My sister and I were horribly picky eaters when we were little – both picking one or two favorite meals and insisting on eating them at every meal, for months at a time. Robin’s meal of choice was mac and cheese; mine was melted cheese sandwiches (an open slice of bread with a piece of American cheese on top, zapped in the microwave). I know what you’re thinking – “There’s a foodie in the making!” Not.

My mom worked tirelessly to introduce us to new foods, but most meals ended with a tantrum, and “Eat 5 more bites, and then you can get up from the table.” Cheese was usually a safe zone, though – we were always more willing to try something if cheese was involved. So, when my mom deemed it safe cheeseburgers made it on the menu. At first, plain and dry – meat, cheese, bread.

As our palates evolved over the years, condiments and vegetables were allowed to grace the sacred space between the bun. And I would say that this patty melt is the ultimate in burger sophistication – barbequed onions, provolone cheese and whole grain mustard. Yeah, you could say we’ve come a LONG way. And, I like it here.

Gather Up:
1.5 pounds grass-fed ground beef
1 loaf black Bavarian bread, sliced
1 red onion
4 slices provolone or white cheese of your choice
Mustard-based BBQ sauce
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Slice the onion.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet. Sauté the red onion until lightly browned.

Add enough BBQ sauce to coat the onions and make them saucy. Remove from the heat.

Form the ground beef into bread-shaped patties.

Grill the patties outdoors or on an indoor grill pan.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Lightly brush the outside edges of the bread with olive oil, and set them side-by-side in the pan. Cover each piece of bread with cheese and the onion mixture.

Add the grilled hamburger patty, and carefully close the sandwich. Toast both sides in the pan until bread is done and cheese is melted. Be sure to toast both sides – just like a grilled cheese!

Cheeseburgers are still one of my favorite dinners, but when I have them like this, I feel all grown up!