Wednesday, November 12, 2008

North Haven Cheesesteak?!

I know what you're thinking - and, no, that title is not a mistake. I haven't gotten my geography confused. I really did have a North Haven Cheesesteak ... in the home of the parental units on Monday night ... and it was delicious!

Never one to be outdone, Papa Diva decided to flex his culinary muscles and prepare this sumptuous sandwich for our dining pleasure after our long and stressful surgical day on Monday. It was not at all Beach friendly and just what the doctor ordered! I insisted on having something green to go with - so I made my famous braised brussel sprouts. A strange pairing to be sure, but I adore brussel sprouts and will eat them every chance I get. We'll discuss those sprouts some other time - for now, let's explore the cheesesteak.

The formula is really very simple: good meat, a hot skillet, some cheese and some really good bread. Fortunately, the greater New Haven area is an embarrassment of Italian food riches - and its easy to find good Italian bread almost anywhere ... even Shaw's supermarket! And, much to my surprise, the yummy sliced steak came from Stop and Shop! I kid you not. Who knew that such deliciousness was so readily available?

North Haven Cheesesteak:

  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pkg. of thinly shaved sirloin steak
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • some sliced Provolone or American cheese
  • a loaf of good quality Italian bread
Heat a heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat and when the pan is hot but not smoking, add the olive oil. Add the sliced steak and cook until well-browned on one side, adding some salt and pepper before turning to cook on the other side. Continue browning the steak and when it is nearly finished add some cheese. Papa Diva likes to top the steak and cheese with the top half of the bread while its still in the pan and transfer the whole thing to the bottom of the roll. Its a nice touch, because it allows the bread to warm a bit while the cheese melts. (See above photo of one Diva-sized steak and one Papa sized steak!)

Prepare as written, throw your diet to the wind, serve and enjoy ... I sure did!

This recipe presents the cheesesteak in its most basic form - and that's just the way we like it. We're both purists and prefer to savor the steak and cheese unadorned. That being said, I'm nothing if not accommodating - so feel free to fry up some onions, peppers and or mushrooms to enhance your sandwich if you so desire. If the spirit moves, you might also choose to top your steak with the traditional Cheez Whiz . I'll save that for future Philly forays, where Whiz is the norm, but do as you see fit.

Its all good ... and all bad. The comfort eating stops today! I'm back on the beam and off the white bread. It was a delicious ride while it lasted and I'm ever so grateful to Papa Diva for sharing one of his specialties with us. Be warned Papa, next time the bread will be wheat! ~wink~

Finally, I'd like to express my thanks to all of you once again for your continued good wishes for my mom. I'm truly touched by the outpouring of support. One of my intentions in creating this blog was the formation of a community. Your well wishes assure me that I've done just that. I appreciate your presence here and thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Bon appetite!


Sass said...

Hey there, sweetie.

I have been remiss in my blog-reading, and am just now getting caught up. Glad your mama's doing okay, and that picture made my mouth water!

It's funny, what a blog community does for a person...I'm having a rough day, and when I looked at my blogroll, I saw that yours was the most recently updated.

And that gave me comfort. Weird? Maybe. :)

HektikLyfe said...

I like cheese steak sandwiches but I need to stay close to home when I eat them.

Deb said...

Skip the steak! give up the sprout recipe as I too adore them. I steam them and then mix some butter and dijon mustard and toss the sprouts in it - yummy. Even the sprout hating mister will eat these.

BTW - he is in a regular room and should be home by Friday maybe even tomorrow.

Hope Mama Diva is doing well also.



Looks incredibly fattening. Lots of cheese, lots of meaty looking stuff... Hmm... like a chese and corned beef pastie over here methinks.

I'd never even heard of a cheesesteak until now - thanks for the enlightenment!

Scarlet x

HektikLyfe said...

Oh and please forgive me but you've been tagged.

Penelope said...

Happy to learn that Mama Diva is on the mend. On a recent trip to Philly (via the Megabus) with 3 generations of the Hamm fam, partaking of the Cheesesteak was Job 1. I turned up my nose at the proffered Cheez Whiz and opted for something less processed. The Hamm girls dove in and were rewarded w/ a delicious sandwich. They made a believer out of me. Try it next time and enjoy. Cheers. Ski Goddess.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a great sandwich to me. I'm glad you had one comfort meal. In similar circumstances I would have done so too.

I'm so happy your Mom is ok.


Anonymous said...

If you had a slice of ham in that, it would be similar to a sandwich that we call a Bauru here in Brazil. They're delicious


The Diva on a Diet said...

Aw, Sass, you made my day when I read that comment. Thank you, the feeling is mutual!

Hektik - dude, you're funny and I appreciate the laughs! Thanks! :) Oh, no worries on the tag. I don't mind being tagged, but feel bad tagging others. Will put it up soon!

Deb - I'm so relieved to hear that John is doing well and maybe home by now. Phew! Still keeping you guys in my prayers - and many thanks for the good wishes for pixelgal.

Scarlet - mmmm, pasties! I love 'em but they are so *not* Beach-friendly! LOL

Penelope - aka Ski Goddess - what fun! Sounds like you had a blast with the Hamm Clan's Philly excursion. I do endorse the Whiz - but only when in Philly. That's my choice when I'm there, but I can't do it at home. What would become of the left-over jar?! LOL

((((Cin)))) - Many hugs to you my friend, just cuz. If only you and I could have been comforting ourselves with your biscuits and gravy! LOL

Welcome Argentum V.! That Bauru sounds delicious, by the way. Looking forward to checking out your blog and stop by any time. :)