Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches

Sunday, July 20, 2014

After eating our way through the Reading Terminal Market, we took a stroll down Market Street, to the water, having only roughly sketched out other parts of the trip. Usually we like to explore without itinerary, preferring instead to stumble upon or into things.

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A house which I was photographing upon closer inspection turned out to be a reconstruction of the house which Thomas Jefferson rented and where he wrote the Declaration of Independence.

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Passing the Independence Hall and having missed the line to go inside of it, we tried the door of an adjacent building, which turned out to be open. We were then informed that we were inside a building that housed the first United States Supreme Court.

Then we stumbled into Ben Franklin's print shop.

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I'm sad to report that we didn't make it to the two notable Philly Cheese Steak places, each located across from the other, in some kind of amicable brotherly love type of cheesy rivalry (Geno's and Pat's), having veered too far off course along the winding cobblestone streets.

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Also, having gorged ourselves on DiNic's sandwiches and Pennsylvania Dutch doughnuts due to a bout of uncontrollable, almost fainting, hand-trembling hunger after spending two hours on the turnpike, they no longer seemed a priority. But hunger struck again following a two hour ride back.

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So we decided to make some at home, incorporating a DiNic's staple: sharp provolone.

This recipe is ridiculously simple. All you need is a big hunk of meat, which should be put in the freezer for about an hour to enable it to be sliced very thinly. We seasoned the meat with just Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper.

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The rest is easy. Cook up the steak slices, followed by a vegetable topping of your choice (we went with jalapeno slices and onions) in the remaining meat juices in the pan. Then stuff a hoagie roll with meat and vegetables. And sprinkle generously with cheese.

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Pop it in the oven at 350ºF for five minutes allowing the cheese to melt and the bread to crispen. Then consume with reckless abandon. After four hours on the road, this was much-needed sustenance.

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Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches
Serves 2

You will need:
3/4 lb sirloin (about 1 1/2 inch thick)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper (eyeball it)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded, cut into half moons
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 hoagie rolls
1/3 cup grated sharp provolone

Directions:
1. Put the steak in the freezer for 1 hour or more (it will not freeze, but firm up to enable you to slice it). With your knife at a 30 degree angle, slice the steak thinly. Season with Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper.
2. Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with foil, set aside. Heat oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Working in batches, place a few sirloin slices in a pan in a single layer. Cook 1 or 2 minutes per side, then flip with tongs, cooking 1 to 2 minutes more, until just done. Remove into a bowl. Repeat with the remainder of the slices. Set the bowl aside.
3. With the pan going, use the left-over meat juices to cook up the peppers and the onions, until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
4. Assemble the sandwiches. Slice the hoagies about 3/4 down the middle, length-wise and place on the baking sheet. Divide the meat evenly between the hoagies. Top with peppers and onions. Top each hoagie with cheese. Heat in the oven, until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

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