Tag Archives: street meat

Cheesesteak, Philly

HEY HEY! Today, wholly in the warm clasp of the Cs, we come to the Cheesesteak comma Philly.

The noble Philly Cheesesteak is the introductory sandwich of many lifetime sandwich enthusiasts. Dating back eighty-odd years, the marriage of thin-sliced beef, grilled onions and mushrooms, mayonnaise, sometimes peppers (hot or sweet are both acceptable), AND A (“)CHEESE(“) is both beautiful and impressive. The battle rages on between those who insist on “traditional” provolone, and those who demand recognition for a “steak with ‘whiz,” as in, a cheesesteak with Cheez Whiz, which, honestly, sounds terrible, but I’m willing to try most anything, and how bad could extra-salty cheese-flavored cheese-food product be on a steak sandwich? The bread is evidently Amoroso or Vilotti-Pisanelli, the latter of which sounds like an extremely profitable merger or the overwrought stylings of a couple who couldn’t choose between either complicated last name for their child. Thin and long and soft, I knew no standard hoagie roll nor baguette would suffice, here.

Having not grown up anywhere near Philadelphia nor the east coast of the continental United States, I’ve never had a proper Philly, thus felt utterly unqualified to prepare my own Vicomtesse’s Special Philadelphia-Brand Cheesing Steak. We were off, then, to a purportedly fine (Her Eminence has been singing its praises for years) purveyor of the sandwich here in town, Shut Up and Eat to outsource it, as with the Barbecue and Banh Mi sandwiches.

Preparation
We didn’t make ’em! We just paid for them (called Broad Street Bombers at SUAE) and took our beers and a seat, eyeing each others’ meaty upper arms a bit dangerously. I am sad to report they had no Cheez Whiz, but apparently they get asked that semi-regularly! Finally, they arrived. They certainly looked perfect:

Impressions
The beef, the onions, the peppers, even the mayo and provolone were perfect. The beef tore apart perfectly, the cheap cut made perfect, the slight amount of gristle adding texture and interest rather than chewy uselessness. The draped, melted cheese bound the onions to the peppers to the beef, and the bite was good, and chewy, but the bread was WRONG. Here in Portland we just keep dressing up sandwiches that are already perfect. Look, the elk burger with baby shallots and baby salmonella sprouts and baby avocadian spears is really good, but so is just a damn ordinary burger. The bread on the Bomber was a fine some-kind-of-sourdough with a hearty crumb, great flavor, and a long chew – really good bread! But we’re not looking for really good bread – you want a cheap, white, long roll, softened with preservatives and dough conditioners, perfected with salt and probably sugar, maybe even an artificial fat of some kind, margarine or whatever.

Do you immediately want another of this sandwich?
Her Eminence and Her Eminence’s Boyfriend appeared to greatly enjoy theirs, though H.E.B. got a chicken Bomber instead, reporting it delicious and quickly eliminated. Her Eminence disagreed a skosh with me on the wrongness of the bread, which I understand – it was pretty good bread, after all, and a great sandwich on its own merits.

The Vicomtesse: Look, guys. The sandwich was great! Really, it was fabulous. But she just weren’t no Philly – the bread is VERY IMPORTANT – and I’ll have to wait til I visit a friend who moved there recently to eat a real one.

that said there aren’t a lot of sandwiches out there that I don’t immediately want another of – it was good, and yes, my friends, my heart, always

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Broodjie Kroket

Oh my, are you ready for your second meat slurry sandwich in as many weeks?!???!!! OHHHH YEAAAAHHHHHHHHHH.  

The Broodjie Kroket is a Dutch sandwich, traditionally served as street food.  And I will tell you, this is a sandwich that should be eaten (and made) while drunk.  Because you have to overcome all of your instincts NOT to eat this sandwich, but, oh friends, it will be worth it.  

I am just kidding about making this sandwich drunk because it had approximately ONE BILLION steps, the most critical of which involves a deep fryer.  Ok, let’s get into it:

First, purchase your ingredients. Some nice soft rolls, roast beef, spicy mustard, mushrooms and onions, soy sauce, thyme, and stuff to make bechamel.  I followed this recipe. I will tell you now (SPOILERS) that our krokets looked absolutely nothing like the picture in this recipe and this woman must be some kind of wizard.  

Second, blend all of your ingredients in a food processor, save the rolls and mustard.  This includes the bechamel that you have lovingly stirred on the stove.  Note: in retrospect, I think I used too much bechamel sauce.  The recipe is in UK standard measurements and I would just urge you to be judicious in your bechamel use.  This will create a meat slurry.  Pop that bad boy in the fridge for several hours.

