The other day while I was getting some work done, I had Food Network playing in the background as usual. My son Seth came downstairs and sat next to me so we could chat a bit. It seemed like both of us at the same time looked up at the TV and saw the recipe that Rachael was making. Our mouths both began to drool. He looked at me and before he even got the words out of his mouth I said, "I have GOT to make that"!
It was the show entitled "Sofa Night" and Rachael was making the yummiest looking sandwich I think I have ever seen her make! I immediately grabbed a piece of paper and began writing down the ingredients so I could go to the store. Both of us were so excited. Yes I have created Jr Foodies folks, my kids get just as excited about food as I do I think. My daughter is even taking the culinary program at her school. Isn't she adorable in her chef jacket?
Last night was the night planned for these amazing sandwiches. We were all so excited, I mean if you watch the show these sandwiches are seriously just mouth watering to watch be made. All day yesterday Seth would say, "When are you cooking dinner Mom?" and I would tell him the same thing every time he asked. SO you know as soon as I started cooking he was standing over my shoulder smelling and tasting. All I kept hearing was "OMG Mom that smells so good" "WOW those peppers are awesome" "Ummm when is dinner going to be done?" UGH get out of my kitchen!
The recipe calls for 2 loaves of ciabatta bread and 4 6 to 8 ounce steaks but I will tell you that I only used one 12 inch loaf and 1pound of steak and it was plenty for 3 people. I have no idea how 4 people would have eaten twice as much! These are very filling. The meat was tender, the cheese sauce was ooooooooh so creamy, and the peppers and onions were the perfect topper to make this seriously the BEST sandwich I have ever eaten. It is kind of a riff on a Philly Cheese Steak but with an Italian flair.
Since we like things spicy here, the next time I make these I am going to add more of the hot pepper rings and juice and probably some crushed red pepper flakes too. The provolone cheese is nice and salty so I think it would hold up well to some extra heat.
Ciabatta Cheese Steaks with the Works
4 flat iron steaks 6 to 8 ounces each
EVOO for coating plus 2 tablespoons
3 cubanelle peppers (Italian frying peppers) seeded and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 large onion thinly sliced
1/4 hot pepper rings (sometimes called banana pepper rings), drained, NOT pepperoncini, sliced yellow or red hot peppers in a jar
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Nutmeg, freshly grated
2 cups grated provolone cheese
2 loaves ciabatta bread, 12 inches long
Leave the steaks on the counter, to take the chill off, while the grill or grill pan heats up to medium-high heat. Coat the steaks with EVOO and grill seasoning.
Heat 2 tablespoons of EVOO in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cubanelle peppers, onions, and garlic and cook until very tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add a splash of the hot pepper juice and the hot pepper rings, remove from heat.
Heat the oven to 250 degrees F
While the peppers cook put the steaks on the grill or grill pan, and cook for 10 minutes for rare, 2 minutes longer for each level of desired doneness, turning once about midway through cook time. Meanwhile heat a sauce pan over medium heat and add the butter. When the butter is melted whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Thicken the sauce for a couple of minutes and then reduce the heat to low.
WHen the steaks are cooked to desired doneness, remove to a cutting board and let rest there for 5 minutes. Thinly slice on an angle against the grain. While the meat rests place the bread in the oven to warm and stir the cheese into the sauce.
To serve split the bread lengthwise and spread the steak slices evenly across the bottom of the bread. Top the steak with the sauce and peppers and onions. Cover with bread tops and cut into 4 equal slices.