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6th February
2009
written by Steph
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Chilly Pheese Steaks

Or as I inevitably wind up calling them “Chilly Pheese Steaks”!  However you say it, I’ve been craving one for the past 2 weeks or so.  This is how I know I could never really be a vegetarian, as every so often I just get wildly intense cravings for red meat. I’ll admit that I cheated a little bit on this meal, using leftover fajita steak from a meal out at our erstwhile favorite Mexican restaurant rather than cooking the meat myself.  I had the best of intentions as I purchased a package of tenderized round steak at Publix the last time we went shopping.  But when I took it out of the fridge too cook (after just two days in the fridge) it didn’t look quite right.  It was a dark purple color that made us a feel a bit uncomfortable and we ultimately decided not to risk cooking meat that had potentially gone off.  So I used leftover steak instead.  C’est la vie.  The one bonus, it definitely cut down on the cooking time (though not massively, since this dish really takes all of 20 minutes to assemble). Ingredients (should make two massive sandwiches!) •   1 lb of your favorite steak; cut into thin strips (1/2 inch thick) •    1 green pepper, sliced into strips •    ½ white onion, sliced into strips (do you see a theme?) •    6 – 8 medium-large button mushrooms, sliced •    olive oil •    2 tbsp butter •    gruyere cheese (or provolone or havarti… for the love of all that’s tasty, do not use cheese wiz!) •    crusty bread (such as a baguette) sliced in half, lengthwise •    salt & pepper for seasoning •    1 tbsp lemon juice Method 1.    Preheat oven to 375°.  Place your sliced bread soft-side down onto a cookie sheet and place in oven (I rarely wait for ovens to preheat all the way.  In this case, we’re just toasting the bread lightly, so having a completely accurate temperature is unnecessary, I think). 2.    Bring frying pan to medium-high heat and drizzle in olive oil (just enough to have a light coating on the bottom of the pan.  While pan is heating, lightly sprinkle your steak meat with black pepper & some salt.  When pan is at temperature, add in half the butter, let melt, and then add in steak. 3.    When steak is browned but not cooked all the way through (maybe cooked for 3 minutes total?  I’m guessing, because as I said I didn’t cook the steak, but this is how I would do it!), remove from pan and set aside.  Add in green peppers.  If your heat is high enough you’ll be able to brown/scorch parts of the skin a little bit which will give the peppers a really great grilled flavor. 4.    Once the peppers are beginning to soften (about 3 -5 minutes), lower heat slightly (down to medium) and add in the onions.  Let cook together for another 5 minutes or so until the onions begin to look translucent.  Add in mushrooms, and the remaining butter. 5.    Check on your bread!  If it’s starting to look brown & toasty, remove from oven and place slices of cheese on BOTH sides of the bread.  Return to oven (this time with the bread cheese-side up!). 6.    Your mushrooms are probably softening up at this point, so add in your steak again, and cook everything for another 5 minutes or so.  You can probably lower the heat even more, as the key here is to make sure your veggies are soft and the steak is warm, but you don’t wan the steak to get tough or dry out.  Add in your lemon juice and stir well. 7.    If your cheese needs some help melting, you can turn your oven to broil, but make sure to keep the door cocked open slightly and watch the bread!  Remove it from the oven just when the cheese is getting a little mushy looking (it doesn’t need a full blown melt to happen, because the hot steak & veggies will be dumped on top of it…) 8.    Speaking of which, dump your hot steak and veggies onto the bread and smoosh it all together.  Devour! Hopefully the tips I’ve given for cooking the steak will be of some use.  As I said, I didn’t get to have the fun of cooking the meat for our sandwiches myself, but this is about how I would go about doing it.  I think the key is to precook the meat slightly and then remove it from the pan.  If you leave it in there while you’re cooking your veggies, it will surely overcook and become tough.  I know that provolone is pretty traditional when it comes to Philly Cheese Steaks, but we didn’t have it on hand, so we used Gruyere, and it was delicious.   Ditto to mushrooms – I don’t think they generally make it into traditional cheese steaks, but I like ‘em, and we had them handy.  It’s a sandwich, you know?  There’s not point getting overly fussy.  A really hearty and delicious meal that happens to be low-stress as well.  Huzzah!
I used to be able to eat a whole sandwich on my own...

I used to be able to eat a whole sandwich on my own...

1 Comment

  1. Simona
    02/06/2009

    My mouth is watering. That is all.

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