Next time you’re daydreaming about your next epic cheat day, imagine freshly made cheesesteak sandwiches, all bulging with steak or chicken and grilled vegetables, oozing with a variety of cheeses, with big soft buns soaking up all the goodness as you wrap your mouth around the jumbo-sized indulgence. Turning those daydreams into realities is easier than you think.
Classic Philadelphia Cheese Steak Sandwich
-- 2 tbsp canola oil-- 2 medium onions, sliced as thin as possible and rings separated-- ½ cup sliced mushrooms-- 12 oz very thinly sliced eye of round, rib eye, or sirloin tip roast-- Salt and coarsely-ground black pepper-- Cheese Whiz or provolone cheese slices, room temperature-- 2 8-inch long Italian loaves, hoagie rolls, or soft French baguettes-- Dill pickle spears, for garnish
- Partially freeze steak to make it easier to slice paper-thin.
- Heat a large frying pan over high heat and add olive oil. When very hot, lower heat to medium.
- Add onions and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms slightly darken and onions are barely translucent, stirring occasionally.
- Add steak slices and cook for about 3 minutes, until meat is barely browned. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Arrange mixture in a length-wise pile across the frying pan.
- Place cheese slices on top of meat. If using Cheese Whiz, microwave a few seconds until pourable.
- Slice rolls lengthwise. Use a wide spatula to divide the mixture in half and carefully place each portion on the bottoms of the rolls.
- If using Cheese Whiz, pour it sparingly on the meat to avoid overpowering the other flavors.
If you like an extra kick in your cheesesteak sandwiches, this Korean-inspired version will please your palate.-- 3 cloves garlic, minced-- ½ yellow onion, diced-- 3 scallions, sliced-- ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce-- 2 tbsp sesame oil-- 3 tbsp dark brown sugar-- Freshly ground black pepper-- 1 tbsp gochujang-- 2 lbs sirloin, very thinly sliced across the grain-- 2 tbsp unsalted butter-- 2 tbsp olive oil-- 3 medium yellow onions, halved and sliced ⅛-inch thick-- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar-- Kosher salt-- 12 oz provolone cheese, grated-- 4 hoagie rolls, split-- Crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish
- Freeze the meat for 20 minutes to make slicing easier.
- In a large bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients and pour into a zip closure plastic bag.
- Add the meat to the marinade and mix well. Seal, refrigerate, and marinate for 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add onions and cook for 35-40 minutes, until caramelized, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Heat a heavy skillet over high heat, add ¼ of the beef along with some marinade and stir for about 1 minute.
- Form the beef into 4 portions the length of the hoagie rolls. Top each portion with a ¼ of the caramelized onions and ¼ of the shredded cheese.
- Add a tablespoon of the reserved marinade to the pan.
- Cover the pan and let the cheese melt.
- Use a wide spatula to divide the mixture in half and carefully place each portion on the bottoms of the rolls. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper and serve.
Buffalo Chicken Cheesesteaks
Enjoy the spiciness of Buffalo wings in a hearty cheesesteak-style sandwich.-- 2 tbsp butter-- 1 sweet onion, sliced-- 1 lb chicken breasts, thinly sliced-- Salt and pepper-- ½ cup hot Buffalo wing sauce-- 8 slices cheese, blue, smoked gruyere or provolone-- 4 hoagie rolls, sliced lengthwise
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
- Tear 4 large sheets of aluminum foil.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add butter.
- Add onions and sauté until golden brown, 2-3 minutes.
- Add chicken, season well with salt and pepper, and sauté until pink disappears.
- Mix in buffalo wing sauce and combine well.
- Separate mixture into 4 even piles to fit the rolls.
- Top with cheese slices and cover to melt cheese.
- Remove from heat, place the piles on the rolls, and top with roll tops.
- Wrap each sandwich tightly in foil.
- Place into the oven to warm through for 10-12 minutes. Serve immediately.
-- Cassie Damewood