What is a patty melt but a beefed-up grilled cheese sandwich? A hamburger patty and sauteed onions joined to griddled bread (rye is traditional) with melted cheese has been a diner staple for decades, but why not be your own short-order cook.
ESNY outlines the basic method: butter one side each of two slices of bread for each patty melt, and lay a slice of cheese on the opposite sides. Start the bread slices grilling (open face) just as the burgers are finishing cooking. Place your burger on one cheese-topped bread slice, onions on the other, and continue cooking until the bread is nice and golden on the grilled side. Then join the two halves.
ESNY sautes sliced onions in the pan while the burgers cook, brushing them with olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper, and filling in the empty spaces around the burgers. chelleyd01 adds a glaze made from drained salsa, ketchup, a hit of Worcestershire sauce, and a bit of brown sugar to her burgers toward the end of cooking, and uses caramelized onions. “Two slices of gooey Swiss, please. Heaven on a bun…I mean bread!” she says.