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Philly Cheese Steak

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Simon Majumdar Jul 11, 2001 12:03 PM

I am truly intrigued by this appalling dish which looks like grunge but when I had one in Chicago in June tasted fantastic.

can someone please tell me

a) what cut of dead cow is best
b) which manner of american plastic cheese I need to get
c) what kind of bread
d) What, if any , ketchup, I should put on top

I have gotsta have another of these and since I am not back Stateside for a few weeks, I need to figure it out blighty fashion

Help!!!

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  1. j
    Jason Perlow RE: Simon Majumdar Jul 11, 2001 12:34 PM

    1) Sliced Ribeye or other inexpensive cut
    2) Cheez Whiz. However velveeta and kraft singles will do in a pinch.
    3) Italian "Hero" Rolls.
    4) Heinz Ketchup.
    5) Dont forget the sauteed caramelized onions.

    Be sure to invite the queen.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Jason Perlow
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      Simon Majumdar RE: Jason Perlow Jul 11, 2001 12:54 PM

      Sounds truly disgusting but delicious

      In return I may just mail you all my recipe for mushy peas. Again delicious but one of the UK's many crimes against humanity

      Thanks

      Simon

      1. re: Simon Majumdar
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        Joe Moryl RE: Simon Majumdar Jul 12, 2001 11:35 AM

        A recipe for mushy peas? I thought they came from a tin? How do you get that fluorescent green?

        Simon- I seem to remember reading an anecdote about one of the third way, "New Labour" Blairite MPs visiting his constituents up norf. He was offered some mushy peas to taste and reportedly had a comment about what good guacamole it was! One has to love the sincerity of politicians. Do you know who this was?

        Cheers,
        Joe Moryl

        1. re: Joe Moryl
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          Simon Majumdar RE: Joe Moryl Jul 12, 2001 11:59 AM

          Proper mushy peas are a delight but one that it takes time to develop.

          You can make it by placing lots of marrowfat peas in a pot with a little water and a handful of mint. Cook it over a low flame for about six hours making sure it does not dry out. It is so good with pies, chops and of course the Fish N Chip supper

          The politician was Mr "Satan's representative on Earth" Peter Mandelson. You only had to see his Nuremberg like speech after he won his seat at the last election to know that the man is not right in the head or "touched by angels" as my granny used to say

          Thanks for the Cheese steak hints

          1. re: Simon Majumdar
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            Joe Moryl RE: Simon Majumdar Jul 12, 2001 05:49 PM

            Ah, Peter Mandelson. Why am I not surprised?

            Cheers,
            Joe Moryl

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      Jason Perlow RE: Simon Majumdar Jul 11, 2001 12:46 PM

      Check out HollyEats.com for inspiration on how to prepare these things as well.

      http://www.hollyeats.com/Philadelphia...

      the best way it seams to prepare these is to mix the chopped up steak and par-cooked onions (peppers and mushrooms too if you arent a purist) onto a griddle (I use a cast iron pan), heat it up nice and then arrange it on top of a hero roll which has a layer of cheez whiz on it. However I personally like the variation of using provolone cheese, melting it on top of a rectangular pile of the steak/onion/shroon/pepper mixture and then laying it on top of a lightly toasted roll.

      Link: http://www.hollyeats.com/Philadelphia...

      Image: http://www.hollyeats.com/images/Geno-...

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        Shmingrid RE: Simon Majumdar Jul 11, 2001 12:48 PM

        As for the dead cow, there is a product out there (though I can't certify that it's 100% cow) called "Steak-Ums" which is perfect for the home cheesesteak chef. They're phyllo-dough-thin slices of meat frozen between layers of paper. Fry them up on the griddle for a few seconds after your onions (and possible green peppers) are done. I've usually had cheesesteaks that had the americanized plastic version of provolone. And of course, the Heinz ketchup is a MUST!

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          Mike Zurer RE: Simon Majumdar Jul 11, 2001 06:00 PM

          It has always been my opinion that ketchup has no place on a quality cheesesteak. Which is not to say I have not enjoyed the topping, and on a sub-par number, it is almost a requirement. I'm not from philly or even a purist (I like an occasional chicken cheese-steak for the sake of variety), but I am curious if we have any consensus among the local Philly chowhounds in regards to use of ketchup atop the sandwich. I also wonder about cheez-whiz... I don't recall anything but white american cheese and provolone when I have gone to the allegedly authentic places in Philly.

