Patty Melt with Bourbon Whiskey Onions and a Kicked Up Burger Sauce

The patty melt. What’s not to love about a patty melt. It’s a delicious combination of a burger and a luscious grilled cheese. It’s typically served on rye bread with sautéed onions, but a nice white bread tastes just as good. It’s been a diner staple for years and it really doesn’t get the credit it deserves. It’s like the under dressed burger when looked upon for the first time, you might not think much of it, but then you take that first crunchy, juicy cheesy bite, you soon realize that this is truly the star of the show.

For me the patty melt is not only a total indulgent comfort food, but it also reminds me of my dad. When I was a kid if my mom had to work late or wanted a girls day out with friends, he would take me to one of our special places for dinner. I call them special places, but really they were the Kmart café way back when….yes it shows my age and don’t knock it the food was good from what I remember…and a little mom and pop burger place not far from where we lived. He introduced me to my first patty melt there at that burger place. It was so simple but oh so good. This patty melt is no different… ok a little different. On the outside it might look like a typical patty melt, but it packs a tasty delectable punch. It has that same juicy patty that has been smashed a little thinner like a regular patty melt with the melted cheesy goodness of swiss and Colby Jack. It’s topped with onions that have been simmered and caramelized in bourbon whiskey, butter and brown sugar. Then there is the burger sauce, a slightly spicy, creamy sauce that adds just enough kick to send this melt over the top. Just when you didn’t think it could get any better, it’s all nestled between two slices of buttery grilled Texas toast. Now I’m really wanting another patty melt.

Here’s what you need to make your own:

This was for 4 burgers

*Texas toast; 2 slices per burger

*2 TBS butter

*sliced swiss cheese, 1 slice per sandwich

*sliced Colby Jack cheese, 1 slice per sandwich

For the Bourbon Whiskey Onions:

*1 medium onion, chopped

*2 TBS butter

*1 1/2 TBS bourbon whiskey

*1 1/2 tsp. brown sugar, or more to taste

*1/2 tsp. salt or more to taste

*cracked pepper to taste

For the Kicked Up Burger Sauce:

*1/4 cup mayonnaise

*1 TBS. Dijon mustard

*1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder or more to taste

*1/2 tsp. onion powder, or more to taste

*1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

For the Patties:

*1 1/2 lbs ground beef

*1 TBS Worcestershire sauce

*2 tsp. onion powder

*2 tsp garlic powder

*cracked black pepper to taste

*1/2 tsp. salt

For the onions:

In a medium sauce pan add all of the ingredients for the Bourbon whiskey onions.

Stir all of the ingredients together and heat on medium high heat until the onions start to cook, then turn the heat down to medium low. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the onions are soft and turn a golden brown, stirring often. Taste and add more salt if needed.

For the Burger sauce:

In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir well to blend together.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Patties

In a large bowl, place in the ground beef and the rest of the ingredients for the burger patties.

Mix until combined, but do not over mix or the patties will not be as tender; form into 4 patties.

Heat a large cast iron pan to medium high heat. When the pan is very hot, add the patties to the pan.

With a spatula, press down on the patties to flatten them out a bit.

Cook for about 3 minutes and flip them over and continue to cook another 3 minutes or until the patties are done.

Remove from the pan and set aside.

Wipe out the pan but it’s ok to leave some of the drippings behind if desired.

Heat the pan on medium heat and add 1 TBS of butter.

After the butter has melted place 1 piece of bread for each sandwich into the pan.

then assemble the patty melts by adding a slice of the swiss cheese.

then a hamburger patty

a slice of Colby Jack cheese

Spoon on some of the onion mixture on top of the cheese.

Then slather on some of that delectable sauce.

And lastly, top with another slice of bread. When the bottom bread is toasted, add another tablespoon of butter and gently turn the sandwich over.

Continue cooking until the other side of the bread is toasted as well.

Carefully turn the sandwich over with the sauce and onions right side up and place on to a plate.

Serve while still warm and enjoy!

Homemade Pepperoni Bacon Pizza with Store Bought Dough

Hubby and I eat our fair share of pizza. It’s a great go to meal and well……we love pizza. There are a few good frozen brands out their that is good to keep tucked away in the freezer, delivery is great as well, but it can get costly so making it at home is the best way to go. It’s really easy, especially when you can use premade dough. You can make your own dough, but I find that there are some good premade dough available and that makes it even easier and faster. Most local grocery stores now sell balls of dough as well as some pizza places will sell their dough. It’s mostly about finding the right one that you prefer.

