Dinner Tonight: Patty Melts + Grilled Swiss Chard Stems

It's no doubt that you're firing up the grill now that the weather is nice -- so here's an upgrade from hot dogs, potato rolls, and portobello burgers. If you remember the Friendly's patty melt, this is a real throwback. If not, introduce yourself to a new favorite. Rounded out with flavorful chard stems (or kale or other hardy green stems) in vinaigrette, you'll find yourself making these all summer long.

The Menu

Patty Melt by cheese1227

Makes 2 burgers

1 lb 85/15 ground beef
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
3-4 tablespoons butter, softened and divided
6 button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 sweet onion, sliced thin, half-moon slices
4 slices of oval-shaped, light rye bread
4 ounces, thinly sliced Gruyere cheese
Pickles for garnish

1. Mix ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper thoroughly. Divide mixture and form into two, oval patties. I like to make thinner patties, but shape them so that when they are fully cooked, they cover almost the whole bottom piece of rye bread as this is a sandwich in which each bite should have all the elements. Refrigerate the patties for about half an hour or so.

2. In a large frying pan, melt one tablespoon of butter over medium high heat and add the mushrooms. Make sure all the of the mushrooms get coated with butter, but then leave them untouched for 3-4 minutes so that one side gets some nice color before you stir them around so the other side can get some color.

3. Remove the mushrooms from the pan. Add 2 tablespoons butter and the onion to the pan and cook slowly over medium to low heat for 10-15 minutes until the onions are soft and somewhat caramelized. Remove the onions from the pan and keep them warm with the mushrooms.

4. Increase the heat to medium high and fry the burgers to desired doneness. I like mine medium rare, which typically takes 3-4 minutes per side to achieve.

5. While the burgers are cooking, put a second skillet over medium heat and butter one side of each piece of rye bread. Put the bread buttered side down on the hot skillet until you see some nice color. On two of the slices of bread, place two ounces of Gruyere cheese.

6. When the burgers are done and the bread nicely browned, assemble your burgers: Bottom piece of bread with cheese, beef patty, onions, mushrooms, optional mayonnaise and top piece of bread. I like to give them a firm press and then slice each in half before serving with a pickle.

Save and print this recipe at Food52.

Grilled Swiss Chard Stems with Anchovy Vinaigrette

Get the recipe for Grilled Chard Stems with Anchovy Vinaigrette on Food52.

The Grocery List

Serves 2 plus extra chard

1 pound 85/15 ground beef
6 button mushrooms
sweet onion
4 slices of oval-shaped, light rye bread
4 ounces thinly sliced Gruyere cheese
Stems from 1 large bunch Swiss chard or other greens (save greens for another use)
2 ounces anchovies

We're assuming that you already have Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, mayonnaise, garlic, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, butter, and red chili flakes on hand. If not, add them to the list -- they're pantry essentials!

The recipe for the patty melt calls for a griddle, but we think that the char from grilling adds an extra dimension to this classic sandwich. Feel free to make it either way, but we imagine that you'll want to grill it!

The Plan

1. Make the burger patties according to the recipe. Shape them so that when they are fully cooked, they cover almost the whole bottom piece of rye bread as this is a sandwich in which each bite should have all the elements. Refrigerate the patties for about 30 minutes.

2. While the patties are resting in the fridge, make the anchovy vinaigrette, and blanch your chard stems.

3. Saute the mushrooms and onions, butter the bread, and pour youself a cold drink, because it's about to be grill time!

4. Heat your grill, and start the chard stems in an indirect heat area. They will take awhile, slow and low.

5. When the chard is ten minutes from being done, burger up your grill!

6. Grill the bread and melt the cheese, plate your burgers and chard, tossing with the vinaigrette. Eat!

First photo by Melanie Einzig, second photo by James Ransom