out red meat altogether. And there was even a suggestion that yogurt might be used as a pro-biotic counterpoint to Carnitine. Still, the whole article gave me pause. The Patty Melt urge came on at lunchtime. I thought I could sneak one in but didn’t know where. Searching “Best Patty Melt in New York” yielded a big surprise. The Burger joint Pattys came in first but close on their heals were rave reviews of something called a “Midtown Melt”. It seems that that particular sandwich was the product of a tiny little take out place called Blossom du Jour (BDJ for short) which happens to be at 165 Amsterdam Ave., not a block from our house. I dutifully trundled over there.
|The Midtown Melt...in no way shape or form|
related to the Patty Melt
|Give me Tiny Naylors|
over Blossom du Jour anytime
Recipe for Tiny Naylor’s Patty Melt. Makes Two. Takes 30 minutes to make.
5 oz- 8 oz. 80% lean 20% fat ground chuck
1 medium sweet onion
Four ½ inch slices of rye bread
Swiss cheese (Gruyere or Emmenthaler) works) -- sliced thin or grated; enough for a layer on each slice of bread
Form the beef into an oval patty slightly larger than the bread slices. Place on a rack and salt and pepper both sides heavily. Let rest.
Meanwhile, slice the onion thin. Heat some butter in a small skillet and sauté the onion over low heat until it's very soft and turns brown about 20 minutes. Set aside.
Heat a cast iron skillet.
Heat a griddle or second large skillet over medium low heat.
Butter one side of each slice of bread . Spread the onions over what will become the bottom piece of bread. Distribute the cheese evenly over the four pieces of bread. Melt a tablespoon or two of butter on the griddle or in the skillet. Then lay the slices of bread onto the griddle or skillet.
|This picture shows far too much butter |
in the skillet Use a tablespoon or two.
While the bread begins to brown and the cheese melts, cook the hamburger patty however you like it. I think medium-rare best, but the patty melt is forgiving.
When the meat is done, remove it to the rack and let it rest for a couple of minutes. Place the patty on the slice of bread with onions and top with the other slice. If you've timed it right, the sandwich should need just another minute or so turn deep golden brown and become the perfect patty melt. Serve at once.