I give up. Why don’t YOU try to photograph a cheesesteak. The gooier and meltier the better, taste-wise, but the harder it is to photograph.
Disclaimer: I do not live in Philly, nor have I ever actually had an authentic Philly cheesesteak. This is my version, based on a recipe by Julie of The Little Kitchen (who has never been to Philly either). If you are offended by the fact that we didn’t use cheese-whiz or whatever processed cheese product the locals use, please keep your cheesesteak-gospel to yourself. I’ll try a real one eventually (really, I will!) but until then, this is a darn good substitute.
The secret to this sandwich is really the bread. It’s worth the extra effort to hunt down some good-quality hoagie rolls (we were really impressed with the Publix rolls Julie recommended). And don’t skip the steaming. Simply wrapping the rolls in foil and popping them in the oven for a few short minutes allows the juices to permeate the bread, steaming and softening the bread in a marriage of succulent steak and melted cheese.
I’m a proponent of simplicity when it comes to cheesesteaks and thus chose to top mine with just sauteed onions; however, if you need a more fulfilling cheesesteak, feel free to add green bell peppers, mushrooms, or other toppings to them mix.
Actually, I take that back. I’m really tempted to make a “hipster” version, complete with goat cheese and arugula or other toppings that will probably make the cheesesteak-purists out there cringe.
Yield: 2 sandwiches
Total Time: 40 minutes
*It sometimes helps to freeze the steak for 15-20 minutes before slicing; the slightly frozen meat will be easier to slice super-thin.
Recipe from The Little Kitchen.// All images and text ©