Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
One of the biggest things we miss about Philadelphia is the cheesesteak. You can't get one anywhere in Pittsburgh that tastes anything like 'em. Plus - Pittsburgh has no idea how to make a real Philly cheesesteak - they do not come with lettuce, tomatoes, and mushrooms!
Sure, you could go to Pat's or Geno's and get your "whiz wit", but the best cheesesteaks come from a little place hidden away in a small shopping plaza (Pennsport Mall) in south Philly - Gooey Louie's. Louie's isn't fancy - not by a long shot. It's mainly a small convenience store with a grill in the back, but it's Philly's best kept secret. Louie's doesn't do "whiz", but that's ok. They top theirs with white American cheese and they somehow manage to get it, well, gooey! The sandwiches are also piled high with about a pound of meat and fried onions.
Let's get started. What I've assembled here is what I think will make the most authentic Philly cheesesteak. I have:
2 large vidalia onions
White American cheese
chipsteak (thin slices of beef)
Italian bread (2 foot long loaves)
The chipsteak comes from a local beef farm. Their cows are free-range and organic. Not that it will make a better cheesesteak, but it's good quality beef.
In a cast iron skillet*, sautee the diced onions with about 2 tablespoons of butter. Season with salt and pepper.
*It doesn't have to be cast iron, per se, it's just my new favorite skillet.
You want the onions nice and caramelized so they are sweet and tender. Then place them in a bowl and set aside.
To get that gooey texture to the cheese, I cut up my cheese into pieces and put it in a double boiler covered with plastic wrap. Let this sit over simmering water and the cheese will melt nicely.
In the same skillet that you fried the onions, brown the chipsteak. I chopped the steak up into smaller pieces before cooking.
Take your Italian rolls and split them down the middle. With a spatula, spread the melted American cheese on the roll. Then add the browned steak and top with fried onions. (I also put ketchup on mine.)
Monday, October 27, 2008
Still, experimental cereal is a good thing. Wonder why we don't have this in the States.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Pumpkin pie isn't much of a mystery. All you need is a can of Libby's Canned Pumpkin and the recipe is right there. Believe it or not, it makes a pretty darn tasty pumpkin pie. So what are we doing here? My CSA gave us some 'baking pumpkins' so we don't want the cute little guy to go to waste!
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Friday, October 3, 2008
1 head of cabbage - chopped (core removed)
You want the cabbage browned (see below). To be technical, you need to caramelize the cabbage to bring out the sweetness. It will probably take about 35-40 minutes of sauteeing and stirring to get it to this point. Do NOT cover with a lid at any time! You want the water to cook out and caramelize the sugars.
Now you want to boil the noodles. Once they're tender, drain and mix with the cabbage. I like to let it sit on very low heat so that the noodles have time to absorb some of the butter/shortening and the cabbage flavor. Salt and pepper to taste.
Let me preface this by saying - that is not my ugly bowl. I brought this soup to work and this is one of our office dishes.
As you may already know, I belong to a CSA Farm. It's squash season and they've hooked me up with some acorn squash and some butternut squash. Heck, I don't know what to do with it...my husband won't eat it in any way, shape, or form. So, I figure I'd whip up a soup and take it to work to share with my 5 co-workers. Luckily, it was a hit!
Acorn Squash-Butternut Squash Soup
1 butternut squash - peeled and cut into chunks
1 acorn squash - peeled and cut into chunks
3 granny smith apples, peeled and diced
1 onion - diced
1 clove of garlic - diced
3 14-oz cans of chicken broth
1 Tablespoon Butter
1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Tablespoon of sage, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Toss the squash chunks in a little bit of olive oil (to coat) and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes at 400 degrees.
While the squash is roasting, melt the butter in a dutch oven or stock pot and sautee the apple and onion for about 10 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, sage, and the spices (Chinese 5 Spice/Nutmeg).
Add the chicken broth and the squash and simmer for 30 minutes. Place the soup into a food processor and puree until slightly chunky/slightly smooth. You will need to do this in batches. If you have a hand-blender, this would work perfectly.
Season with salt/pepper and serve.