Monday, February 11, 2013

In Search of the Ultimate Philly

Retirement life means taking a little bit more time for meal preparation. And for me, probably learning a few more dishes to add to my cooking repertoire. 

For many years, I've been searching for the Ultimate Philly Sandwich in Nebraska. Any time I visit a new restaurant, that's usually what I try first. But I have to make one adjustment: no green peppers. Sorry, they just don't set well with me. Red peppers are fine, thank you very much.

Folks from Back East will be the first to point out that what we Midwesterners consider a Philly sandwich is not a true Philly. Technically, I suppose ours would be called Cheesesteak Sandwiches. Whatever. To me, it's a Philly.

Sooz's Nebraska Cheesesteak Sandwich
Not Just Another Philly
There are a few local restaurants where I can recommend the Philly. The Nebraska based chain, Pepperjax Grill, makes a good one. I recommend ordering the seasoning "light" as it's a bit too salty otherwise. Lansky's in Omaha produces another excellent sandwich, as does Brewsky's. Jimmy C's Homestyle Restaurant in Omaha also makes a good Philly.

As good as these are, some are missing the extra zing I'm looking for. In recent years, I've been working on perfecting my own version of the Philly and my latest creation tops any Philly that I've had in a restaurant.

The key is butter. Not margarine. Real butter. Here's how I do it:

Melt about 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in saucepan.

When melted, add 1/2 onion, thinly sliced. Sautee until onions are soft.

Add 4 oz. canned mushrooms, drained. Continue sauteeing with the onions. The next time I make these, this is the step where I will add 1/4 of a red pepper, thinly sliced.

Move all ingredients to one side of the saucepan. On the empty side of the saucepan, add one patty of frozen Farmland shredded beef. I suppose you could try Pepperjax's new Grill At Home meat, now available in grocery stores. Chop and separate beef until it is fully cooked. Sprinkle some of Famous Dave's Steak Burger Seasoning over all ingredients. Not too much.

Mix all ingredients together, lining everything up lengthwise in the middle of the pan.

On the top of the ingredients, place three slices of provolone cheese. Allow to melt, partially.

Slice a hoagie bun from top to bottom (not sideways like a hot dog bun). Spread open. Place over the ingredients in the saucepan.

With a spatula, place all of the ingredients onto the bun. Pictured is a 4 oz. whole wheat bun. It's a bit much, so you can probably use a smaller hoagie bun. As shown, this is huge, so cut it in half and share with a friend.

Voila! You have Sooz's Nebraska Cheesesteak Sandwich (not just another Philly).