Philly Cheesesteak: A Flavorful Philadelphia Classic
The Philly Cheesesteak is more than just a sandwich; it’s an iconic American dish that has captured the hearts and taste buds of people across the nation. Originating in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, this delicious creation has evolved into a beloved classic. In this article, we’ll delve into the history, ingredients, and preparation of the Philly Cheesesteak.
A Taste of History
The history of the Philly Cheesesteak dates back to the 1930s. Pat Olivieri, a hot dog vendor in South Philadelphia, decided to grill some thinly sliced beef with onions on his hot dog grill and put it in an Italian roll. A passing cab driver was intrigued and asked for the same sandwich, and the rest is history. Pat’s King of Steaks, the restaurant that emerged from this humble beginning, still exists today and serves as a testament to the enduring popularity of the Philly Cheesesteak.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Before you embark on your Philly Cheesesteak journey, gather these essential ingredients:
For the Sandwich:
- Thinly sliced ribeye steak
- Hoagie roll (Italian roll)
- White onion, thinly sliced
- Green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- Provolone cheese (or Cheez Whiz for a more traditional twist)
- Salt and black pepper
- Olive oil
Crafting the Perfect Philly Cheesesteak
Now, let’s dive into the art of preparing a mouthwatering Philly Cheesesteak:
Preparing the Steak
- Choosing the Right Cut Start with thinly sliced ribeye steak. You can ask your local butcher to prepare it for you, ensuring that it’s sliced paper-thin. This is crucial for achieving the classic Philly Cheesesteak texture.
- Sautéing the Steak In a hot skillet, add a drizzle of olive oil and sauté the thinly sliced steak over high heat. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Cook until the meat is browned and slightly crispy at the edges.
Adding Onions and Peppers
- Sautéing the Veggies Push the steak to one side of the skillet and add the thinly sliced onions and green bell peppers to the other side. Sauté them until they become soft and slightly caramelized.
- Mixing It All Together Once the vegetables are ready, mix them with the cooked steak in the skillet. The combination of flavors and textures is what makes the Philly Cheesesteak truly special.
Melting the Cheese
- Choosing Your Cheese The choice of cheese is a matter of personal preference. Some prefer provolone for its mild, creamy flavor, while others opt for the gooey goodness of Cheez Whiz. Place slices of your chosen cheese on top of the steak and veggies and let them melt.
Assembling the Sandwich
- Toasting the Roll While the cheese is melting, lightly toast the hoagie roll in the oven or on a griddle until it’s warm and slightly crispy.
- Building the Sandwich Carefully transfer the cheesy steak and vegetable mixture onto the toasted roll. Fold the roll around the filling, and your Philly Cheesesteak is ready to devour!
Philly Cheesesteaks are often served with a side of hot peppers or pickles. Some like to add a dash of hot sauce or ketchup for an extra kick. Pair your sandwich with some potato chips or fries for the full Philly experience.
The Philly Cheesesteak is more than just a sandwich; it’s a culinary masterpiece that represents the rich history and flavors of Philadelphia. Whether you’re enjoying one in the heart of the city or recreating it at home, savor every bite of this classic American creation.
So, next time you’re craving a taste of Philly, whip up a Philly Cheesesteak and transport your taste buds to the vibrant streets of Philadelphia.
What’s the difference between Cheez Whiz and provolone cheese in a Philly Cheesesteak?
Cheez Whiz is a processed cheese sauce that provides a gooey, creamy texture and a unique flavor. Provolone cheese, on the other hand, offers a milder, more traditional taste. The choice between the two comes down to personal preference.
Can I use a different type of bread for the sandwich?
While the traditional choice is the hoagie roll, you can use other bread options like a sub roll or baguette if that’s what you have on hand.
Are there variations of Philly Cheesesteak?
Yes, there are several variations, including the “Philly Cheesesteak Hoagie” with additional toppings like lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. Some also add mushrooms or hot peppers for extra flavor.
Can I make Philly Cheesesteak with chicken instead of beef?
Absolutely! Chicken Philly Cheesesteak is a popular variation that uses thinly sliced chicken breast instead of beef. The preparation method remains largely the same.
What’s the best way to reheat leftover Philly Cheesesteak?
To maintain the sandwich’s texture and flavor, reheat it in the oven at a low temperature or on a griddle. Avoid using the microwave, as it can make the bread soggy.
- 1 lb Ribeye steak, trimmed and thinly sliced*
- 1/2 tsp Sea salt, or to taste
- 1/2 tsp Black pepper, or to taste
- 1 sweet onion, (large), diced
- 8 slices provolone cheese, mild (not aged provolone)
- 4 Hoagie Rolls, sliced 3/4 through
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 1 garlic clove, pressed
- 2-4 Tbsp mayonnaise, or to taste
Slice hoagie rolls 3/4 of the way through with a serrated knife. Dice onions and thinly slice beef.*
In a small bowl, stir together 2 Tbsp softened butter with 1 pressed garlic clove. Spread garlic butter onto the cut sides of 4 hoagie roll. Toast the buns on a large skillet, flat cooktop or griddle on medium heat until golden brown then set aside.
Add 1 Tbsp oil to your pan/cooktop and sautee diced onions until caramelized then transfer to a bowl.
Increase to high heat and add 1 Tbsp oil. Spread the super thinly sliced steak in an even layer. Let brown for a couple of minutes undisturbed then flip and season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Sautee until steak is fully cooked through then stir in the caramelized onions.
Divide into 4 even portions and top each with 2 slices of cheese and turn off the heat so the cheese will melt without overcooking the meat.
Spread a thin layer of mayo on the toasted side of each roll. Working with one portion at a time, place a toasted bun over each portion and use a spatula to scrape the cheesy beef into your bun as you flip it over. Serve warm.
Nutrition InformationYield 1 Serving Size 4
Amount Per ServingCalories 3438Total Fat 267gSaturated Fat 109gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 148gCholesterol 651mgSodium 5018mgCarbohydrates 72gFiber 6gSugar 23gProtein 190g
The information contained herein is subject to change.