Dear Chef:"What's the best way to duplicate a South Philadelphia Cheesesteak at home?"Philly GuysPhiladelphia, PADear PhillyGuys:Thanks for your question;Although that's not one that I've ever gotten before, it's a good one - albeit not easily answered. The key component that makes this question so challenging is regarding authenticity. What is a "Philly Cheesesteak"? That's an age old debate. Although the underlying concept remains the same, no two cheesesteaks (from different locations) are alike - so there is no standard. Your question however at least narrows it to a particular region, "South Philladelphia", which makes it a little easier, but still arguable. Many will say that Gino's makes the “authentic” cheese-steak while others will say that you have to eat at Pat's in order to get a “real” cheesesteak. A lesser amount will even make claim that Jim's Steaks is authentic even though Jim's came much later than either of the other two. Tony Luke's however has been the reigning award winner most recently.The most arguable element that surrounds the cheesesteak is the cheese. Some use Cheddar. Others use provolone. Usually unarguable though, is that the firm kaiser-like roll is really what makes Philadelphia stand alone as the king of cheese-steaks.Regardless of the controversy regarding the north-eastern classic, most will agree that fried onions are essential. Green bell peppers are also a common topping, while ketchup is optional but usually not preferred by die-hard connoisseurs.So assuming you decide to go the provolone, peppers, and onions route, you'll need the following:IngredientsThinly sliced steakOnionsBell PeppersSalt, kosher or seaPepper, black fresh groundCrushed red pepper flakesMinced garlic (the jarred stuff is fine)Olive oilSandwich roll, firm (fresh, room temperature or oven-warmed)Worcestershire SauceBalsamic vinegarProvolone sliced (room temperature at the time of cooking)A note about the steak;Do NOT use the frozen name brand steak sandwich meat-sheets like "beef-it" or whatever it's called. Most of these processed meat food products are grotesque at best and barely suitable for your canine companion, let alone your family and friends. Some stores do sell thinly sliced sirloin, frozen or fresh. You have to look hard to find it sometimes, especially when you're cooking outside of cheesesteak country. If it’s not available, just get a regular sirloin steak, cook it medium-rare, and slice it thin. It’s not "authentic", but so what? It's better!Step 1 - Veg Prep (can be done 1-2 days ahead)Slice onions into 1" slicesCut peppers into 1" slicesCook in a sauté/fry pan at medium-high heat in some olive oil - enough to keep the entire pan wet without drowning your vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Add minced garlic and red pepper flakes while it’s cooking. They're done when they're floppy but not mushy - unless you like them mushy, then do that.If you're cooking ahead, transfer the peppers and onions to a food container, (with a lid) cool over ice, then refrigerate. Otherwise, proceed to step 2.Step 2 - MeatAdd your sliced beef to the hot onion and peppers. If you're cooking from frozen, your goal here is to thaw and cook until barely a little pinkish.If you've already cooked and sliced a sirloin, then you're goal is to heat the steak through without over cooking it - which is why we initially cooked it to medium rare. Make sure you're steak stays a little pink or it will get tough. If you like it grey and tough, then that's another story. Traditionally, the meat is torn apart while it’s cooking. This is achieved by using two spatulas, working the meat in opposite directions against the bottom of the pan.Add salt and pepper to taste, and a splash of Worcestershire. Additionally, a splash of balsamic vinegar would be good here too if you'd like. At this point the ingredients should smell very fragrant - your cue to get it off the burner.CheeseLine up your meat and vegetable mixture in long mounds (the size of your sandwich roll) inside the pan -one for each sandwich. Top with sliced provolone and cover until the cheese begins to melt.FinishUse a spatula to scoop from pan, and onto your sandwich roll. Slice in half and serve with fries.Common Mistake"-Roll is too big or not enough filling". The result is big mouthfuls of dry bread - not pleasant. Make sure it’s stuffed good.Chef's TipCheesesteaks are great dipped in French Onion soup!-enjoyTastefully yours,Chef Shane
Discussing the legacy of Nelson Mandela, and what we can all do to continue his work.
Marking the death of Nelson Mandela with tributes from Pastor Oscar Smith and Jesse Epps.
Reviewing the draw for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and assessing which teams have the easiest groupings.
