Updated: Apr 29
A meal scooped from the liberty bell and delivered straight to your kitchen! Take your stomach on a trip down Broad Street in Philadelphia with two of these ICONIC Philly staples. No Rocky Step's running required after this one either because homemade means a whole lot healthier than the real thing!
"Whiz wit or Whiz witout?"
If you have no idea what I'm talking about you've probably never had to order a cheesesteak in Philly before. Well look no further because I'm bringing you a homemade version straight from the city of brotherly love! As a Massachusetts native, “Philly Cheesesteaks” and “Chickie’s & Pete’s Fries” were not the norm for me a few years ago. Once I moved to Philadelphia, I quickly adjusted and learned that in order to live here, you gotta get behind these Philly staples. Of course I had to put my own spin on things though! Try my homemade version and let me know if you are still craving the really thing.
Last week I floored my boyfriend when I told him Cheesesteaks and fries were on the menu for dinner that night. I'm sure when you hear the word "cheesesteak" images of cheese wiz, greasy flat tops and massive hoagie rolls come to mind. Well, in reality, cheesesteaks can be a pretty healthy sandwich, especially when cooked at home! Shaved beef is typically pretty lean, the fresh bell peppers and onions add just enough veggie to keep it balanced and with just a touch of olive oil the recipe is pretty low in fat. Plus, I pass on the cheese wiz and instead opt for a nice slice of provolone.
The star of the show here really is the roll.
A fresh soft pillowy roll is the necessary vessel for melting the cheese and piling on the steak and veggies. With only a few ingredients this Philly staple is on the table in 10 minutes flat and in your mouth just moments after that.
As a cheesesteak novice, I went to the expert- my cheesesteak eating boyfriend- for feedback. Initially I melted the provolone directly on top of the veggies but we decided putting the cheese directly on the bread is key for ideal cheese to beef ratio in every bite. I’ll probably still add a little bit on top too, for visual appeal of course.
Put the cheese directly on the bread for ideal cheese to beef ratio in every bite!
Philly Cheese Steaks
4 servings | 10 minutes
4 hoagie (yup hoagie) rolls or 2 demi (smaller) loaves of good quality bread, halved (I used the half baked ficelle bread from #traderjoes and it was PERFECT)
1 lb shaved beef steak
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced thinly (~100g)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced thinly (~100g)
1/2 onion, sliced thinly (~150g)
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp pepper
Optional (but I think they add great flavor so use whatever you have on hand): 1/4 tsp of each - garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, smoked paprika, marjoram, dried basil
4 slices provolone cheese
Optional first step: if using the ficelle bread (which I highly highly recommend) I cooked this first. Preheat the oven to 425 and cook on the middle rack for about 10 minutes. It’ll start to brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. If using already cooked loaves/rolls proceed to step 1.
Preheat oven to 425.
Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan.
Arrange shaved beef steak in a single later around the pan. Season with pink side up with half the fresh cracked pepper.
Once it browns on the first side, 2-3 minutes, use tongs to flip the beef. Season the other side with the remaining pepper. Allow it to brown on the second side for about 2 minutes. Use tongs to move the beef around and cook any additional pink pieces.
Remove the beef and set aside.
To the hot pan add the peppers and onions and toss in oil and juices from the beef (If you don’t have much juices/fat in the pan you can add another tsp of olive oil). Season with optional seasonings.
Cover the pan and let the vegetables sweat for 3-5 minutes, tossing every minute or so until tender, add a tablespoon or two of water if the veggies start to dry out.
Remove the veggies and set aside with the beef. Add the mixed beef and veggies back to the pan in layers adding some provolone cheese between each layer until everything is in the pan.
Slice the loaves of bread in half and place facedown on top of the meat and veggies. Add 2 tbsp water to the pan and cover to steam the cheese and melt it.
Use a large spatula to slide under the bread, meat and cheese and flip onto 4 places. Serve topped with additional cheese per your preference. We're team the more cheese the better here so don't be afraid to double my typical portion written in this recipe ;)
Copy Cat Chickie’s & Pete’s Seasoned Fries
4 servings | 15 minutes
2 medium russet potatoes (~600-700g)
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp old bay seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp flaky salt
Cut russet potatoes into fries.
Rinse off excess starch and arrange in a single later on a clean dish towel or paper towel. Top with another towel and add pressure to dry the potatoes.
Add potatoes, seasonings and oil to a bowl and toss to coat the potatoes in the seasonings.
If using an air fryer:
Add potatoes to the air fryer and cook at 275 for 10-15 minutes, tossing halfway until soft but not crispy.
Crank the temperature up to 400F and cook another 5-7 minutes or until brown and crispy, tossing occasionally. Overcrowding or under crowding may change these times slightly so keep an eye on them.
If using an oven:
Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, flip and return to the oven for an additional 10-15 minutes. To get them extra crispy, place them under the broiler for a few minutes until nice and brown and crispy.
Serve with some yummy ketchup for dipping!
Note the nutrition for this recipe may vary depending on what bread is used. The macros provided do not include the roll for this reason.
For my version I used half the half baked ficelle loaf from #traderjoes which was about 1.5 servings of the loaf and added 180 calories (40g of carbs and 6g of protein).