~ Culinary Q&A & Kitchen Therapy Too (5/04/14) ~
Spring has finally sprung here in Happy Valley (Central), PA. Every couple of days it is warm enough to open the doors, and, even sit outside on our deck. Spring green is my new favorite color. Like many of you, the Easter holiday left me with a good deal of leftover ham (+ other goodies like hard-cooked eggs, cured-meats, a selection of cheeses and great bread). I turned that bountiful situation into an opportunity to share a few useful recipes for the leftovers with you:
~ Happy Easter to You All: Enjoy Your Family Feast ~
~ Try My Rye: It's Homemade in the Bread Machine ~
~ Melanie's Hot Russian Ham & Cheese Meltdowns ~
~ Open-Faced Ham, Swiss & Rye Egg Sandwiches ~
~ 1905: It was a very good year for a Spanish Salad ~
(You can find all of these recipes by clicking into Category 2!)
Yesterday I received a comment/question from a reader in Toronto, Canada which made me smile for two reasons: it was a really good, relevant question, and, it was, by coincidence, the second time in one week I heard the words "patty melt" -- the "cheeseburger" of my youth!
Q. Marguerite says and asks: I celebrate an Eastern European Easter too. I found Kitchen Encounters while searching for a recipe for a good breakfast sandwich (to make use of the leftover ham my mother sent me home with). I got a great recipe, plus, a good deal more. My husband Josh said to say your open-faced egg sandwiches are wonderful, and, I want to say I really enjoyed reading your Easter Feast post. While my family's meal differs in some ways, it is more similar than different. Thank-you for both!
While looking at your recipe for the Hot Russian Meltdowns (fun name for a recipe), Josh asked me to check to see if you had a recipe for a "patty melt". He explained that it involves a hamburger on rye bread. He was raised in Connecticut and said he ate a lot of them back in the '50's and '60's. Would you explain this sandwich to me?
A. Kitchen Encounters: Wow. Thank-you for the lovely comments about my blog, and, although you probably won't believe this (but it is true), ever since last weeks episode of Mad Men, the patty melt sandwich has been on my mind!
A bit about the patty melt: The patty melt sandwich was the precursor to the cheeseburger. It was a popular sandwich that came off the flat-top grills in diners all across America prior to the onset of the drive-through "McD's" era. It is basically a grilled cheese sandwich with a hamburger patty in the center. The classic patty melt has a few rules that need to be obeyed:
The bread: caraway-seeded rye
The cheese: sliced Swiss
The patties: cooked medium-rare
The onions: well-caramelized
The sandwich gets served with pickles and a side-order of French fries. Ketchup is always placed on the table -- it is used as a dipper for both the sandwich and the fries!
Marguerite, thanks to you, I've decided to write an entire blog post, complete with my step-by-step photos, about this classic American sandwich. I'll post it on Sunday, so, stay tuned!
Enjoy your weekend everyone, and once again: To leave a comment or ask a question, click on the blue title of any post, scroll to the end of it and type away... or e-mail me directly!
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2014)