How does a Phillies fan heal their soul after losing the World Series to the Yankees of all teams? You drown your sorrows and heartache...no not in alcohol! Well, yes partly in alcohol but better yet Cheese Steak Pasta!
There aren't many things more comforting and delicious than a Cheese Steak or a big bowl of pasta, so why not combine the two. As the Phillies approached Game 5 of the World Series, my husband and I still had some hope left that just maybe they could win and defend their title as the World Champions. We opted to not go out to watch the game as that tends to put to much pressure on the winning factor. Instead we stayed in on that cool fall night, and I decided to cook a meal that represents Philadelphia. Nothing is more Philadelphia than the Cheese Steak! I know the good people of the New York Post claim that New Yorkers are far above Cheese Steaks but I am pretty sure I saw numerous New York plates over the weekend during Game 3, 4, and 5, circling for parking near the best Cheese Steak joints. Don't even try to tell me a cheese steak is not good. If you do, then you are either a liar or a vegetarian.
With this idea in my head, I contemplated the simplest recipe that would embody all the flavors that we like our Cheese Steaks to have. Now, everyone orders their cheese steak differently. Traditionalists go for the Wiz-Cheese Wiz that is. Some order it with provolone (New Yorkers) and I personally go for American cheese. There is something about the melting ability of the mild American cheese that is perfect with the rich chopped steak. For your Cheese Steak, there is also a choice of vegetables. We always order steaks with fried onions (sauteed onions) however some order with green peppers, hot peppers, sweet peppers, or mushrooms. When my husband and I eat a Cheese Steak, which is rare, we add a squeeze of Ketchup along the top of the steak along with small dollops of hot cherry peppers. My recipe is derived from the exact way I like a Cheese Steak but this can be changed depending upon how you like yours.
Lizzy M.'s Cheese Steak Pasta
1 Package Fettuccine
1 lb. thin sliced roast beef (from the deli)
2 Medium sized yellow onions
2 Garlic cloves
1 Tbsp steak seasoning
1/4 Cup Ketchup
2 Tbsp Chopped hot peppers
2 Cups Skim milk
1/2 lb sliced American cheese, cut in quarters
1/2 Cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp flour
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Dash Crushed red pepper
First fill a large pasta pot with water and bring to a boil. When it boils, add salt and the fettuccine. Cook the fettuccine as directed.
While the fettuccine boils, cut each onion in half and then make thin slices lengthwise. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a dash of crushed red pepper. Once heated, add the sliced onions, and a dash of salt and black pepper. Toss the onions well to coat in the oil. Next, pile the roast beef on a cutting board and slice thin long slices. Then slice horizontally a few times to make small thin slices of beef. Add the beef to the onions and mix well. As it cooks, add the Ketchup and hot peppers and stir thoroughly. Finally grate 2 garlic cloves into the skillet and mix well. At this point, turn the heat to low and stir occasionally.
The final step is the cheese sauce! In a saucepan, heat up 2 cups of milk until it simmers. Add 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk until it is incorporated. Next add all the cheese, and a dash of salt and black pepper. Stir with a wooden spoon gently until the cheese is melted and the sauce has thickened. When the sauce is to your liking, turn the heat off the beef and add the sauce to the beef mixture. Mix well. Finally add the Fettuccine to the large skillet with the beef and cheese sauce. Toss the pasta in the mixture and serve immediately. Top each serving with extra Ketchup and hot peppers if desired. You might want to fast all day or just eat vegetables before eating this dish as it is definitely a splurge. Perhaps a green salad would help to balance the sinful richness of this pasta.
If you would like to experience the main culinary attraction of Philadelphia from the comfort of your home wherever it may be well you can't because nothing tops the flavor and deliciousness of a Cheese Steak. Even I cannot duplicate the simple perfection of this dish but I did come close. So, try out this Cheese Steak Pasta. If you haven't already, then come to Philly and eat a Cheese Steak-you won't regret it!
Go Phillies 2010!! I will miss you Utley, Victorino, Werth, Rollins, Howard, Feliz, Ruiz, Ibanez, Martinez, Blanton and Lee and all the rest of you Fightin' Phils!