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10th October 2023 - Aaron Bulging
Street Food - USA
Box of Philly Cheesesteak and Cajun Wedges
I can't help thinking America probably deserves better than the food I made. However quickly.
Philadephians would not have been impressed.

Nothing wrong with the chips though.

Making America Greasy Again
Cajun Potato Wedges
You can't go wrong with potatoes. Right?
Philly Cheesesteak on a brioche sub
But this, you can go wrong with.

Philly Cheesesteak
snack meat
Philadelphians are typically very precious about their cheesesteaks, and accept only provolone, American, or Whiz cheese melts (take a moment to savour the latter). So Montgomery here is probably an aberration.
They fry their onions until only slightly caramelised at the edges (I may have overdone mine), and permit the addition of bell peppers. And hot or pickled chillies, though now you might be pushing your luck.
Usually they would sear their super-thinly sliced steak (typically ribeye, possibly flank or skirt) separately from the vegetables. Onglet or hanger steak is a good choice though - known as the butcher's cut for it's overlooked tenderness and robust flavour.

Makes 4 Subs

Season the steak with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over a high heat.
Add the steak to the skillet and cook until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.
Add the onion and pepper to the skillet and cook until softened (can chop if you like when cooking).
Add the cheese and cover until melted, about 1 minute.
OK, we mostly didn't follow those instructions - we cooked the onion and pepper first until well caramelised, then cleared a space in the pan and fried the steak in it.
I somewhat over-cooked mine both before and after adding the cheese so that the mixture split into a gooey greasy mess.

Brioche Sub
bread veg
Something of a disaster - I'm not sure it's quite the right bread to use for the Philly hoagie; it's a bit rich and sweet. Though they are usually enriched with a little butter and possibly egg, and should be quite soft.
Anyhow, mine didn't rise at all - I may have overcooked the milk mixture and killed the yeast starter. Or perhaps we didn't allow it enough time to prove?

Makes 4 large Subs

Mix the warm water, yeast, warm milk and sugar in a bowl. Let it stand for 5 mins until it becomes frothy - this is how you know the yeast is working.
Tip the flour and 1 tsp salt into a large mixing bowl, add the butter and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Make a well in the centre of the buttery flour and add the warm yeast mixture and the eggs.
Use your hands to mix it into a sticky dough - don't worry if the mixture feels a little wet at this stage, it will come together when kneading. Tip the dough out onto a floured work surface.
Knead the dough for 10 mins by stretching it on the work surface - it will be very sticky at this stage but don't be tempted to add too much flour.
The dough is ready when it feels soft and bouncy - this means that the gluten strands have developed. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and set aside to rise for 15/20 mins.
Once the dough has doubled in size, knock the air out and knead again for 2 mins. The dough should be much less sticky now, but add a little flour if it needs it.
Roll into balls then sausage-like shapes and arrange on lined baking trays. Loosely cover with oiled cling film and leave for about 20 mins or until doubled in size again.
Uncover the trays, brush the buns with egg. Bake for 20 mins or until golden, then leave to cool on a wire rack.
We really rushed through this process - heating the milk mixture on the hob before adding the yeast, and not waiting for the size doublings.
Probably explains why my buns didn't rise at all.

Cajun Potato Wedges
side staple veg vegan
Hard to go wrong with these really, unless they go leathery, though I'm not sure what dried fennel is.
Does it mean fennel seeds? Or dried fennel top fronds?
Either way we didn't have any.

Serves 4

Set your fryer to 130°C.
Cut the potatoes into medium sized wedges.
Mix the spices.
Blanch your potatoes for 6 minutes or until soft (blanching means cooking without colouring).
Set aside and set the fryer to 190°C.
When the fryer comes up to temperature (190°) fry the potatoes again until golden and crisp.
Into a bowl add your crisp wedges and season with your spice mix and some salt! (add parmesan for extra flavour and texture).
Pretty good.