This week’s challenge was inspired by an article my husband saw in the New York Times Magazine, extolling the virtues of those cheesy, meat-filled sandwiches that taste so good after a night of drinking. Every college seems to have its own specialty, and the grandfather of them all is the Philly cheesesteak. My husband wanted me to create such a sandwich.
To be honest, I am not a fan of these types of sandwiches, as they are usually too greasy and heavy for me. So I tried to come up with a sandwich that pays homage to the cheesesteak and its ilk, but is still something I would like — that is, lighter and more flavorful.
While the resulting sandwich is not a true cheesesteak in any sense, we both still enjoyed the results. It begins with a toasted hoagie roll (my husband says the bun would not be toasted in a real Philly cheesesteak, but I am a Southern girl and didn’t know this; besides, I like a crusty roll). Before toasting, I pulled out much of the doughy insides, leaving a bread shell in which to stuff the filling. This keeps the sandwich from spilling out all over your shirt as you eat it.
Inside the bun, layer sauteed, thinly sliced chicken; sauteed red onion and mushrooms; sliced sweet piquante peppers; and sliced provolone cheese. The whole torpedo is put in a hot oven for a few minutes to warm it through and melt the cheese. Meanwhile, spread on the top bun a homemade chili mayonnaise of my own concoction to add flavor and creaminess. My husband doesn’t like mayonnaise, but that doesn’t seem to apply to homemade, flavored mayos, which don’t taste anything like the jarred variety.
This challenge was a definite hit, and pretty easy to make too. Serve with a pickle and oven fries. Next week: a Mexican menu!
I made this mayonnaise with a hand blender, but it can also be made in a blender or food processor or, if you are very industrious, whisked by hand.
Combine in the blender:
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Cayenne pepper to taste (about a dash)
- Juice of ½ lemon
Blend until well combined. While the blender is running, slowly pour in ¾ cup vegetable or canola oil. The mayonnaise should emulsify to a thick, yellowish-white consistency as you pour in the oil.
Mix into the finished mayonnaise:
- ¼ cup chili sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup roasted red pepper, minced
- ¼ cup scallions, minced
- additional salt, cayenne and lemon juice to taste
The finished mayonnaise makes 1 cup and will keep in the fridge for about 1 week. In addition to eating it on the chicken sandwiches, I used it as a dressing for salad greens and for chicken salad, and I spread it on turkey sandwiches. Yum! I think it would also be very good as a dipping sauce for fried fish or boiled shrimp.