Today I’m going to tell you why cheese is the answer to everything.
Well, cheese… and brown rice krispie treats.
I made some of those this past weekend, and despite telling you a few weeks ago that we are such pigs that we often just eat the mixture straight out of the pot and don’t even place it in a baking dish, on Saturday I actually did press those gooey squares into a dish.
Which somehow disappeared by like 2AM Sunday morning. No idea.
Just know that they are marriage savers.
But the cheese… it has this power to transform food for me. It has the power to take otherwise somewhat boring sandwiches and make them so delicious, the kind of delicious that requires you to spend two minutes searching a thesaurus for a comprable world to delicious but one that is so, so much better. Much more dramatic and mouth watering, if you will.
I mean, in thinking about how a little (or a lotta) pinch of cheese just totally MAKES some of my favorite foods: hello pastas, pizzas, brussels sprouts (weird, I know) and uh, duh, puffy pita crackers – I thought about how miserable my life would be without that one favorite ingredient. Besides, the word “melt” practically belongs to cheese. I can’t live in a world where things don’t get melty.
And I don’t discriminate either. I love all sorts of cheese, and I love them equally. They are all perfect in different ways and different situations.
Basically what I guess it sounds like is that cheese are my children? Good thing I don’t have any of those yet.
I would just like to say that all those foods that deserve cheese? That get deprived of cheese for ridiculous reasons? Let’s vote them off the island.
These patty melts are SO me, and represent pretty much everything I eat when home alone or basically how my entire world would look if I was still living the single life. They take around the same amount of time as traditional patty melts (um, why do I keep spelling this as “patti?”) and the texture is just as great if you are a fan of bean burgers. I simply took my double bean burger (I make these like every single week for easy lunches), added some caramelized onions and made a few substitutions based on the chilly autumn season.
Gahhhhh. So deliciously decadent. Can’t even stand it.
Yield: makes 4-6 sandwiches
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 large egg + 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 ounces freshly grated monterey jack cheese
softened butter for spreading
whole grain bread slices
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and onions with a pinch of salt. Stir to coat, then cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until caramelized. While onions are cooking, make the burgers.
In a large bowl, mash beans with a potato masher or fork. I like to mash them halfway, leaving some whole. Add in basil, garlic, paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper, mixing to combine. In a smaller bowl, lightly beat eggs and add in 1 tablespoon olive oil and panko, stirring to mix. Add the egg mixture to the beans, and mix thoroughly to combine, bringing it together with your hands if needed. Separate the beans into 4-6 equal sections and form patties. I think the key to a great patty melt is making them in relevance to the size of your bread slices, so the amount of patties you get may vary.
Heat the same large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil (or as much as you need). Add burgers and cook on each side until golden, about 5-6 minutes. Remove burgers with a spatula and set on a plate. To make the patty melts, butter one side of bread, placing it in the skillet butter-side down. Add a few handfuls of grated cheese, then place a burger on top. Top that with some onions and more cheese, then one more side of buttered bread, with the buttered side facing up. Cook on medium-low heat (slowly!) until the cheese begins to melt and glue the sandwich together, then flip and cook until the bread is golden and toasty. Eat!
[burgers from my double bean burgers with avocado cream]