Philadelphia. City of Brotherly Love. So named (from the Greek words "philos" meaning love and "adelphos" meaning brother) because the city's founder, William Penn, wanted the place to be a refuge from religious persecution.
I wonder what Penn might think of that today, what with this year's contentious election and the Democratic National Convention at hand in the city.
But, current times aside, Philadelphia has a lovely history.
Home of the Liberty Bell. And Independence Hall, where the founding fathers debated (and adopted) the Declaration of Independence AND the Constitution.
Once the temporary capital of the United States while the newly minted America waited for the District of Columbia to be built.
And, among the more mundane of matters, home of the Philly Cheese Steak.
Philly Cheese Steak.
I have to say, I've been to Philadelphia several times and never ate one.
But thoughts of the city and its famous hoagie (hero sandwich, sub, whatever others may call it) got me to think about trying one at home.
I looked at lots of recipes and saw that they called for different cuts of beef, cut into strips. I decided on skirt steak because it's so juicy and flavorful.
I also noticed that the cheese could be cheddar or American or provolone and even -- OY -- cheese whiz.
I opted for provolone (non-dairy, soy-based from Daiya Foods) because it has such a magnificent tang to it.
Some recipes called for sauteed mushrooms or other vegetables in addition to the more usual onions and red bell pepper. I decided not to.
In the end -- magnifico!!
Does it taste the way a Philly Cheese Steak is supposed to?
I have no clue.
All I know is that it tasted good. Very good.
And so, in honor of Philadelphia's few days in the sun again -- my recipe for Philly Cheese Steak.
Kosher Philly Cheese Steak
- 8 ounces skirt steak, semi-frozen
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 small red bell pepper, deseeded and sliced into narrow strips
- 2 hoagie rolls
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 4 slices Daiya soy “provolone style cheese”
Cut the beef into thin slices against the grain. Heat the vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and pepper strips and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes or until soft and lightly browned. Add the meat to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes or until browned. Cut the rolls in half. Move the meat and vegetables to one side of the pan (or temporarily spoon into a plate) and place the 4 pieces of roll, cut side down in the pan. Cook for a minute or so, to lightly toast the rolls. Turn the rolls cut side up. Using equal quantities, place equal quantities of meat and vegetables on each of the two roll bottoms. Top with equal amounts of the soy cheese. Cover with the tops of the rolls. Turn the heat to low. Cover the pan and cook for a minute or so or until the cheese has melted.
Makes 2 sandwiches