Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Philly Cheesesteak with Garlic Aioli

When Parrish and I were dating, well before my Celiac diagnosis, we would often go out to eat for the sole purpose of finding the perfect Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich.

Since going gluten free nearly SEVEN years ago (!!!) I haven’t had a cheesesteak. But lately, I’ve been thinking more and more about those random nights in Wilmington with Parrish. The melty cheese – the crisp buttery bun. So I knew it was time.

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There were a few restaurants in Wilmington we loved, and each one had three key features: toasted buns, tons of veggies, and ooey gooey melted cheese.

For the bun I used Rudi’s gluten free Whole Grain Hot Dog Buns. I cut them in half and then microwaved them for 20 seconds to get them soft before going in the oven.

For veggies, I thinly sliced red pepper, green pepper, and white onion,

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and then sauteed them on medium low with a bit of olive oil until they caramelized in my cast iron skillet.

For cheese, I used a new-to-me block of Cabot Cheese that I found at my local Harris Teeter:

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As soon as I saw the “Bold & Creamy” product note, I knew I had to use it for these sandwiches. I used big shreds instead of slices so that I could get more coverage without going overboard on the cheese. ( Like you could ever go overboard on cheese?!)

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For the steak I simply cut some thinly sliced strip steak into small bite-size long strips, and gave it a quick saute in my cast iron skillet. I cooked the steak to medium, since I knew I was also going to broil the entire sandwich in the oven. Nothing worse than overcooked steak!

To assemble, I topped the open faced buns with a bit of cheese, then a few strips of cooked steak, a big handful of caramelized veggies, and then sprinkled more cheese on top.

Once all the bread pieces were topped, I popped them in the oven on High Broil and let them cook until the cheese was melted and the bun had toasted a bit. Be sure to keep an eye on the sandwiches while broiling. You can go from perfect to burnt in just a few seconds.

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I decided to go open-face sandwiches for two reasons: 1. Gluten free bread is so thick and I didn’t want the bread portion to overpower any of the sandwich portions, and 2. I knew I would want to eat two sandwiches (because they were so delicious), so this way I still only had one bun.

These sandwiches really turned out great. I was super impressed by how easy they were to throw together. But you wanna know what took the flavors to the next level?

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To be more precise: Garlic Aioli but it started out as mayo.

Now let me say, I don’t like mayonnaise from a jar. I’ve never liked it. I hate the flavor and the texture.

BUT I LOVE freshly made mayo. The ingredients are super simple:

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1 egg – 1 cup of light tasting olive oil – Juice from 1/2 of a lemon – a tiny squirt of mustard – a pinch of salt

Put all the above in a glass mason jar, and using your immersion blender. Blend!

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Yep. It’s that easy. Crazy easy in fact. I followed this recipe HERE from The Healthy Foodie and couldn’t have been happier with it. I’ve tried a few different mayo recipes with no luck, so I was shocked by how easy this was!

After I made the first batch, I scooped out a bit of plain mayo and then added minced garlic and a dash of pepper to my mixing jar.

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The result was a spicy, garlicky mayo that was perfect for our sandwiches. We literally just dipped our sandwiches in it…..and maybe a finger or two.

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Cheesesteak Sandwiches are definitely being added in to the Weekly Menu Rotation! I can’t wait to have a leftover slider for lunch today – especially since writing this blog post made me super hungry.