Philly Cheese Steak

phillyThis is one of those things that a city becomes known for. Like Detroit and Coney Island hotdogs, this is a classic.

A perusal of recipes suggests that there are two authentic versions of the Philly Cheese Steak sub. One has provolone cheese, the other has Cheese Whiz. I prefer the cheddar version, but I hate Cheese Whiz so I make my own cheese sauce.

Otherwise, these are, as far as I can tell, what you get in Philly.

Great for all kinds of occasions.


  • 1 lb skirt steak, semi frozen
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 green sweet pepper, sliced
  • One batch of cheese sauce, Cheese Whiz or Provolone.
  • 4 hoagie rolls, bolillos, or sub rolls


  1. Unwrap the meat and spread out, then freeze about half way through lying flat. (the normal skirt steak is about 8 inches wide and about a foot or more long. I slice it down the long side in half and freeze in two pieces. This makes it easier to cut cross-grain later)
  2. When meat is half-frozen, remove and slice very thinly (1/16 inch) cross-grain. This is essential otherwise your meat will be very stringy and when you bite, you’ll pull out the entire slice from the sandwich.
  3. Put meat in a larger skillet with just enough canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring as needed until it is just done. Do this quickly on high heat. Remove to a dish.
  4. In the same pan, add the onions and peppers and saute until they are tender and done, but still have some body. Searing the edges is a bonus!
  5. Heat up your cheese sauce, or slice up your cheese fairly thin.
  6. Slice open your buns and butter lightly, then put in the oven to broil just to melt the cheese and brown slightly.
  7. Remove and add a layer of meat then onions and peppers. Put on the cheese and place back in the oven to melt if not using the cheese sauce.
  8. Serve!


NOTES: Nothing says you have to be authentic. Sliced jalapeñ0s would be a good addition, pepper jack a good cheese substitute.

SOURCE: Sherry Peyton


Slop Me Some Joes

That stuff in a can? Throw it away.

That burger in a pan with some ketchup? Don’t you dare make it.

I’m talking about something sumptuous. Something worthy of a human being. I dreaming of an adult meal, not one meant for a ten-year-old who still thinks spaghettios are delicious.

Real homemade, succulent, mouth-watering, sloppy joes. Fit for consumption.

I got this recipe from PioneerWoman who creates good recipes and also collects and publishes others. I adapted it slightly. This is great. We ate up every darn bit of this stuff over a couple of days.

It was THAT good.

So get out the pan and gather the ingredients and have at it.


  • 2 1/2 lbs ground round (leaner rather than not)
  • 1/2 average onion, diced
  • 1 green sweet pepper, diced (medium)
  • 5 cloves garlic, micro-planed
  • 1 1/2 c ketchup
  • 1 c water
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp chili powder (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes ( or less as you like)
  • Worcestershire sauce to taste
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp of your favorite hot sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Brown the meat in a skillet and drain off any excess fat.
  2. Add onions, green pepper and garlic and cook until softened.
  3. Add ketchup, brown sugar, chili pepper, dry mustard, and water. Combine and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the balance of the ingredients. Mix and keep warm until ready to eat.

Serves: 8

Notes: You can half this recipe of course. Great to serve with french fries (oven fries or on the grill), a nice great dill pickle, or any summer salad, such as potato, pasta, macaroni, etc. If you want to make the full batch, you could freeze half easily as well.

Buffalo Wing Hoagie Sandwiches

This sounded so good when I saw this recipe over at JustaPinch, that I had to save it and make sure I made it sooner rather than later.

And today was the day, and we darn near foundered on these and the great salad that I made to accompany it. (That recipe will come tomorrow!)

If you like buffalo wings you will most surely like this. It just combines all the great tastes of hot sauce, chicken and blue-cheese in one luscious combination.

So you should thank Kelly Williams from JustaPinch for this great recipe and one superb meal.

And don’t forget, tomorrow I’ll post the great pasta salad that I made to go with it. That also came from JustaPinch.


