Thursday, July 14, 2011

Not-so-Philly CheeseSteaks

On par with my love of regional food, here is my version of a CheeseSteak. I am sure that people from Philly would throw up all sorts of protests to the effect of "That is nothing like Pat's!" and "WHIZ CHEEZE!" I am not saying this is an authentic CheeseSteak, I am simply presenting this as my interpretation of CheeseSteak.

This is easy to make, and easy to make bigger for more people. It also allows for an experimental platform for spices. As the flavor can come through very easily. And I have to say, when I made this last night, I got it done in 20 minutes (including clean up).

Not-so-Philly CheeseSteaks

Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins

Servings: 2 normal sandwiches, or 4 small ones

2/3 pound of Steak, cut in to thin, short strips
1/2 of an onion
1/2 of a bell pepper
Black Pepper
Garlic Powder
A little bit of Oil

4-8 slices of Meltable Cheese (I used a Pepper Jack, American or Provalone are also accepted, and CheezeWhiz is 'traditional')
2 Hard Rolls (or 4 small ones, like I did)

Note about the Meat: I try to cut back on cost as much as I can. Here is a perfect example. I could have bought an expensive Steak, and then sliced it up in to smaller strips, but at $7 or $8 per pound (even for the cheap ones) that was a little much. I use the 'Steak for Stewing' cut. I am guessing that it is the left overs from the other steak cuts, but as they are already small chunks of meat, and they are cheap ($4 per pound) they are perfect for me! If you want you can buy the more expensive stuff, and I am sure that it tastes better, but the cheap stuff works too.

Note about the Spices: I like this dish with a lot of black pepper. I don't really know why, but I think it tastes great. I also like Garlic powder. This last time I made it I tried something new, some cinnamon! And it turned out great. You can use BBQ seasoning, you can use Seasoning Salt. You can use those spice mixes that you have, but don't really know what to use them on... this is the perfect opportunity. Be creative.

And Finlay a note about the bread: Anyone who has had a Sandwich like this fall apart on them (Tracey... I am looking at you...) You want a really hard roll or bread. The cooked stuff ends up being really juicy and runny. This mixed with a soft bread just creates a gooey mess. I used Kaiser Rolls that were really hard. A hoagie or sausage roll is another good option. Ciabatta bread would be another great option.

So prepare: You can do this whole thing with one cutting board, one knife, and one fry pan. Cut the onion and pepper in to bite sized pieces. Transfer to plate. Cut your Steak in to thin strips. This is important. You want them super thin. Like as thin as you are comfortable cutting without slicing a finger.

All of the basic ingredients
Cook: Put a little oil in the fry pan. This is to start cooking the onions and peppers, if you have fatty meat, it will also give off some oil as it cooks. Just be sure that while cooking there is some liquid at the bottom of the pan for the onions and peppers to cook in. Add the onions and peppers, then the steak on top of that. Then throw in some spices. 1 tablespoon Black Pepper (a liberal dusting). Add maybe a teaspoon of garlic powder (not as much as the Black Pepper, lets say a conservative powdering). Then 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon.
Cook on medium heat constantly mixing and turning over until the onions and peppers are done, and the meat is browned. Depending on pan/heat/amount of food about 6-10 minutes.
Yummm... and it smells soooooo good!

If you want to be pro, you can reduce the heat a little as the mixture is nearing completion, and add a few slices of your cheese to the top. This can be messy and gooey, but that is also a good thing. You can conserve on the potential to get cheese everywhere buy adding a slice to the bottom 'bun' before transferring.

Slice rolls, and open up. Scoop out a generous portion of cooked goodness on to the roll. If desired, add another slice of cheese, add top of roll. And there you have a CheeseSteak. Enjoy!
With and Without Cheese
Just like my Mamma taught me: Remember your Green And Leafies!
It should be pointed out that I only used half of what was in the fry pan. I was cooking for myself, and now I have sandwich material for another day!

1 comment:

  1. Yum! Sounds like another good Scottie Concoction!!! And you remembered Green and Leafies!!! That is better than someone I work with who thinks ketchup counts as a veggie!!! I still say you need to write a cookbook... and I am surprised this was not written in flow chart format :-)