Hear the best bits from Tavis Smiley's BlogTalkRadio show, including an interview with supermodel turned billion dollar business leader Kathy Ireland.
Plus Scott Adams, creator of the "Dilbert" cartoon offers advice on how to find your niche.
New York Times technology and business columnist Nick Bilton discusses his new book, "Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship and Betrayal."
Marking Pearl Harbor Day with the story of the Doolittle Raiders, who flew the first raid on Tokyo in retaliation to the attack.
Taking a look at Sunday's match-up between the Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets.
Previewing the Washington Area Film Critics Association awards, with a run-down of all the categories.
Drew Lachey, star of Up Network's "Guess Who's Coming To Christmas" discusses the many ways he's making other people's Christmas wishes come true.
Advice and tips for getting to know your Jack Russell, including training tips.
As the awards seasons nominations are revealed, Keeping It Reel takes a look at some of the contenders.
Steelers legend Rocky Bleier discusses his book "Fighting Back", and he'll also weigh in on the Steelers' season.
Looking back at the career of Paul Walker and exploring the future of the "Fast & Furious" franchise.
Taking a look at the new movie "Black Nativity" starring Jennifer Hudson and Forest Whitaker.
Discussing gun law with Andy McCarroll, an elementary school teacher in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to see how attitudes differ around the world.
Olivia is joined by British actor Max Ryan, who played Rikard Spirt in "Sex and the City 2," and soon to be seen with Nicholas Cage in "Tokarev."
The latest news and current affairs from the U.S and around the world, including news that Obamacare sign-ups growing quickly.
David Coleman, the award-winning Dating Doctor, mends broken hearts and stitches together shattered dating dreams.
Carmen Marie shares her story, which started with watching her mother suffer domestic abuse, and continued in her own marriage.
NHL columnist Dan Mount helps the team break-down all the action from this week in the NHL.
Country singer Doreen Taylord discusses her debut album "Magic."
The team discuss this year's Capital One Mascot Challenge, where college sports mascots from around the country battle it for glory.
Do you need dental insurance to remain healthy? You may be surprised to find that paying for preventive services out of pocket may be less expensive than any plan.
Dr. Pam Popper discusses vitamin supplements, and whether they really can help us get over the tiredness and stress of the holiday season.
On his show, Comedian Rodney Perry covers arts and entertainment, everything from comedy and politics to music and acting, with his signature comedic slant.
Joy Keys provides her listeners with insight to improve their lives mentally, physically, monetarily and emotionally. Past guests on the show have included Meshell Nedegeocello, Blair Underwood, in addition to an impressive list of CEOs, humanitarians and authors.
Host Barry Moltz gets small businesses unstuck. He has founded and run small businesses with a great deal of success and failure for more than 15 years. This is a business radio show where he shares all the craziness of small business. It’s that craziness that actually makes it exciting, interesting and totally unpredictable.
The Bottom Line Sports Show is hosted by former NBA stars Penny Hardaway, Charles Oakley, Mateen Cleaves. Tune in to get the inside scoop on what's happening in sports today.
Hits Radio covers basketball, sports culture and entertainment with past guests including Jason Kidd, Robin Lundberg and Chris Herren.
Listeners get an earful on The Halli Casser-Jayne Show, Talk Radio for Fine Minds. Whether it’s the current political cocktail or the latest must-read award-winning book, Halli tackles all topics and likes to stir — and sometimes shakes — things up.
Official Internet radio show of forthcoming epic paranormal investigation book by Eric Olsen and "Haunted Housewife" Theresa Argie.
Award-winning World Footprints is a leading voice in socially responsible travel and lifestyle. Hosts Ian & Tonya celebrate culture and heritage and bring a unique voice to the world of travel.
Football Reporters Online is a group of veteran football experts in the fields of coaching, scouting, talent evaluation, and writing/broadcasting/media placement. Combined, the group brings well over 100 years of expertise in sports.
Host John Martin interviews the nation's leading entrepreneurs and small biz experts to educate small business owners on how to be successful. Past guests have included Emeril Lagasse and Guy Kawasaki.
Sylvia Global presents global conversations pertaining to women, wealth, business, faith and philanthropy. Sylvia has interviewed an eclectic mix from CEOs and musicians to fashion designers and philanthropists including Randolph Duke and Ne-Yo.
It's good to talk.