Sunday, July 31, 2011

Philly cheesesteaks in New Jersey.

The doggy days of summer are starting to get to me, that is to say I am getting lazy.  I am not feeling an urge to stand by the hot kitchen stove.  All I want to do is chill by the pool with a glass of summer wine and play hooky from work.  So when I had to feed a whole bunch of kids a nice feeling meal, I thought of street food.  After all, it is quick, easy, and does not include a list of ingredients a mile long.  I was so lazy that even burgers were not an option, so when I saw shaved beef in the store I immediately thought of Philly cheese steaks.  Ultimate decadent street food, when cooked right.  Born on the streets of Philadelphia in the 30’s, originally it was chopped steak served with sautéed onions in a soft roll.   The original version sold at the Philly Italian market was made without cheese.  Provolone was added later.  There are horror stories of major rivalries, which include the famous Cheese Wiz or Provolone question.  The standoff continues even in my household, with my husband in the Provolone camp and myself firmly on the Cheese Wiz side. 
The whole process takes 20 minutes, I promise and is too simple to screw up.  So if you have a soft spot for ultimate street food or nostalgia for the streets of Philly, go ahead and try these. 

Philly Cheesesteaks. ( makes 6)
2 med yellow onions thinly sliced
1 bell pepper any color thinly sliced
2 cups of sliced button mushrooms ( optional)
2 lbs of shaved beef steak
1 lbs of thinly sliced Provolone cheese or Cheese Wiz
6 freshly baked hoagie rolls.
1 tbs butter
Olive oil
1 tbs of sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat  a large skillet.  Melt the butter and olive oil.  Add mushrooms if using and let the brown on all sides.  Do not salt the mushrooms or they will take a longer time to brown.  Lower the heat to low-med, add the onions and the peppers.  Add sugar, salt and pepper.  Cook the vegetables on low heat stirring often until translucent and start to caramelize. 

In the meantime preheat a griddle on the grill or stove.  Make sure it is piping hot.  Add a little bit of olive oil and cook the shaved meat in batches, taking care not to overload the surface.  Season the meat with salt and pepper.  When the meat is cooked through and well browned, stir in the onion mixture. 

Split each hoagie roll length wise and line with cheese.  Cover the beef mixture with cheese slices and let them melt for a minute or so.  Using two spatulas separate the meat, onion and cheese mixture into six equal portions and place each in the hoagie roll lined with more cheese.

Keeps the teens happy and that says a lot!

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