  • 4 hoagie rolls (note a ciabatta bread would be great for this as well), split open
  • 1 stick butter softened
  • 1 very large clove of garlic or enough to make a good tbsp of minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp  fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken tenders (she used already cooked ones, but I made my own)
  • 2 tbsp my southwest spice mix
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 c hot sauce, (Frank’s or Sriracha which is what I used)
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • slices of your favorite among Muenster, mozzarella, or provolone (about 8 slices)
  • shredded lettuce or lettuce leaves for each sandwich
  • tomatoes, diced, or whole and sliced for each sandwich
  • chopped celery to sprinkle over each
  • plenty of blue cheese dressing


  1. If you are starting with raw chicken tenders, pour the canola oil into a large skillet. While that heats, salt and pepper your meat. Add to the pan and then sprinkle with the southwest seasonings. Cook, turning as needed until meat is done.
  2. Add the 4 tbsp butter, hot sauce and chili powder and bbq sauce to the skillet and mix with the chicken, until chicken is covered and then keep on low to keep warm.
  3. Blend your softened stick of butter with the garlic and parsley until well mixed. Spread on the inside of all the hoagie rolls. Place in the oven on 300° until nicely melted, then turn on the broiler, and watching carefully, lightly toast the buns.
  4. Remove the buns from the oven and place chicken pieces down the center, then add slices of cheese to cover. Place back in the oven, now set at about 400°, and leave just until melted.
  5. I placed the rest of the stuff at the table in bowls to add as one wishes. Lettuce, celery and tomatoes and then a couple of nice plops of the blue-cheese dressing. We ate ours with forks!

Serves: 4

True Blue Beef Stew

It’s a universal food, beef stew, or at least some kind of meat stew.

And in the US, there are regional differences as well. This is my version, which is pretty much normal. However, it is delicious if I do say so.

It has as much to do with the method as the ingredients here. There is a reason that it is calls for tougher cuts of meat.

I hope you enjoy it, and perhaps it will cause some tweaking to your own recipe.


  • 1 1/2 lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 1/2 c flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 qt more or less of beef stock (I use unsalted)
  • 3 ribs celery, sliced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 med onion, cut into twelve pieces
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, micro-planed
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 med potatoes, diced
  • 1 more medium onion, cut into twelve pieces
  • a roux made of 3 tbsp each butter and flour
  • 1 c frozen peas, defrosted



  1. Put the oil in a large and heavy stew pot, and warm to medium.
  2. Pat dry (with towelling) the meat (this actually is quite important). Then toss in the flour until coated.
  3. Place in a single layer, and with some room in the pot, as many of the cubes of meat as you can fit. Brown on all sides, and then push to the side, and add more until you have them all in.
  4. Once browned, add the  first onion, carrots, and celery, garlic and thyme. Add enough stock to cover.  Add the paste. Stir everything up,  cover, and reduce heat to a bare simmer and let go for three hours. I check about every 45 minutes or so, but as long as its covered it won’t dry.
  5. About an hour before eating, add the potatoes and the second onion.  Add more stock to cover again. Continue simmering at a bit higher rate.
  6. Meanwhile make your roux in a saute pan. Once combined, cook for about 3 minutes, and then set aside until a few minutes before eating.  Add half, and warm up the stew to a boil and see how this looks. If it is thick enough, then stop, or add the rest if it still needs thickening. Once you are finished here, taste for seasonings and add more salt and pepper if needed. Then add the peas. Stir in, and you are ready to eat.

Serves: 6

Serve with: nice crusty bread, on noodles, with dumplings, with buttermilk biscuits.

CopyCat Lafayette Coney Island Sauce

I promised you this recipe. It is the much ballyhooed closer than a tick to a dog recipe for Lafayette Coney Island Sauce.

I made this. I smelled it. I smiled. I tasted it. I wept. And the years disappeared and I could remember standing in that steamed up windowed small joint across from headquarters, ordering “2 coneys and an order of fries” as I had done dozens of times before.

Go figure why Greeks (who own all the Coney joints I think) get things so right with a hotdog. Whether you go to American Coney Island, or Lafayette Coney Island, or Zorba’s Coney Island (my local one), the recipe is fairly the same.

It’s an odd little recipe. I doubt anyone could figure it out. But somebody got hold of it. This is it.

I could swim in this stuff.

If you want a true and authentic Detroit Coney experience, then make this. It’s easy, and you can divide it up into 1/2 or so serving sizes and freeze in plastic bags. Enjoy.