Making your own pizza is like having a blank canvas. You can make it just the way you like, let your imagination and taste buds go wild. My hubby has even created a pizza with pepperoni and some leftover Chinese boneless spareribs. Did I think at first he had went a little too wild and crazy with the topping? Sure I did…but one bite and I was hooked. That being said, for this one I wanted to start out simple, but again add anything you like.

Here’s what you need:

*pizza dough

*olive oil for the pan and the pizza dough

*pizza sauce either from a jar or homemade; I used some already made

*favorite pizza toppings; I used pepperoni and 3 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled into pieces

*1 1/2 cups or more of Shredded cheese; I used a blend of cheddar and mozzarella

I find that letting the dough set out for 30 minutes before using it makes it easier to work with.

Preheat oven to 425°.

If using a pizza stone, preheat the stone then add some corneal before adding the dough. I find this keeps the dough from sticking.

If using a pizza pan or sheet pan, brush with olive oil.

Roll out the dough and using your finger tips, gently stretch out the dough to fit the pan. It’s ok if it isn’t perfectly round or square, I call that rustic and it’s what makes it unique. No matter how hard I try, mine has never looked perfect so yes, we shall call it rustic. Brush the dough with a little olive oil.

Prebake the dough for about 5 minutes.

After the dough is prebaked, spread on some of the pizza sauce.

Then sprinkle on the cheese.

Add on the toppings.

Bake for about 7 to 8 minutes or until crust is done and cheese is melted.

Cut into slices and serve.

Rosemary Mustard Roasted Potatoes

These Rosemary mustard potatoes are so simple to make and they are a great side dish to chicken, pork and even steak. The Dijon mustard really adds a nice tang to these delicious potatoes. They are roasted in the oven and turn out crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside.

Here’s what you need:

*1 IB or more red, yellow or russet potatoes, cut into bite size pieces; I usually use red potatoes, but my store was out so I used russet.

*3 TBS Dijon mustard

*1/4 cup olive oil + more for the pan and to pour over the potatoes while cooking if needed

*2 tsp. dried Rosemary or 1TBS fresh rosemary chopped

*1/2 TBS smoked paprika

*3 garlic cloves, minced

*1 tsp. salt or more to taste

*1 TBS white wine

Preheat oven to 425°

In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients except for the potatoes.

Add potatoes to the bowl and toss to coat.

Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of a baking pan. Pour in the potatoes and spread in an even layer.

Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally until potatoes are golden brown on the outside and soft in the inside.

If the potatoes appear to dry out during the cooking time, drizzle with more olive oil.

Place in a serving bowl and serve.

Air Fryer Boneless Herb Pork Chops

I found some beautiful boneless pork chops at the grocery store the other day. I have cooked pork chops so many ways, but never in my handy dandy air fryer. I admit, I was nervous. I have used my air fryer quite a lot recently, but mainly for frozen foods, hard boiled eggs and I have to say, hot dogs are awesome done in the air fryer. I wasn’t sure how this pork would turn out, but I’m happy to say, they turned out great. They were moist and so flavorful with the sage, rosemary and Thyme and it took half the time to cook in the air fryer than in the oven.

Here’s what you need:

*boneless pork chops

*salt to taste

*1 tsp. dried sage

*1 tsp. dried rosemary

*1 tsp. dried thyme

*olive oil for lightly coating fryer basket

In a small bowl, mix together sage, rosemary and thyme.

30 minutes before cooking the pork, pat them dry with paper towels. Sprinkle pork chops with salt on both sides, then sprinkle them on both sides with the sage mixture.

Preheat the air fryer at 400° for 5 minutes.

With a silicone basting brush, lightly coat the bottom of the air fryer basket with the olive oil. You can use cooking spray, but I try not to use this because over time it leaves a sticky coating on the basket.

Place the pork in the basket in an even layer where they are not touching.

Cook for 5 minutes and flip them over, then cook for another 5 minutes or until the pork reaches an internal temp of 145°

*Note*

Cooking time might vary depending on the brand and size of the air fryer.

