Hey…you know the big game is this weekend…how ’bout we make some Philly Cheesesteak Sliders to celebrate?
You know, they often take polls asking people what interests them most about the Superbowl…the game, the food or the commercials?
I’ll admit that at different points in my life, I could have chosen any one of those answers.
This year? It’s all of the above, which, by the way, makes this game all that much more exciting. It’s a trifecta of fun!
We’ve been planning our menu for Sunday all week and you might be surprised that it’s probably not going to have all of the typical game day food.
Seriously, we’ve been talking about stuff like fruit salad and things on the lighter side. And, I’m not the sole voice on that. My husband was the one who was pushing to keep things pretty low key on splurges.
I was right there with him. I mean, we definitely want some fun food, but it just seems like there’s always something to celebrate and we’re craving simplicity these days.
My daughter isn’t even really fond of typical game day food. We eat pretty healthy around here, so when we break from our daily routine and dive into heavier choices, she’ll join in, but not enthusiastically.
My son, on the other hand… Loves. It. ALL! He was looking a little confused as choices like fruit salad and lettuce wraps and roasted veggies were offered up around the table.
You could see the concern come over his face….Wait! What?!? What about the wings? What about the nachos? What about the dips? (What about the pumpkin pie? lol!)
I told him not to worry. We’d have some “fun” food too. Like these Philly Cheesesteak Sliders. They’re a perfect choice for this year’s game. (Even if you’re supporting the “other” team :)
Okay…so if you’ve never made any of the many slider recipes floating around out there, here’s how it goes down….
Basically, we’re just making a big sandwich. And, we’re using those Hawaiian type dinner rolls to do it. I happened to buy mine from Trader Joe’s, but you can choose your favorite.
This type of roll works well because, while there are individual rolls, they’re all kind of baked together giving you a nice solid surface to hold your fillings.
First thing we have to do is cut the rolls in half horizontally, so you’ll have one large top and one large bottom.
The next part might be controversial. Spread the top and bottom with mayonnaise.
Okay, so I didn’t grow up in this town and honestly never put mayo on a cheesesteak until I met my husband. He did grow up here. But honestly, it’s probably sacrilege. I don’t really know. Send any blame his way ;)
It does have a practical function in this sandwich beyond taste and moisture. It helps create a barrier between the bread and the fillings. (Although, the cheese also does a nice job of that, so no worries if you’re not a fan of mayo.)
If I’m making sliders that don’t lend themselves to mayo, I’ll often put the cut sides of the bread under the broiler to create a little bit of a crust before I start the filling process.
Next is cheese. Also probably controversial. I’m using American. Sometimes I use provolone. You can use one, both or any cheese that floats your boat. (And no, while popular around Philly, Chees Whiz is not a choice for me.)
I use American in my Cheesesteak Eggrolls, and I love the way it tastes and the way it melts in that recipe.
So, on top of the mayo goes a layer of thinly sliced American cheese. I use thin slices because I like to control how thick the cheesy layer is going to be. One layer is good for me. You want it extra cheesy? Add more cheese.
Next up, the meat. I use a shaved steak from Trader Joe’s. It’s a blend of rib and round and works perfect for cheesesteaks. (You want a good cheesesteak? Use real steak. Skip the frozen “steaks” from the freezer section.)
I flash fry the steak in batches, then pull it apart into smaller pieces. Everything is going to be in small pieces. We don’t want any issues cutting through anything later. And, we don’t want big pieces of anything falling off the small sandwiches.
I chop up a sweet yellow onion and fry it until it’s softened and has some nice golden brown edges. That goes on top of the meat.
(And, just as an aside, I’m using gloved hands to pile everything on this sandwich. It’s easier than using a spoon because as you build the sandwich, the filling is going to want to slide off the edges. I use my hand to pat it back into place.)
White button mushrooms are chopped and fried just like the onions. They’re going to give off a lot of moisture when you cook them, so you have to get past that watery stage to get some color on them.
Cover those mushrooms with another layer of cheese and then the replace the top half of the buns.
The sandwich is going to look mighty tall at this point. But, there’s a lot of bread there and I like a good filling to bread ratio. It will all work out in the end. You’ll see.
