Cheesesteaks: Sloppy, Gooey, Adapted

Hello!  I hope you had a great weekend!  I did—it was full of special celebrations, baseball, frozen yogurt, ravioli, a manicure and pedicure with some girlfriends… I am totally obsessed with the color of my toes, which is seafoam.  It makes me feel like a mermaid, but even cooler!

I hope this doesn't gross you out. These are my freshly-seafoamed toes on the way to Dodger Stadium! Isn't L.A. gorgeous!? Yes, that's traffic...

Also, I am currently blogging from the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on Ventura Boulevard in Encino.  This is very new to me.  I feel important, because I paid for my coffee and everything.  I never pay for coffee!  I always drink it out of my baseball travel mug and only use the Fresh Market Breakfast Blend my mommy sends me.

Okay, so we had half of that flank steak left over, and it was time to make use of it.  We were pretty sure we wanted to take it in the direction of steak sandwich, but the steak sandwich is a universal celebration of good things, and there’s no one golden recipe.  Oh, what can one not do with a loaf of bread and some good beef!?  After some meditation, and an evaluation of what was hanging out in the fridge, we decided that we wanted to try something new to our kitchen, but not new to the world— we were going to attempt a steak sandwich that overweight men in the mid-Atlantic have been championing for years:

The Philly Cheesesteak, Adapted-ish

Cheesesteaks! I hope I am not alienating my vegetarian readers! Look, I ate carrots!

Now, I can’t honestly say I’ve ever even consumed a true Philly Cheesesteak.  And considering my obnoxiously low tolerance for fake cheese and cheap, oily beef, I’d probably have trouble keeping an “authentic” one down.  But I really like onions and peppers and good cheese and savory steak and soft but crunchy bread.  And, as you know, I’m pretty keen on the art of sandwiching.  So we gave it a try, and it was so easy and so good!  And so filling!  Yum!  I am also sure these would be great for a crowd, like a small sports-viewing party, because you can just pop ’em in the broiler 42 seconds before you’re ready to eat.


  • 2 hoagie rolls.  Or good french rolls, or sandwich rolls, etc.  I used a wheat sandwich roll and a white sandwich roll from the Whole Foods Bakery.  The important thing is to choose a roll that has structural integrity, as it will need to support the gooey, overflowing fillings you’re about to stuff inside of said roll.

    Chopping, pig-tailed.

  • Peppers and onions, grilled/sautéed.  1 onion and 1 bell pepper should be enough for 2 big sandwiches, and that’s a generous suggestion, because I always eat half of the grilled veggies before dinner is even served, and we still had some leftover.  I grilled red bell pepper and onion strips on my sandwich press with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a few chili flakes until the vegetables were soft and sweet, about 6 minutes.
  • Steak, at least half a pound.  I’m pretty sure we had 2/3 to 3/4 a pound of leftover flank steak, but this is kinda a clean-out-the-fridge-fact.  A little extra beef never killed anyone!  Eh, well, maybe it did… Anyway, Ryan sliced it up real thin into bite-size pieces.  He reheated it on the sandwich press again, in aluminum foil with olive oil, salt and garlic powder until it was warm and juicy but not tough.
  • Yellow mustard.  Or whatever you want, but we were just looking for a cheap, tangy bite without actually using something cheap and gross.  We spread it on the buns and then drizzled a little on top of the onions and peppers, too.
  • Sour cream.  I know this is totally not traditional, and kinda made our sandwiches fajitas on buns, but we love sour cream, and it added a gooey, junk-foody drip to the sandwich that is normally a function of really low-quality oil.  So whatever.
  • Provolone cheese.  For its amazing melting qualities, mellow flavors, and awesomeness in general.  And because it was in my fridge.

Method, in Brief!

  1. Cut open your rolls.
  2. Spread some yellow mustard on them.
  3. Dump reheated steak onto rolls.  Also, add some of the oil/juices leftover from the reheating process!

    Doesn't the beef really bring out the color of my nail polish? Also, did you know I thought I didn't like yellow mustard until three weeks ago?

  4. Add onions and peppers.

    I think I might turn into a grilled onion if I keep this up. Honestly, I eat them, always.

  5. Add sour cream if you want, and more mustard, and cheese.

    Sour cream and mustard kinda drizzled between cheese and veggies. This technique creates a tangy, oozing effect that a mysteriously greasy steak sandwich ought to boast.

  6. Put assembled sandwiches under the broiler until the cheese is bubbling.

    Broiled! That thing is SCARY.

  7. Eat!

    Cheesy, Gooey, Tangy Cheesesteaks! Hooooray!!


There is a picture I will probably never show anyone ever, that Ryan took of me last night, eating my cheesesteak.  I asked him after he took the picture “is it funny?”, which in girl means “do I look adorable?”.  He responded “yeah” and we put the camera away and continued to chow down.  Later, I looked at this picture and shrieked.  Guys, it was awful!  AWFUL.  I mean, I am there with my eyes half-open, my skin essentially gray, with ratty braided pigtails, and an overflowing sandwich the size of a shoe in the grips of my hands.

Ryan: “You asked me if it was funny.  It’s funny.”
Lauren: “You’re supposed to tell me if it’s awful!”
Ryan: “It’s impossible to look cute eating a cheesesteak.  Everyone knows that.”

Maybe if I get a billion requests I will think about showing the picture, but oh, is it bad…

Also, I have this Google Webmaster thing that I do not know how to use, but it does keep a record of the search queries that list Lauren’s Little Kitchen in the results.  Sometimes, they are really funny, like something about spanking a baby with frozen oatmeal.

For the billionth time, I have everything I need to make a batch of apple muffins, and it might actually happen later today.  But don’t get your hopes up, because I never actually manage to bake these little guys.  Sigh.  Have a great day!

6 Responses to “Cheesesteaks: Sloppy, Gooey, Adapted”
  1. sweetlife says:

    love the toes…oh mama great hubby would be in heaven…


  2. Monet says:

    So Ryan kind of grew up in Philly (spent his summers there with his dad) and we lived there last summer for about six weeks. As veg heads, we sampled quite a few vegetarian cheesesteaks, but I finally gave in and tried the real deal…and yes, it was amazing.
    I love your toes too, and I wish we could have pedicure parties. Wouldn’t that be too fun!
    I’m leaving for NYC tonight, and I’ll be sure to take lots of pics of all the yummy food I eat. Much love sweet friend!

  3. You crack me up! Lol – I loved your story.

  4. Mom says:

    Monday, as everyone should know by now, is pasta night at Mom’s house. Tonight we had some with those fabulous meatballs from the freezer. Dad thinks I slaved over the stove all afternoon but honestly your sandwiches probably took longer to prepare. Your nails look great and what happened to Dodger blue toes?

  5. Nice toes:) Oh and the food looks pretty good too!

  6. Jessie says:

    Amen. Cheesesteaks are amazing. My boyfriend’s dad is such a master that I blogged his version:

    Being from Philly, he would probably die to see it broiled, creamed and mustard-ed, but I like your non-traditional Cali form all the same.


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