Becca Jane St Clair

Personal Blog

A Taste of Philly

I don’t get homesick. Honestly. But I do on occasion miss things from the US, and it gives me something to experiment with in the kitchen when what I miss is food.

For ages, a friend of mine kept telling me I could get something similar to Steak-Ums* at Iceland**, but I never spotted them, so I had kind of given up on the idea of trying to make a cheesesteak sandwich. But last week, I really wanted a chicken cheesesteak hoagie (sometimes also called a California chicken cheesesteak). I could practically taste it, I wanted one so badly.

When is a cheesesteak a hoagie? When you add onto it mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato (sometimes also oregano and pickles, depending on the shop). Now, some people will argue that chicken does not belong on a cheesesteak. To them I stick out my tongue. I have never been a fan of beef, being unable to properly digest it most of the time, so I tend to avoid it (I even was vegetarian for many years because of my dislike of meat, too).

Last week, I ordered an item from Tesco called “pork for stir-fry”. It turned out to be small strips of pork, so I thought if I bought chicken for stir-fry, it would hopefully be the same style. I checked the Tesco website, and it isn’t. Chicken for stir-fry comes as cubes, not strips. Back to the drawing board for ideas. My second thought was to order some “mini fillets” – if I pounded them down a bit flatter I thought it just might work. I even went so far as to wonder if sliced chicken lunchmeat would work!

But then, I was at ASDA on Saturday with my MIL and SIL and in the poultry section they had something called “turkey steaks”. I know, I know “steak is supposed to be beef”. But the package looked interesting, and the “steaks” looked the same way regular steak looks, just made of turkey. I thought I’d give it a go and purchased 2 submarine rolls along with lettuce and tomato. Don’t ask me what kind of cheese I used, though. I have a big block I got on offer at Tesco a few weeks ago that I just keep shredding whenever something calls for cheese. Sadly, no Cheeze Whiz (though I understand it is available in some ASDA stores).

Today was the day. I was going to attempt this, and if it didn’t work, Tim and I would be screwed for Lunch.

I decided to grill the steaks on the George Foreman. There wasn’t much fat in them to begin with, but I just like the way things come out on the George. The steaks only took about 8 minutes. I wound up slicing the steaks (though not nearly as chopped up as an authentic cheesesteak) so they would fit easier in the rolls. Topped the steaks with a small bit of shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a small sprinkling of cheese, then put them under the grill*** (the regular oven’s grill) until the cheese was melted and the bread was toasty.

Served them up with some chips (US: fries) and a can of Dr Pepper Zero. While not authentic, they were really good on their own, and I can see myself making it again. Tim liked it too, which is always important when I play around in the kitchen. Next up? Trying to make soft pretzels. Okay, maybe not, but now I’m on this Philly food kick…

Sadly, no photo. I thought about it after I was almost done the sandwich!

*Steak-Ums, for those of you unfamiliar with them are very thin bits of steak you grill or fry and then put in a sandwich to make a homemade steak sandwich.

**No, not the country. There is a shop called Iceland that primarily sells inexpensive frozen items.

***In the US, I would use the broiler.

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2 Comments so far

  1. Jes January 25th, 2011 17:07

    The pulled pork sandwich is also a must have if you are on a Philly food kick. The Reading Terminal Market sells this lovely deliciousness, which is ever so tasty. I love your blogs by the way, between you and Val Hewitt, I always have interesting things to read online….

  2. Rebecca January 27th, 2011 15:54

    Mmm. Must find a recipe!

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