Monday, September 22, 2008

Mushroom Philly Cheese "Steak" Panini

When I saw the bounty of red and green peppers that we'd plucked from the garden this week, the wheels in my head began turning. Visions of chicken cacciatore, sweet pepper relish, and roasted red peppers danced in my head. And then I thought: What about a Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich? I happened to have a few portabella mushroom caps in the fridge, which could stand in for the steak. And we always keep provolone cheese on hand. So, we were pretty set.

Peef, who has actually sampled an official Philly Cheesesteak, was a little bit disturbed by my methods. But, he seemed to think that the sammich had a chance of being decent. So, we proceeded with the plan.

First, we spread a nice Italian roll with a bit of seasoned mayo (Peef threw a bit of the new BBQ3000 seasoning we'd picked up from Penzey's in the mix). We added a few nice slices of portabella mushroom, which had been sauteed with a bit of garlic and a sprinkling of Worcestershire. Then, we loaded it up with lots of sauteed peppers and onions.
We added a few slices of delicious, Wisconsin provolone cheese...
And then threw the whole sammich onto the panini press for a few minutes.
The cheese got melty. The mushrooms remained tender, while the peppers and onions retained a slight hint of crispness. The bun got crisped and slightly browned. And most of the ingredients managed to stay inside, despite their slipperiness.
The final verdict?
Peef admitted that the panino version of this classic sandwich was different. The crispness of the roll was a departure from the usual feel of a soft Italian roll. And the mushrooms, though they lent a meaty flavor to the sandwich, didn't quite replace steak in his mind. But, he was quick to admit that the sandwich was incredibly delicious in its own right. "Can we have these again?" was his response when he finished his last bite.
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  1. I'm with him, I want them too and again and again!

  2. What a great idea for a sandwich. They look like Saturday afternoon to me :-) I will try this one.

  3. Way to put that new press to good use!! :-)

  4. If I would have these for dinner tonight I'd probably wake up as the most optimistic woman on the planet. YUM-O!

  5. Perhaps rather than call it a Philly Cheesesteak, give it your own distinct name. You could call it Cheesefake, but I guess that would sound a bit too Rachael Ray-ish. Either way, it's your creation, so don't worry about whether or not it's authentic.

    Now will you send one my way?

  6. Hey guys - thanks for all the great comments.

    Kathy - Yes, we're very much enjoying our new gadget!! Peef is already planning his next panini party!

    Rachel - I'm thinking Philly Cheatsteak. Since you're cheated of the steak :)

  7. I just love what you do with vegetables, I'm serious everything you make, makes my stomach growl!


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