Monday, July 26, 2010

Steak & Cheese Subs

So it's been a bazillion degrees here in Pittsburgh this summer. And I really hate the heat. Hot & Humid for as long as I can remember... that makes for a cranky cranky Spryte.

It's Sunday, hot and humid as usual. I had to come up with a dinner plan. I had chicken in the fridge and I really wanted to make Fried Chicken. Tawny probably really wanted me to make it too. It's her FAVORITE dinner. But the thought of standing over an iron skillet, filled with 350 degree oil did not sound appealing at all!

Jon and I were at the grocery store... wandering around, trying to figure out what to make for dinner. He noticed that the footlong hotdogs are 6 to a package and so are the buns! I was kinda thinking footlong chili cheese dogs, but he wasn't really into it. I really wasn't either, cuz I really wanted fried chicken.

He kept tossing out suggestions and I kept shooting them down. I just wasn't feelin' it!

Finally he suggested CheeseSteak Hoagies. That's Steak & Cheese Subs where I'm from!

I had never made Steak & Cheese subs before. Well, not with actual meat. Only with Steak Ums. I'm not really sure what those are, but they are SO greasy & gross, I vowed NEVER to use them again!

I found some thin sliced round steaks, we grabbed those, checked out and headed back outside into the steamy weather for our walk home from the grocery store!


Steak & Cheese Subs
Round Steak, thinly sliced, then chopped
Yellow Onion
Salt & Pepper
Sub Rolls

*you can totally add other stuff... and I did for Jon & Tawny & Ryan (Ryan is Tawny's boyfriend) But I like them simple!

So I started with a big package of sandwich steak...

Sliced it up thin...

Then hit it with some double knife cross cutting action to make the pieces even smaller...

And into a hot skillet with a bit of oil...

Intermission time...

Ya know what's wicked funny? While I was making these, just at about this point, Jon was perusing Facebook on his phone and noticed his friend Noah was in Philly at Geno's! I instantly asked if he was going to Pat's too! As it turned out he was on his own little CheeseSteak Taste Tour in Philly, while I was making them at home! Crazy right? He also went to a place called Tony Luke's. Based on Noah's pictures alone, I'd choose Pat's. Geno's had the SKIMPIEST cheesesteak I've ever seen in my life! But, if I ever get the chance to go to Philly, I'll definitely try them all!

Anyway... back to my Steak & Cheese Subs!!

Jon doesn't like onions... the skillet above is actually just for him...

But now I'll skip forward a bit...

Everyone else really likes onions... so after making Jon's sammie, which you'll see at the end, I tossed some thinly sliced yellow onions into the skillet.


Mmmm... the sizzle and instant onion aroma when they hit the skillet...


Aren't they gorgeous? I wish I could make this a Scratch-n-Sniff post, because that smelled amazing...

Then added the steak...

Mmmm... onions & steak... cooking together happily in the iron skillet...

Now to portion out the meat & onions and top with some provolone cheese slices to start melting...


Jon like his roll slathered in mayo...

So I topped that with the gooey melty cheesy steak...

Plus black olives & pickles, lettuce & salt & pepper...

Actually, Tawny's & Ryan's were pretty much the same, except they had onions, but no mayo.

Mine is just meat & cheese and salt & pepper!

These were wicked good!! I spent a good bit of time proclaiming my awesomeness after I finished these!

The only thing that would have made them better?

Homemade Sub Rolls!

I really want to try baking my own bread and am often inspired by these Bread Baking Goddesses!!

Natashya at Living in the Kitchen with Puppies
Heather at girlichef
Danielle at Cooking for My Peace of Mind

Whether you bake your own sub rolls or go with some nice bakery rolls... if you love Steak & Cheese, I highly recommend this wicked fast, wicked easy, wicked yummy sub!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Morgan's Veggie Patties

Every once in a while it occurs to me to make a meatless meal. I'd like to do it once or twice a week, but in actuality it only happens more like once or twice a month.

I saw Guy Fieri make these on Guy's Big Bite and they looked wicked tasty, so I decided to give them a try! Plus when I looked up the recipe online, it had a 5-star rating with 85 reviews. Looks like a winner!


Morgan's Veggie Patties (slightly adapted)
2 oz olive oil
3 TBLS diced red onion
2 TBLS diced black olives
2 TBLS diced red bell peppers
1 tsp diced jalapeno
1 1/2 TBLS diced garlic
1 TBLS diced artichoke
4 oz black beans, drained
4 oz chickpeas, drained
4 oz white beans, drained
6 oz rolled oats
1/2 tsp Hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 TBLS minced fresh parsley leaves
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp ground sage
2 TBLS seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg

In a medium saute pan over medium heat, add 1-ounce olive oil and all raw veggies except beans. Saute until translucent. Remove and cool.

In a large bowl, partial mash beans.

Add veggies to beans and mix thoroughly. Add all dry ingredients along with the egg. Thoroughly mix all ingredients and form into 4 patties, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In saute pan add 1-ounce olive oil, and cook patties 2 to 3 minutes per side.


Saute all raw veggies except beans, in olive oil, until translucent. Then cool.

In a large bowl, partially mash beans.

Add veggies to beans & mix well.

Add all dry ingredients and mix well.

Form into 4 patties & refrigerate for 30 minutes.
(I doubled this so I had less leftover beans, that's why I have 8 portions)

Cook 2 - 3 minutes per side in hot, oiled skillet.