          -Mike Z

          4 Replies
          1. re: Mike Zurer
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            Jason Perlow RE: Mike Zurer Jul 11, 2001 06:18 PM

            No, cheez whiz is THE authentic cheese to be used. Genos for example, which is the picture I posted, uses it. Provolone and american cheese are actualy variations, quality variations nevertheless.

            1. re: Jason Perlow
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              ironmom RE: Jason Perlow Jul 11, 2001 09:14 PM

              Gee, maybe we can upgrade that to Velveeta.

              1. re: ironmom
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                Holly Moore RE: ironmom Jul 11, 2001 11:41 PM

                Velveta won't work. Has to be CheezeWiz. It's the synergy in the pairing of the grease from the meat and the grease that cooks out of the cheezeWiz that makes the cheese steak a truly great cheese steak.

                I switch back and forth between sliced beef and CheeseWiz and chopped beef and provolone though the guilt is there when I opt for provolone.

                Holly Moore
                HollyEats.Com

                Link: http://www.hollyeats.com

            2. re: Mike Zurer
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              Caitlin Wheeler RE: Mike Zurer Jul 12, 2001 09:53 AM

              No ketchup, though I have to say that a less than optimal cheesesteak can be improved immensely by A1 steak sauce.

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              Joe Moryl RE: Simon Majumdar Jul 12, 2001 11:24 AM

              In the town where I live, S. Orange, NJ, the local pizzaria makes pretty decent subs including a cheesesteak. If you order this as "cheesesteak with everything" you get: grilled thin cut steak (probably rib eye, not as thin as steak-umms), grilled onions and bell peppers, cubed potatoes resembling home fries and catsup. When I asked about the potatoes and catsup I was told that this was a "North Jersey" cheesesteak. Not a bad combination actually. Anyone else ever hear of this?

              Cheers,
              Joe Moryl

              1 Reply
              1. re: Joe Moryl
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                Joe Moryl RE: Joe Moryl Jul 12, 2001 11:27 AM

                (e)

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                zim RE: Simon Majumdar Jul 12, 2001 02:43 PM

                simon,

                I live in chicago and went to school in philly. that being said I am surprised to hear you had a philly in chicago. They're are actually not any good ones to be had in the city. Are you sure you did not have an italian beef? (bread dipped in beef jus, giardinara on top?)

                If it was indeed a philly cheesteak than you need italian roll bread, ribeye thin slice (not neccesarily good quality) grilled onions and cheez whiz. wiz is the classic topping and is non negotiable.

                optional toppings all over philly are pizza sauce, grilled sliced mushrooms, peppers, provolone instead of cheeze whiz

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                  Eric Eto RE: Simon Majumdar Jul 12, 2001 03:43 PM

                  While it is possible to find decent specimen of a philly cheesesteak in other part of the country, you really must try the real thing locally in the philly area. The classic establishments (Gino's, Pats, Jim's, etc.) do use thinly sliced ribeye, grilled onions, and insist on cheesewiz, on an italian roll. While the classic is quite tasty, I might be considered a rebel because I prefer provolone cheese and raw onions. I do believe ketchup is available as a condiment, but to me it is completely inappropriate, like, well, lemon on fish and chips.

                  If you do get to Philly for "steaks" as they say, you'll need to be versed on the proper ordering lingo. To order the default cheesesteak (described above) you simply say "steak with" -- "with" referring to grilled onions (the cheesewiz as I said is default). If you don't want the onions, you say "without". In my case, I order "provolone with raw".

                  The best cheesesteak I've had (and perhaps this is even more blasphemous among the Philadelphians here) is in South Jersey at a place called Gaetano's. I was taken there going through various backroads so I have no idea how to retrace the steps to find the place again. Anyway, the cheesesteak hoagie is the item of choice there. They're enormous and have about double the meat from any of the philly places I've been to. The "hoagie" element, as far as I can tell, is the addition of lettuce, tomatoes, raw onions, and italian herbs, and perhaps some vinegar (who knows, the flavors were compeletely melded by the time I took a bite). But boy, was it heavenly.

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