Cheesesteak Sliders

So, once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away, the Southern husband lived in Philadelphia.  This was before we were married, so I don’t know this for sure, but I’m pretty certain he made more than one trip to both Pat’s and Geno’s, the famous cheesesteak joints near the Italian market in Philly.  He is therefore an EXTREMELY discriminating cheesesteak critic since he started with the best of the best, so when I decided to try my hand at cheesesteaks I didn’t dare try the original large version.  Nope, I stacked the deck in my favor by making adorable little cheesesteak sliders.  Because who couldn’t love an adorable, melty cheesy cheesesteak slider?  Yup, I can be sneaky when I need to be.

Now, before I could do this, I had to do some reconnaissance.  In Philly.  At Pat’s King Of Steaks, where at about 10 in the morning (hey, you do what you have to do for research) I had a steak “wit and Cheez Whiz.”

Pat’s is a busy place even at 10am, and they like things the way they like them, so I was grateful for the ordering directions since I was a cheesesteak newbie, and I wanted to do my own ordering for the experience of it all.

And it was delectable.  Seasoned thin shaved steak (lots of it!), soft sauteed onions, bright orange you-know-you-love-it Cheez Whiz, all on a soft bun.  Now this SOUNDS like it would be easy to replicate, but I’m here to tell you that the Southern husband has tried and rejected cheesesteaks in every restaurant we’ve ever gone to…except for Kinchley’s here in beautiful northern NJ.  Kinchleys has been beloved around here for decades for their ultra-thin crust pizza.  I think the Southern husband is the only one who has ever ordered cheesesteak off their menu.  But he does, and he loves it, and having snuck bites of it I can tell you that he is right.  Go figure.

Anyway, I knew I was playing with fire trying to cheesesteak at home, which is why I decided to go the slider route.  And to stick as close as possible to the Philly version.  No fancy meats or cheeses…I got myself a package of Steak-Ums and a can of Cheese Whiz, some salt and pepper and a sweet onion, and a package of soft slider rolls.  (Do you know that slider rolls only come in packs of TWELVE? More on that in later posts.)

Anyhow, I heated up a skillet and sauteed the sliced onion in a little butter and olive oil and salt until it was nice and tender, and scooped it out.  Next I melted a little more butter in the pan and toasted the inside of the slider rolls until they were golden (this was skating waaaaay outside of cheesesteak territory, but who doesn’t love a butter-toasted roll?  Like I said, I have no shame.)

Then the Steak-Ums went into the pan.  I’m here to tell you: put them in frozen.  If you defrost them, they are so thin they will break apart in your hands.  And I promise they will go from frozen to totally browned and cooked in one minute per side.  I sprinkled each side with salt and pepper as they sizzled up.

As soon as the meat is done, get ready to assemble – you want to do this fast so the heat of the meat will soften the Whiz just a little.  Bun bottom, steak (I used two pieces per slider, all folded up), a spoonful of onions and a generous squirt of Whiz.  Pop on the top bun and there you have it.

 

A warm and wonderful cheesesteak slider!

I handed off the first one to the Southern husband, and watched while he took a bite.  And while this COULD have been all in the interest of marital harmony, he pronounced them worthy of being called cheesesteaks. Baby cheesesteaks, but cheesesteaks!  And as I ate a few of them myself, I can also tell you that I’ll be going out for more Steak-Ums and Whiz soon.

Thanks for hanging in there for me through this long cheesesteak saga!

Cheesesteak Sliders

Serves: 4 sliders (enough for two people) but can be increased endlessly!

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 nine ounce package Steak-Ums sliced steak, frozen
  • Cheese Whiz (mine came in a can, but I think it comes in jars as well)
  • 4 slider rolls (if you can't find them, hot dog rolls cut in thirds work great!)
Instructions
  1. 1. Heat 1 tablespoon butter and one tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Scoop out and set aside.
  2. 2. Melt remaining butter in skillet and toast insides of slider rolls until golden, about 1-2 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  3. 3. Add frozen Steak-ums to skillet and saute for one minute per side, seasoning with a pinch of salt and pepper as you go. You will have to do these in batches.
  4. 4. When the meat is done, assemble sliders as follows: bottom of bun, 2 folded pieces of steak, spoonful of onions, generous squirt or spoonful of Whiz, top of bun.
  5. 5. As they say at Pat's eat up while it's hot!
Notes
Since you want to assemble the sliders as soon as the meat comes out of the pan so the cheese can melt a little, it's good to have a helper to do the assembly as the steak cooks in batches. You can promise them an extra slider!
Yum

Comments

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  1. These sound like fun. Can you tell me where in the grocery store I would find Steak-Ums? I looked in frozen, but didn’t see them. Do you remember what they were near? I usually shop at Publix.

  2. So, I’m sure this must be another of your low-fat, healthy recipes. NOT! But I’m sure my health-conscious son will get over it, once he takes a bite. I’ll serve with broccoli, in hopes that it will suffice.

    Had to search for the steak-ums…I bought them a lot years ago, but not so much lately. And I bought a jar of ‘cheese dip’, instead of cheese whiz. Although I like cheese whiz, I didn’t want to pay for the can, the nozzle, and whatever they put into it to make it ‘whiz’. I’ll just spread it on the top of the bun.

    And I think I’ll caramelize some onions and add those, adding to the yum.

    P.S. I want to eat healthy, but I often tire of all the advice and admonitions about how to eat healthy, particularly the claims that certain things are bad for you one day, and not bad for you the next. I am glad that you give us recipes that are really tasty! Some I make as-is, and some are easily adapted. but lots are healthy just as they are!

    • Hi Joyce! Yup, this would not go in the healthy category, but since they are sliders I like to think of them as portion-controlled! :) And thanks for your sweet words – they got my day off to a happy start!

  3. Heather Bain says:

    These look awesome but here in the uk I have never heard of Cheese Whiz, Slider rolls or Steak ums, wonder what the equivalent would be here?

  4. I’m so glad you asked! Steak-Ums are very very thin slices of steak, frozen in about 6×3 inch pieces. You could use any kind of shaved steak – if I couldn’t find the Steak-Ums that was my plan. Slider rolls are little baby burger rolls, about 2-3 inches wide. If you can’t find them, hot dog rolls cut in thirds will work. And Cheez Whiz (I am slightly ashamed to say) is processed cheese spread in a can, or a jar. Any orange spreadable cheese will do – it’s soft, like butter. Hope this helps! I promise I eat healthy more than I eat cheesesteak sliders. :)

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