Garnish as desired & enjoy!

These were great on whole wheat buns, but would also be great in a pita or on a bed of greens!

I'm also submitting this for Meatless Monday!MyMeatlessMondays and Hey What's For Dinner

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Brats in Beer with Sauerkraut

Grill season is in full swing. What's your favorite thing to grill?

I can never choose. Anytime I fire up the coals, the kids usually want burgers & dogs. But I usually want to grill some chicken or steak or veggies or pork or shrimp... See my problem? I can't choose!! So typically, the minimum that ends up on my grill is burgers & dogs, plus at least one other protein.

One Jon's often requested grilled foods is Brats.

I didn't grow up eating these and honestly, I'm not a big fan. I'm not really sure how or why I started making them like this.

But Jon & our friends seem to really like them!

Brats in Beer with Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut, mostly drained
Onion, sliced
salt & pepper
Sausage Rolls (nice ones!)
Mustard (the good stuff!!)
Mayo (if you like)

Make a bed of sauerkraut in the bottom of a grill-safe pan.
Top with some sliced onions, then brats.
Top brats with more sauerkraut & sliced onions.
Sprinkle with a little salt & pepper.
Cover with beer.
Let that rest in the fridge for awhile (until the coals are ready)
Put the pan on the grill. If the beer is boiling too much... move it to a cooler part of the grill, so it doesn't totally boil off. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Pull the brats out of the sauerkraut and place them on the grill to get some nice grill marks on them. Serve them in a sausage roll that has really good mustard and mayo in it... add some of the sauerkraut & onions and enjoy!


I like to use little foil loaf pans for this. They each hold two brats plus kraut nicely.


Ok... looks like I added the beer before topping with kraut... but in hindsight... adding the beer last would be better!


Now to get the coals ready.

That's Jon's job. I hate to do it and I'm not very good at it. It takes me forever!

Coals are ready... on to the grill they go!

They are sharing the grill with some Ranch Turkey Burgers.


Ok... ready for some grill marks.

I moved them to the other grill... because that's where I had room!

One opened up a bit...

Time to get the sausage rolls ready.

Jon prefers Mr. Mustard for his brats... and he like mayo too.




That's it! Ready to eat!

That probably would have looked a little better cut in half! But I assure you... if you love brats... you'll love them like this!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Islay's BBQ Ham Sammies

So the guys at work give me a hard time because I often complain about Pittsburgh. Don't get me wrong, I love living here, but it's definitely my #2 choice. I grew up in the Boston area and then lived near San Diego for quite a few years. By far Boston is my favorite! San Diego is a good place to vacation. But if you love rain and snow and changing of the seasons, it's definitely not someplace you want to live.

Most of my complaining is missing regional foods. I miss all the food in Boston. Pizza, Italian food, Seafood, even the Chinese food is different... try getting chicken fingers anywhere in Pittsburgh. I know you're thinking you can... but that's because you don't know what they're like from a Chinese restaurant in Boston... deep fried in that fluffy batter... so good... even cold outta the fridge the next day... oops... I'm getting off track here... and of course I miss the Mexican food of SoCal!

Anyway... I always say if I left Pittsburgh, there's no food I'd really miss. I would miss MadMex's Insane San Francisco Wings... and Mike & Tony's gyros... but really... that's about it for food.

They wanted me to try something uniquely Pittsburgh and suggested the Isaly's BBQ Chipped Chopped Ham Sandwich.

I decided it was time to give it a try.

First to get a little more info about it, I consulted my friend the internet.

There I discovered that Isaly's Chipped Chopped Ham is "hammier". Yup... that's right "hammier". I'm not sure what it's supposed to be more hammier than. It's definitely hammier than ice cream or roast beef or broccoli... but if it's supposed to be hammier than other ham... well... I don't get it.


You're supposed to heat the Chipped Chopped Ham with Isaly's BBQ sauce. I found the BBQ at the deli of my local Giant Eagle. I had planned to get Original flavor and Spicy flavor. Unfortunately they only had original. So original it was!


I smelled the BBQ sauce when I opened it... and instantly it reminded me of Spaghetti-O's sauce, which I think is revolting. I was describing the smell to Jon, saying it smelled like sweet tomato sauce... he picked up the other jar and started to read the ingredients... The first two ingredients... Tomato Puree & High Fructose Corn Syrup... to be followed by more corn syrup a couple ingredients down. Well... at least it smells like what's in it!

I took a little taste... and it was WAY too sweet for my liking. I was thinking this might turn out to be a pizza night... even though the best pizza is at Wakefield House of Pizza on Tuttle St in Wakefield... unless you want Sicilian.. then you have to go to Morena's on Broadway in Wakefield... oh... sorry... getting side-tracked by the foods that I miss again!!

So I tossed the Isaly's Chipped Chopped Ham into a skillet. Then added the sauce. The salty ham did improve the taste of the BBQ sauce, but not really enough that I'd actually want to eat it. So then I poured in a big dollop of Jack Daniel's Honey Smokehouse BBQ sauce in an attempt to make it more edible.


That made it much better!

Yay! Dinner, while not authentically Pittsburgh, was at least not a fail.

It turned out to be pretty yummy.

So there's still not really much food I'd miss if I left here. Even though this turned out yummy, it's unlikely I'd make it again. I prefer my ham smoked and slathered with mustard!