Well, duh, it never crossed my mind. But why the heck not? So besides Brie and chive fondue, sandwich fixings, the usual chips and dips and some desserts, we’re having cheese steaks and clam chowder as well.
But now my dilemma is: what Philly cheese steak recipe do I use?
There are so many subtle variations as to toppings, cheese, meats, bread and condiments. I figure I can offer my guest a variety of sauteed veggies (peppers, onions and mushrooms) and cheeses (Cheese Whiz, provolone, mozzarella, swiss and maybe even pepper-jack).
I’ll probably use flank steak and slice it myself. (Freezing it first sounds like a great idea.) And since I live in Colorado, I’ll have to make due with baguettes of French bread instead of the traditional hoagie rolls.
I like having a variety so everyone, including the vegetarians (if my friend Karen comes over) can make the style of sandwich they prefer.
Below are a few of the better recipes I found for Philly cheese steaks.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
- 2 large portobello mushroom caps, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
- 11/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 pound trimmed flank steak, sliced as thinly as possible (preferably on a slicer)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups grated Pepper-Jack cheese
- 2 soft-crusted long baguettes, or 4 Italian-style hoagie rolls
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Heat the oil in a large nonreactive saute pan set over medium-high heat until it ripples. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and 1 teaspoon of the salt and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the flank steak, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the pepper and saute until the meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes more.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Sprinkle the cheese over the top, cover the pan, and set aside until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, slice the baguettes lengthwise. Place, cut sides up, on a baking sheet, and toast in the oven until crisp, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Fill the baguettes with the meat and cheese. Cut each into 2 portions. Serve immediately – with or without ketchup.
Philly Cheese Steak #2
(from a 1/31/95 Women’s Day magazine article)
At Olivieri Prince of Steaks in Philadelphia, chef/owner Rick Olivieri (third generation) tells us about the original. "It all started in 1932 with my grandfather Pat. He owned a small hot-dog stand but got tired of eating hot dogs every day, so he sent his brother around the corner for sliced steak. He prepared it, slapped it into a hot-dog bun and was just about to eat it when a cabbie pulled up and said, ‘Hey, that looks good. ‘ The rest, as they say, is history, part of which included the addition of cheese in the late 1940s, when they were looking to try something new.
- 5 oz steak (eye of chuck) with water to moisten
- 2 1/2 oz cheese (American, provolone, mozzarella or Cheez Whiz)
- 9 1/2-inch hoagie roll
- fried onions
- additional toppings: mushrooms, raw onions, sweet red & green peppers, pizza sauce, lettuce, tomato
To make one cheese-steak sandwich, take the steak and slice it very thin. Panfry in large skillet with no grease or oil, just enough water to moisten. Right before it’s done, top with desired cheese until melted. Put meat and cheese on the hoagie roll, then top with fried onions. Add additional toppings if desired.
- 1 pound Rib Eye, frozen, then cut very thin
- 1 Onion
- Provolone Cheese or Cheese Whiz
- 4 Hoagie Rolls
Meat: Make friends with your butcher. You need him to partially freeze a hunk of Rib Eye, and then slice it very thin. You want it sliced thin even though common sense tells us that thick is better. You can buy the hunk of rib eye and freeze and slice it yourself, but the butcher generally does a better job than I do. I can only get it about 1/8" thick and he does less
Bread: This is the hard part. If you aren’t in the Tristate area, and can’t get AMOROSOS rolls (the only thing that is REALLY good on a cheesesteak) then you have to find a substitute. Squishy sub rolls will NOT do. They do not hold together under pressure. Refrain from buying those "hero" rolls too. A good hoagie roll is almost rubbery in texture, but quite soft. The best substitute I have found is a loaf of French bread. Not as good as the real thing, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers.
Toppings: All of this is personal choice. I like fried onions and mushrooms myself. Cheeses used vary. I hate to admit it but I think cheese whiz tastes the best. Provolone is awesome too and that’s what I would use if I was afraid of the plastic orange stuff called whiz.
Cooking the steak: In a cast iron frying pan, or a grill pan heat some oil. Saute toppings until pliable – make them however you like them. Remove them from pan and set aside. Pour some more oil in the pan (I use olive oil, but if you have access to the stuff they use in restaurants on grills it would taste even better) on medium high heat. Place 1/4 to 1/3 of a pound of meat in the pan, lying the pieces flat and overlapping to form a shape that will fit nicely in a bun. When the meat turns gray with doneness, flip it over and if you are using cheese slices now is the time to lie them on top of the meat. Add the other toppings back into the pan next to the meat and allow to reheat. Cover the pan to allow the cheese to melt. This should take 1-2 minutes. If the meat looks overcooked, that’s OK – it should be GRAY.
This is the time to toast the bread if you so wish. I don’t like mine toasted at all. Warmed is OK. If you are using Cheese Whiz, warm it in the microwave. Pick up meat and melted cheese with a spatula and deposit on the roll. IF using Cheese Whiz, use a butter knife or chopstick to smear whiz next to the meat.
Push the meat on one side of the roll and deposit the toppings next to it. This is important because if you put the toppings ON the meat, they will not be in the bottom of the sandwich, which really sucks. You should get meat, toppings and cheese in every bite.
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