What are your comfort foods? Mac and cheese? Deviled eggs? Imagine the double comfort if you brought the two together in one dish.
Author Dan Whalen does just that in his new “The Comfort Food Mash-up Cookbook” (Sterling Epicure, $19.95). Among the 80 recipes that combine beloved dishes in unexpected ways, the one that most piqued my curiosity unites the flavors of a Philly cheesesteak with the creamy texture of cheesecake.
“The Comfort Food Mash-up Cookbook” by Dan Whalen (Sterling Epicure, $19.95) features 80 recipes that combine beloved dishes in unexpected ways.
While the original recipe calls for a breadcrumb crust, my taste testers much preferred a crustless version. A few other tweaks I made to Whalen’s savory version include adding another egg to give the filling a consistency more akin to quiche, and pulsing the rib-eye steak in a food processor separately from the cheese, egg and milk filling so that the meat gets minced into small bits instead of being pureed to a smoothness with the dairy products. After all, if you’re going to eat cheesesteak, you want the satisfaction of chewing on meat.
If you’ve ever been to the City of Brotherly Love, you know there’s no love lost between Philly cheesesteak rivals Pat’s and Geno’s. But with this recipe, the essential components of cheesesteak and cheesecake get along just fine.
Recipe: Cheesesteak Cheesecake
- 1/2 pound rib-eye steak
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped banana peppers
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 6 ounces provolone cheese
- 4 ounces American cheese
- 3 eggs1/4 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing
- 2 large yellow onions, sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 generous pinch sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch pie pan with butter and set aside.
- Cut the steak into thin slices. Warm the olive oil in frying pan over high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the meat. Cook, stirring often, until browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in the banana peppers and cook a few minutes longer, until softened. Set aside.
- In a food processor, mix the cream cheese, provolone cheese and American cheese, eggs and milk, and process until smooth. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Without cleaning out the bowl of the food processor, add the meat mixture to the food processor and pulse until the meat is chopped into small, bite-sized bits. Add the meat to the bowl with the cheese, egg and milk mixture. Stir well to combine, then transfer to the prepared pie pan.
- Bake 35-40 minutes, until the filling is set. (If the top of the cheesecake begins to brown in the last 10 minutes of cooking, tent the top with aluminum foil.) Let cool 5-10 minutes before serving.
- While the cheesecake bakes, prepare the onion jam: Warm a nonstick frying pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the butter. Once the butter has melted, stir in the onions. Cook until golden brown, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid burning. Add the vinegar and sugar and cook an additional 10 minutes to achieve a jamlike consistency.
- Serve the cheesecake warm or at room temperature. Top each serving with onion jam. Serves 6-8.