Let the pork rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Skillet Potato and Bacon Breakfast Scramble

I love breakfast. Pancakes are great, but give me some eggs, fried potatoes and bacon….throw in a biscuit and I’m in heaven. This breakfast scramble meets all of those requirements and more. It has golden diced potatoes, crispy bacon, chives and some tasty Gruyere cheese all tossed together with some fluffy scrambled eggs. Not only does this make a hearty breakfast, but it’s easy as well and all done in one skillet.

Here’s what you need:

This is for one serving, but you can easily double it for more.

*2 eggs

*3/4 cups frozen diced potatoes; I did used these still frozen

*2TBS or more of canola oil

*2 slices of bacon

*salt and pepper to taste

*1/3 cup shredded Gruyere cheese or any other cheese you prefer

*2 tsp. dried chives or 1 TBS fresh chopped chives, or more to taste

Heat a medium to large skillet to medium high heat; add bacon and cook until crispy. Remove the bacon and crumble into pieces and set aside. Drain some of the bacon drippings, but leave about 1 TBS in the pan.

Pour in the canola oil and add the frozen diced potatoes to the skillet. Cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally.

While potatoes are cooking, whisk eggs in a small bowl.

add some cracked pepper to the eggs; set aside.

Turn the skillet down to medium heat and add the bacon.

Slowly pour in the eggs.

Add salt and pepper to taste, then add in the cheese and the chives.

With a spatula, start mixing the eggs with the potato and bacon until it’s all incorporated but the eggs are still soft.

Place on plates and serve.

Pan Seared Marinated Steaks with Rosemary Garlic Butter

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know by now that I love a good steak. You might also be thinking…another steak post? Yes, but this time I wanted something a little different. I marinated these lovely steaks. I don’t usually do that, I just add a few things to them and sear them in the skillet or on the grill. This marinade added so much flavor and the rosemary garlic butter took it to the next level. This marinade is quick to mix up and great for any cut of steak or even chicken or pork.

Here’s what you need:

*Desired cut steak; I used Ribeye

Marinade:

*1/2 cup soy sauce

*1 TBS Worcestershire sauce

*1 TBS olive oil + 1 TBS for cooking the steaks

*1 TBS lemon juice

*1 TBS brown sugar

*1 1/2 tsp. Penzey’s Mitchell Street Steak Seasoning or you can substitute

*1/2 tsp onion powder

*1/2 tsp. garlic powder

*1/4 tsp. paprika

*1/8 tsp. dill weed

*pinch of allspice

*cracked pepper to taste

Rosemary Garlic Butter:

*3 TBS butter; softened

*2 large garlic cloves smashed and minced

*1/2 TBS dried Rosemary or 1 TBS fresh chopped

Mix all of the ingredients for the marinade together.

Place steaks in a zip top bag and pour the marinade over the steaks. Gently squeeze the bag to get as much of the air out as possible and seal.

Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or over night, turning the bag over at least once during the marinating time.

While the steaks are marinating, mix all of the ingredients to the rosemary garlic butter.

Place butter mixture on a sheet of plastic wrap and start rolling the plastic wrap around the butter.

Form the butter into a sort of log shape.

This will make it easier to cut the butter into slices later.

Twist the edges of the plastic wrap to secure the ends.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

Take the steaks out of the refrigerator and out of the marinade 45 minutes before cooking; dry well with paper towels and discard the marinade.

Heat a cast iron pan with the olive oil to medium high heat. When the pan is searing hot, add the steaks.

Take the Rosemary garlic butter out of the fridge and cut in half and place on one side of the pan.

When the butter starts to melt, tilt the pan and using a spoon, begin basting the steaks with the butter mixture. If the butter starts to burn, turn the heat down to medium.

Cook for about 3 minutes while continuing to baste the steaks with the butter mixture.

Turn the steaks over and cook another 2 to 3 minutes for medium rare. Cook about 4 minutes for medium.

  • Medium Rare (soft, dark pink inside): 145 degrees F
  • Medium (soft, some pink inside): 160 degrees F
  • Well Done (very firm, no pink inside): 170 degrees F

Take the steaks out of the pan and place on plates; cover loosely with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.

Spoon any leftover pan drippings over the steak if desired and serve.