Then, brush the top of the buns with some melted butter. Some recipes add all kinds of flavorings and seasonings to the butter. I kept it simple.
Cover the whole thing with foil and pop it in the oven to reheat all of the filling ingredients and melt the cheese.
Once it’s hot, we’re going to take the foil off and let the sandwich get a little bit toasty. When they come out, just cut them up.
I’d mention that you should serve these Philly Cheesesteak Sliders immediately, but honestly, I can’t imagine that you’re going to be able to wait to dig in.
The tops are toasty, but the bread remains pillowy. The steak is juicy and tender with all the yummy flavor of those fried onions and mushrooms. All of that is enveloped in layers of melted cheese.
Oh, and those cute little pennants I used? I’m giving you a free printable so you can make them too! And, yes…there’s a sheet that has the “other” team’s colors as well :)
I LOVE the little pennants! Whether you’re making these Philly Cheesesteak Sliders or any other fun food, they’ll help make your Superbowl spread a festive one!
Just click and print the sheet you want below. Cut them out, fold them in half and glue or tape them around tooth picks or skewers.
So, what interests you this Superbowl Sunday? The game? The food? The commercials? Whether you pick one or all three….Let’s be honest…
No one’s giving up the food ;)
Philly Cheesesteak Sliders
- 1 pound shaved steak I used Trader Joe's
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 3 cups chopped white button mushrooms
- 6 ounces thinly sliced cheese American or Provolone
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 12 slider rolls I used Trader Joe's Aloha Rolls
- mayonnaise optional, but good
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons melted salted butter
Prepare the filling:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking pan large enough to fit your rolls with foil. Spray with cooking spray. (Mine fit into a 9" square pan.) Set aside.
In a large frying pan, fry the chopped onions in about a tablespoon of olive oil until they have some deep golden brown edges. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove the onions from the pan and set aside.
Add another splash of olive oil to the same frying pan you used to fry the onions, and cook the chopped mushrooms until they start to get golden. They will give off a lot of water at first. You'll have to cook them until that water evaporates before they start to brown a little. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from pan and set aside.
In the same pan, heat up just a bit of olive oil and flash fry the shaved steak. I had to do about four batches so that the pan wasn't over crowded. If you add too much meat, you won't brown it, you'll steam it. Each batch should only take a minute to quickly brown. Don't over cook. Some of my pieces had some bits of pink left. Remember, they're still going to bake in the oven. I salted and peppered each batch to taste.
Chop or pull apart the steak into small pieces. I used gloved hands to do this. It was much faster than chopping with a knife.
Cut slider rolls in half horizontally. If desired, spread both top and bottoms with mayonnaise. Place the bottom half of the rolls into the prepared pan.
To assemble the sliders:
Layer the bottom of the rolls with about 6 slices of cheese or enough to fully cover the rolls. Top the cheese layer with steak, then onions, then mushrooms. Finish with another 6 slices of cheese.
Brush the top of the rolls with melted butter. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes or until tops of rolls are toasty.
Use foil to lift the sliders out of the pan. Cut and serve.
*I recommend that you use a good shaved steak for this recipe. I use a shaved steak from Trader Joe's. Or you can ask your butcher to shave ribeye steak for you. I wouldn't use those individual quick cooking thin "steaks" you often find in the freezer section.
*I only use one pan to cook the filling ingredients. I start with the onions. When they're done, I take them out of the pan and add the mushrooms. When they're finished, they'll get set aside and I'll cook the steak. At that point, the steak will pick up all the residual flavor from the onions and mushrooms that were previously cooked in the pan. Yum!
*I think these are best served fresh out of the oven. If you have leftovers, wrap them in foil and store them in the refrigerator. Reheat them in a 350 degree oven, fully wrapped in foil, for about 30 minutes or until nice and hot. They're going to take longer than the first time you baked them because now they're cold. You can uncover them again to re-toast the tops. Alternatively, you can remove the foil and quickly reheat them in the microwave.
*If you don't want to use mayonnaise, it's fine. The cheese will form an effective barrier for any rebel juices. Or, you could opt to toast the cut sides of the bread briefly under the broiler, but it's not necessary.
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