These 5-star Philly cheesesteak mashups are delicious. But be cautious introducing them to your Philly friends. Philadelphia folks can be phull-on phanatics about their cheesesteaks.
I mean, would you put cheesesteak ingredients in a burrito and deep fry it? Would you use them as a topping for hotdogs? Or for pizza? Would you add them to chili, for crying out loud? Yes. Yes, you would. What's more, you should.
But Philadelphia people just don't understand. They can only conceive of one way to do cheesesteaks. Their way. They're originalists. If they could get the Constitutional Convention back in town, they'd add an amendment outlawing these 8 tasty ways to consume cheesesteaks. But until that happens, you are free, as Americans, to assemble in your kitchens to do any and all of these things (and even more things if you can think of them) to your cheesesteaks!
OK, let's get wit' it.
Of the cheesesteak mashups, this one is probably the least controversial. However, if you need to ease your Philly friends into the whole mashup concept, try this first: Take a proper Philly cheesesteak and top it with with pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese, and then toast it under the broiler...which will make it a Pizza Steak. Once your friends are emotionally and intellectually comfortable with the pizza steak, flip the concept, and lead with the pizza, adding the cheesesteak ingredients as toppings.
If more transition time is needed, try putting the cheesesteak on a hotdog. For best results, put the dog on an Italian roll, preferably a fresh, Philly-baked Amoroso roll. Baby steps, people. Delicious baby steps. This recipe calls for Cheez Whiz. Also acceptable: American cheese and provolone. Here's what Wikipedia has to say about the cheese on cheesesteaks: "White American cheese along with provolone cheese are the favorites due to the mild flavor and medium consistency."
Needless to say, there is some debate as to which cheese is actually best on a cheesesteak. Wikipedia quotes a restaurant critic from the Philadelphia Inquirer: "Provolone is for aficionados, extra-sharp for the most discriminating among them." And then, in the next paragraph, there's this from The New York Times: Cheez Whiz is "the sine qua non of cheesesteak connoisseurs." So cheese choice appears to come down to whether you self-identify as an aficionado or a connoisseur.
Now that we're comfortable with the idea of altering a classic, let's go small! Here's Chef John: "Miniaturized sandwiches don't usually float my boat, or submarine, as they're almost always not as good as the full-sized versions, but these mini Philly cheesesteaks really captured everything I love about the classic." The cheese: Provolone.
OK, now we're entering into real mashup territory. It's fusion time, folks. Cheesesteak ingredients spooned into egg roll wrappers and fried. The recipe recommends ketchup as a dipping sauce. You might also try this Super Easy Cheese Dip, starring Whiz. The cheese: American.
Now that we're comfortable deep-frying a cheesesteak, let's live large with it. Wrap your cheesesteak ingredients in a tortilla and do the chimichanga! The recipe recommends serving with ranch dressing. Of course, the Whiz dip from above would work wonders here, too. The cheese: Swiss.
Keeping in the category of Mexican-style mashups, this one does it quesadilla style. Now, maybe you should have your Philly friend sit down for a sec. Because we have something to confess: This recipe adds BBQ sauce to the cheesesteak ingredients. The cheese: Cheddar.
This chili recipe is called 'Whiz Wit' Chili. Dan explains, "For those of you not from the Philadelphia area, 'whiz wit' is how we order our cheesesteaks (meaning Cheez Whiz with onions)." This recipe also has beans, which should upset your friends from Texas. The cheese: Whiz, of course.
It's Philly by way of Edinburgh, and it manages to outrage purists from both places. This cheesesteak shepherd's pie calls for light beer and spaghetti squash instead of the traditional mashed potato topping. It also calls for leftover steak, which sounds great to us, but maybe not to folks who fall into conniptions whenever a meat pie with beef is called "shepherd's pie" instead of "cottage pie." The thinking: shepherds herd lambs, not cows. But maybe the shepherd's just ready for a change of pace. The cheese: Swiss.
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