You would think that the fridge chilling would solidify your meat slurry, but in our case, it sure did not! Friends, I am going to be crude here for a second: these meat slurry “logs” that you form straight up look like doo-doo.  

Take your meat slurry logs, which are not easy to pick up and will definitely make you gag, dip them in flour (flour covered turd logs), then in egg, which in our case was, uh, unnecessary, then in bread crumbs. 

Then, deep fry for 5 minutes.  I believe it is also possible to fry on a stovetop if you are not like me and have not purchased a countertop deep fryer on Craigslist.  A deep fryer hides a multitude of sins.  Those sins are virtually unrecognizable when put in a nice soft roll and slathered with mustard.  They were actually pretty dang tasty.  

A couple of tweaks: the Vicomtesse had the brilliant idea to carve out some of the bread, a trick we learned from our Bauru days.  It helped.  The Vicomtesse also added some pickles to her sandwich number 2 (haha, get it?!), which she contends brought to sandwich to epic levels of deliciousness.  

So, final question: Do you immediately want another of this sandwich?

Vicomtesse: I did want another, so I made another one, con pickles. The pickles changed it from a pretty good sandwich, to an incredible one.  Though not strictly traditional, I stand behind my decision. 

Her Eminence: While the sandwich exceeded my admittedly very low expectations, I was so traumatized by the process of making them, that I did not immediately want another one.  I feel, however, with the lessons learned from this first go-round, that I would perhaps try to make it again.  Even if only to conquer the turd beasts and show them who is truly the master.  

Bun Kebab

SO. This week’s scheduled sandwich was to be the Brodje Kroket, but being short of time and long of hunger, we opted for the mighty Bun Kebab instead. A traditional Pakistani street food item, this is something that both Her Eminence and myself have never made before, SO WE WENT ALL OUT (I know, I know, we wanted to save time, so instead we SPENT ALL OF THE TIME). I made the ghee two days ago with a number of delightful videos and tutorials, found here and here! (this’s fantastic and charming) and many other places besides.

Her Eminence found a fabulous recipe at some Aussie website which differed a bit from the vision of the Vicomtesse re: the chutney. Because the called-for tamarind chutney was approximately $7,600,492.89 at our local too-posh grocery, we made our own with apples, garlic, onions, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, salt, & chili pepper. Oh, and of course, the ghee that we made – the ghee went in EVERYTHING, because it tastes like the imagination’s ideal version of Butter that your grandmother brags about eating every morning as a kid.

For the lentils, we DID scrimp a bit on that for time’s sake, and bought the blandest can of low-sodium lentil soup we could, and strained all the water and other mushy veggies off. What little herbs were added to the canned soup delight were of no import, Her Eminence and myself ruled. After skimming those off, we threw some glassy onions cooked in ghee, fresh ginger, jalapeno, cumin, cinnamon, and salt into the food processor along with the cheater lentils. chentils? After mixing those up, then the pound of ground lamb & an egg went in, and it was all ground to a fine, gross looking grayish paste. Sorry friends! It all already smelled amazing, though, so we knew we were onto something.

Per the instructions, we let the hand-formed, mushy, fluffy patties (that all still sounds really gross) cool & gel in the fridge for a while, and after sitting and catching up for a bit, we fried up some shredded ginger (also in the ghee, because DUH) and set that aside with all the other sandwich toppers.

OK. PHEW. THIS WAS ACTUALLY A LOT OF WORK. After an hour of stone chillin’, we took the patties out of the fridge and fried them up. This part, you guys, this part smelled really, really, really good. Ahhhhh. After AT LEAST eight months (perhaps upwards of ten minutes) of waiting and frying, we assembled the bun:

d

Oh my god.

Impressions

These were both light and intense, delicate and heavy-hitting. The fried ginger added a dimensionality to it that neither of us was expecting, and the fresh cucumber, tomato & superthin jalapeno slices were complex and so, so good. The homemade chutney added depth and sweetness, and the fried egg (!) on top, which Her Eminence and I both thought was superfluous, ended up contributing a lot of richness to what was by itself a rather delicate affair. This was up there with the Bauru. It’s hard to use much hyperbole here because it was just a solid, delicious, incredible sandwich.

Do you immediately want another of this sandwich?

YES. yes. yes. Planning on eating just one (basically a burger), we instead each ate two. Good gravy, my friends, this was a perfect sandwich. Yes, lots of prep, but just totally incredible, so impressed with how good this was. it was so good! sorry guys!!

UNTIL NEXT TIME, SANDWICH DWEEBS