  • 3 TBSP canola oil
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 14 oz chicken stock
  • 4 TBSP flour
  • 1 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 TBSP paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 3 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 6 oz V-8 juice


  1. Heat the oil and then cook the ground meat in it, until no longer pink. Use a potato masher to break it up into very fine pieces.
  2. Dump all the rest of the ingredients in a blender and whirr for a few seconds just to mix.
  3. Add to the meat and heat until bubbling and thickened.
  4. Remove 2 c of the mixture and return to the blender and puree.
  5. Return to the pan.
  6. Done.

Serves: 20 or so hotdogs.

Now to properly experience this wonderful sauce, maintain perfect coney dog etiquette:

Place two buns on a plate, opened. Place a hotdog in each. Ladle about 3 tables or so of sauce over each. Grab a handful of raw onion, diced and sprinkle all over. Squiggle a bunch of ball-park mustard over the mess. Grab a fork. Coneys are eaten with a fork, preferably a plastic one, for which you will need a plastic knife to slice off a bite. If you attempt to cut with a plastic fork, you will break it. Trust me.  If using actual cutlery, you can cut this fine with a fork. No go forth and eat a real hotdog!

English: Lafayette Coney Island and American C...

Image via Wikipedia


Salute the US Navy Bean Soup

This is about as basic as it gets.

The original US Senate Navy Bean soup. It’s not got a lot of stuff in it. It thrives on beans.

And so ham.

This is a perfect soup to go to after the holidays when ham has been the featured guest. The ham bone makes this great, and make sure it’s got a fair amount of ham still clinging to it. If you have no ham, then one or two smoked ham hocks will do.

There are three ways to deal with your beans. Soak over night. Pour boiling water over and let sit until about doubled in size, or use cold water and bring to a boil, cook two minutes and let set until beans have swelled up. In all cases cover the beans to two inches over the top.


  • 1 regular bag of navy beans (1 1/2 c)
  • 1 ham bone, or 1-2 smoked ham hocks
  • 1 lg onion, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, micro-planed
  • 1 lg potato, diced
  • 1/2 salt and pepper each


  1. Soak your beans by your preferred method. (I tend to let them soak overnight on the counter)
  2. Drain, and refill with 7 c of water and the ham.
  3. Simmer until beans are tender (about 1-1/4 – 1-1/2 hours)
  4. Add the rest of the vegetables, and simmer until they are done, about 20-30 minutes
  5. Mash some of the beans with a potato masher if you wish a creamier soup.

Serves: 6


Coney Island Chili Dog Pie

This is just good old comfort food, perfect for the fall and winter.

I got this recipe from Darlene Castro at Justapinch, and found it was delightful. The original recipe seems to emanate from Linda’s Low Carb Menus.

I made almost no changes to it other than using about 1/4 c of left over enchilada sauce instead of the “dash” of hot sauce, which I would up to about 3 tbsp anyway. I also increased the tsp of mustard to a full tablespoon.

You can cook up all but the topping in the morning and leave on the stove until dinnertime. That would add about 5-7 minutes more to the heating time I would think. Also I think it should be left uncovered to cook the top properly and brown.

It’s fast and easy, so do give it a try. Kid friendly I would believe.


  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 1/4 c chopped onions (I used more like 1/2 c)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp prepared mustard
  • 3 tbsp hot sauce of any kind
  • 8 oz can of tomato sauce (or 2 tbsp paste with 1 c water)
  • 2 hot dogs, sliced in rounds (I had 2 chicago hotdogs so you might want to double on regular sized ones)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c mayo
  • 1/4 c cream
  • 80z sharp cheddar (or anything you like) shredded and divided in half.


  1. Brown the meat and onions until done and onions are soft.
  2. Mix all the ingredients up to the tomato sauce together in the sauce, and then add to the pan and mix.
  3. Simmer this until any obvious water has evaporated.
  4. Add the hot dogs, and mix in.
  5. Stir in half the cheese. (you can cover and set until ready to do the  baking now if you wish. Just add a bit of time to the baking.
  6. Whisk the eggs until they are a pale yellow, then add the mayo and the cream, whisk until it is a nice creamy consistency.
  7. Add the cheese, and mix.
  8. Place the meat mixture into a casserole pan. An 8 x 8 is about the right size. Even it out. and then pour on the topping and spread evenly. Place in a 350° for 30-40 minutes, or until top is bubbly and browned and the eggs have set.

Serves: 4 generously

NOTE: I fixed this with cornbread, but I great idea would be to cut open your cornbread slice and spoon the “pie” on top. It went well together in any event.