1.05.2006

So I was told it would be a good idea to post some of my kitchen techniques here. Good Idea? Bad Idea? Ambivalence? Do tell

During my time in the Windy City I learned many things (I was at school, after all). Some of them were pretty frightening. Like this:

There are places in this universe where Subway is mistaken for good food.

How the fuck did that happen?

I'm just wondering exactly how many people are continually deprived of good subs. It scares me. I can literally walk to the corner and get one. But I don't, because the best ones are in the next town over. That, however, is hardly the point. The point is, there are about ten places within walking distance where I can get a delicious sub sandwich. There is a reason Subway hasn't caught on around here.

Though, I'll have to admit, I did falter once out in Chicago. In my defense, I was with a girl at the time. A pretty girl. But that's immaterial. I ordered a pepper steak and cheese sub. What I recieved was a half of a baguette containing three sick-looking pieces of steak, each about the size of a stack of 15 playing cards (an estimate). The cheese was desperately clinging to the sides of the bread, presumably to avoid the seemingly leprosy-ridden beef. The peppers? They weren't cooked. I looked up at (we'll just call her) Stephanie, who was somehow enjoying her abomination of a sandwich.


"Geez, you actually like this crap?"

"Um, yeah"

"What, did your last six boyfriends ruin your pallate?"

Ok, I'll level with you. I didn't actually say that. But I did think it pretty loudly. And looking back I wish I had said it as I'd found out later on that night that I wasn't interested (for reasons other than her taste in food, I'm willing to let a few things slide).

Anyways, a little further investigation confirmed that there were people around there who, for some reason, liked Subway. It made me add Jared to my "I'm totally going to punch this guy in the face if I ever meet him" list.

Anyways, I'm not judging you if you like Subway. I'm showing compassion. You probably just don't know what a good sub is. Well, today is your lucky day. I'm going to teach you how a real pepper steak and cheese sub (not to be confused with the Philly Cheese Steak, which sucks).

It all starts with some shaved steak, as purchased at yon local meatery. Also, some red and green peppers (and onions, if you like onions and they don't totally mess up your insides like they do mine), some american cheese, and (obviously) some sandwich bread. I'm going to go ahead and assume that you have a frying pan, a workable stove, a spatula, a sharp knife, and salt and pepper. If you don't have those things, you're excused. GO HOME.

Ok, first thing you should know about the shaved steak. It's cut really thin. It's cut like that for a reason. Take it off slice by slice (this was the first thing that those Subway fuckers did wrong). Ok, so you take about half of the steak you're going to use and place it in the pan. Try to spread it out as much as possible. Ok, now for the peppers... Maybe I should have told you this part first, but you should cut them, and into fairly small pieces. What shape the pieces are is hardly standardized, but one thing you should make a note of is that you should leave them not quite as small as you want them to end up. I'll explain later. Same goes for the onions if you should so desire. Anyways, you layer the veggies on top of the steak, evenly spread. then you put the other half of the steak on top of them.

That is not a step anyone else will give you. It is my own personal innovation. The reason for this lies in the next step. Turn the stove on to medium heat. Then, take that sharp bladed instrument, and start chopping. By chopping the steak and veggies at the same time you are releasing juices and promoting flavor collusion. This is key to the steak sub, and a concept foreign to those aforementioned bastards. Anyways, you chop thoroughly with the knife and then with the spatula, stirring while you do so. Simmer until, well, you should know what cooked steak looks like.

Now is where a fool will add the cheese. I'll confess to having thus been a fool a number of times. But nay. Next, you kill the heat and drain the juices. Then you add the cheese (however much you think you'll like on your sammich), and put the heat back on to melt it. Also critical: Stir that stuff up. Like I said, flavor collusion. You want everything covered by that cheese. Then add salt and pepper, put it in the bread, and take a bite. Unless you totally screwed this up, it will be awesome. Note that I'm not taking any responsibility for non-awesome sammiches.

So enjoy. I'm off to meet some people.

9 comments:

  1. It's ALL about the BREAD! It's gotta start off with Amoroso Bread or it will surely suck.

    Yes, the shaved steak is a MUST as well. I hate when they take the whole piece and fold it over. ARGH!

    And the cheese NEEDS TO BE American Cheese.. the white, milky type that's is, like you said, melted over the steak before it's thrown into the bread.

    Can't forget the mushrooms! Not the plastic-like garbage out of the can, either.

    wow. i'm hungry.

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  2. My favourite sandwiches come from a little deli tucked away in White Rock...

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  3. Dylann: I get my bread from a place in my hometown that bakes it fresh every day. Excellent bread. The mushrooms for me are optional, and are only added if they are fantastic mushrooms. Same goes for just about anything else one puts in a steak sandwich.

    Vesper: People who are willing to look for good food will always be well rewarded.

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  4. Damn-it Patrick!!!!! I am on a diet and excerise program and Sub-way is the only fast food I can have... don't ruin it for me!!!! *a tear to my eye*... Man, I am hungry now for one of those subs you have described... good thing you are not my trainer. :)~

    By the way... my fat pants are now my fall off my ass pants... :)~ So... subway must be doing something right...LOL!

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  5. Day by Day: I am the anti-trainer. What he makes, I unmake.

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  6. mmmmmm. that was too good for words. probably you wanna be a nakkie chef? or a half-nakkie one so you can post pictures? okay, so i say stuff when i'm hungry.

    enjoy the meet.

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  7. And to think I was worried that you wouldn’t be eating well while I was gone.

    You ol meat-eater you…

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  8. Tran: Naked cooking is for no. Not out of any prudishness on my part, but most kitchen stoves are at about my crotch level, so that would be a bad idea. Half naked... well we'll see.

    Alice: How else could I fill the void left by your absence if not with copious amounts of food?

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  9. come to austin! we have this place called thundercloud subs. they are really good. i would love to get your opinion on them.

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