Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Guilford Cheesesteaks

I've eaten a true Philly cheesesteak only once - Geno's, one provolone with. I've had a cheesesteak from a local sub shop maybe 3x in my whole life, but as kids we often ate home-made ones because my brother had a somewhat wicked addicted to Steak-Umms. While I like the concept of the sandwich, the uber-greasy sliced meat really turns me off. Eventually I realized that any kind of steak will do in a steak sandwich, as long as it's tender and thinly sliced.

We had a ton of leftover sirloin after our Memorial Day grillfest, so I thought I'd use some of it to make sammies. I called these "Guilford" Cheesesteaks because they are a bit fancy and "Baltimore" or "Towson" just wouldn't do.


Guilford Cheesesteaks

10 oz or so of cold leftover grilled sirloin, sliced thin, excessive fat removed
2 oz of your favorite cheese (I used Jarlsberg and Muenster) cut into thin slices or shredded
Melted leeks (recipe below)
Spicy mayo(recipe below)
Herbed mayo (recipe below)
Two 6" - 8" segments of baguette, or two hoagie rolls

Warm the meat and melt the cheese. One can do this in a sauté pan, first heating the meat a bit, topping it with cheese, and covering the pan until the cheese melts. Since I already dirtied one pan by making the leeks, I put meat slices in two piles on a microwave-safe plate, topped them with cheese, and heated it all for about 3 minutes on high, until the cheese was melted.

While meat is cooking, slice baguette and schmear with one side with herbed mayo and the other side with the spicy mayo. Add a bed of leeks.

When cheese is melted, top leeks with meat. Close sandwich and eat.

Melted Leeks

3 medium leeks, the whites and about an inch of the lighter green part, sliced crosswise into rounds, rinsed thoroughly to remove all sand
1 tablespoon olive oil
pinch salt

Combine all ingredients in a sauté pan. Cover. Cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes to an hour until leeks are completely soft and almost spreadable. Keep warm until ready to use.

Spicy Mayo

1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon sambal oelek or Sriracha chile sauce

Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Herbed Mayo

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
dash agave syrup

Combine all ingredients (it will be fairly thick). Refrigerate until ready to use.


Strawberry Watermelon Feta Salad

Twelve medium strawberries, hulled and quartered
Watermelon, cut into cubes about the size of the strawberries, approximately 2 cups
1/2 cup (or more, to taste) crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground pepper
pinch salt

Combine strawberries, watermelon, and feta in a medium bowl.

In a small bowl or ramekin, stir vinegar and oil together vigorously with a fork to emulsify. Add several grinds of pepper and the salt and whisk again.

Toss salad with dressing. Allow to sit for about 15 minutes. Serve.

2 generous servings.


Grilled marinated sirloin made an excellent sandwich as it was very tender and flavorful. The leeks are far more subtly flavored than the customary fried onions, so you may want to be generous (as it is you'll have leftover leeks). Over all, the sandwich was meaty and rich, and the tangy/sweet salad was a great counterpoint. I'll definitely be making the salad often this summer.