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The York Peppermint Pattie Melt
and congrats to the Made In pan giveaway winner
Good morning, clowns!
It’s just another day in the fart-scented trenches. Literally. Construction workers were doing something next door that made our place smell like human ass for like an hour today. I just thought you all should know, since there are no secrets in this house. Or on the greatest food newsletter of all time.
I’ll jump right into things: Say congratulations to our first-ever giveaway winner, Katie Sekelsky, who came up with today’s newsletter idea in this comment thread! Everyone’s responses were fucking hilarious. I should do these comment thread things more often.
Check out her trivia calendar, the Everyday Q&A Trivia Calendar, which is currently available for pre-order via its website for the new 2023 edition. Katie is a three-time Jeopardy! champion, which means you know this calendar’s gonna be good. (While I haven’t seen one of them myself, I imagine that these would make a pretty fun holiday gift.)
If you haven’t been paying any attention, Katie just won a 10” carbon steel pan from Made In Cookware. I have two more to give away, so make sure you read to the end today. This week’s is for all readers to participate in.
Katie’s idea for a York Peppermint Pattie Melt (yes, that’s how you spell the product’s name, which I just learned today) involuntarily made me choke while reading it, which is why we are here today.
Runner-up ideas included pumpkin spice latkes, American-cheese cake (using Kraft singles), and “soup dumplings, but the inside is just vodka.”
Now, patty melts are one of my favorite versions of the cheeseburger. They’re simple, but so delicious. Who could get mad at a burger draped in a blanket of cheese and caramelized onions, all on griddled rye bread? Sometimes I’m a bells and whistles person when it comes to burgers, but patty melts are so good that you don’t need any additions.
First of all, you need caramelized onions.
Or at least ones with a bit of color on them once they’re done cooking. If there’s only onions and cheese on this goddamn thing, it all better have some flavor, you know?
Caramelizing onions takes about three centuries to complete.
So I usually just cook them long enough for them to turn from acrid to sweet. I went for about 15 minutes for these, which was plenty, to soften them up and change their flavor. 15 minutes of onion vapor was also long enough to make Davida start rubbing her eyes in the other room while she was trying to read and get mad at me.
In the meantime, I prepped the York Peppermint Patties.
By prepped, I mean I put them on a piece of rye bread. One of the patties was kind of in rough shape compared to the other one, but that’s okay. That just just gave it a little more character. It’s comforting to know that even York Peppermint Patties go through struggles in their secret little lives too. Also, when’s the last time any of you actually had one of these things? I can’t remember the last time I went out of my way to eat one.
They must not move much at the grocery store either, because they were at the way bottom of the candy display by the cash register, and I actually had to get on my knees to grab them. That might actually explain why one of them looked so sad, it had probably been in that spot for decades.
I covered the York Peppermint Patties with a shitload of the caramelized onions I made.
Ah, the classic French pairing of mint, chocolate, and onions. They teach you about it culinary school.
Ah, the other classic pairing of mint, chocolate, onions, and Swiss cheese.
I usually like American cheese on my burgers, but I had this really old Swiss cheese from Aldi that I’ve been trying to finish up. This would be a perfect way to enjoy it. But I felt like it needed something more; so I looked up various patty melt recipes and found one from Serious Eats, where Kenji adds not only Swiss, but American cheese too. Siiiiiick.
I usually have American cheese in the fridge, but for some reason, I couldn’t seem to find any.
After violently rifling around in it, I finally found a mashed up individually wrapped slice that roughly resembled our bedsheets. I am not sure how long it had been in the fridge, or what it’s seen in life, but man, at least I was able to excavate it and basically put it out of its misery.
I started griddling the sandwich in a pan full of butter.
It was an idyllic few minutes, with Davida getting grouchy about the oniony air, the cats acting all crazy and probably gnawing holes through drywall while I wasn’t paying attention, and me, not knowing that the apartment was violently going to smell like ass the next day due to some truck making weird noises in our alley. Our lives are like the opposite of a Norman Rockwell painting.
After the bread was toasted to perfection, I let it rest on the cutting board for a minute to cool off.
I have to say, the apartment smelled pretty good, and part of me was fooled into thinking I was really about to bite into a patty melt. After all, York Peppermint Patties do resemble burger patties. So do my buttcheeks.
I sliced the York Peppermint Pattie Melt in half, offered Davida some, who politely declined, and like a fuckin’ champ, took two enormous bites of the thing.
If I was going to wade into Hell, I might as well go balls deep. At first, the sandwich completely and unwaveringly read as a patty melt, since the onions and cheese were front and center. Then the chocolate and the powerful mint from the patty swooped in, and kicked me right in the genitals of my mouth.
Having onions and cheese completely t-boned by a melted disc of chocolate and mint fluff on your tongue is like a rollover collision in Flavortown, but where nobody dies. Because once my mouth started reorienting itself, I found that I was starting to actually enjoy this combination. It was jarring, refreshing, rich, and a total fluke that it was enjoyable to me. But I’m a culinary degenerate and you know my tolerance for this kind of stuff makes me almost superhuman sometimes. I’m sitting here in front of my laptop getting weirdly hungry for a York Peppermint Patty Melt now.
Everybody thank Katie for her great idea, and don’t forget to preorder the Everyday Q&A Trivia Calendar!
In the meantime, for paid subscribers later this week, I’ll be continuing this journey with a recipe, but a next level one. Get ready for the York Peppermint Pattie Patty Melt, where I’ll stuff a beef patty with a Peppermint Pattie, Jucy Lucy-style, and finish it off like a patty melt.
Okay, everyone, you know the drill: Don’t forget to share Food is Stupid on social media. It helps grow the damn thing and every time it gets a tiny bit bigger, so does my fragile little ego:
Here’s the second part of the drill: Sign up for a paid subscription today. Paid subscribers get full access to three years of content via foodisstupid.substack.com, along with upcoming exclusive newsletter drops almost every week, like the York Peppermint Pattie Patty Melt, which’ll come Friday.
I’m planning on creating more useful stuff, including recipes for good (and terrible) food. And of course, I’m hoping to give away more things someday.
Speaking of: For the next Made In pan giveaway, which anyone in the contiguous U.S. is eligible for (I’m shipping the pans myself, cut me some slack), all I want you to do is to share your favorite Food is Stupid post on social media.
Then reply to this email with a screenshot for proof (or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org), and I’ll pick one of you at random. Got it? Good. Do it by this Friday, September 30th, by 11:59 p.m. CDT, and you’re eligible. I’ll announce the winner next week.
Okay, enough housekeeping. As always, I love you all, and I’ll hop into some of your inboxes on Friday. Don’t forget to subscribe.