Joe and I are enjoying being back in Albuquerque and trying some of the local restaurant favorites. While I cook most of our meals during the week, on the weekend we try to get away from the daily grind and nearly always go out for a bite to eat. One Saturday we tried a new place, at least it’s new to us called Filling Philly’s. They feature steak and chicken philly cheese steaks as well as meatball sandwiches. But what caught our eye was the Green Chile Philly. I can tell you my mouth was watering just reading the description. And it didn’t disappoint, It was delicious!! The distinct difference between my cheese steak and Filling Philly’s is the cheese sauce. They use cheese whiz which does taste good but I envisioned a creamy Oaxaca cheese sauce. Oaxaca cheese melts so creamy and makes the best cheese sauce and dips. I especially love it paired with green chile. My love of cheese steaks have no bounds, this one has to be one of the best!
If you are not familiar with Oaxaca cheese, “Cacique” is a brand name that makes many Mexican cheese products. Depending on your location it may or may not be easy to find in your local grocery store. Believe it or not, I had to hunt for it here in Albuquerque but in Kansas City it can be found at almost every grocery store in town. Who would have thought . . . .
Ever since I tried the “Serious Eats” method of making cheese sauce, it’s been my go to recipe. You will need butter, cornstarch, evaporated milk and your choice of cheese. If you can’t find Oaxaca cheese, Monterey Jack is a good choice.
Slowly whisk as the cheese melts and begins to thicken into a cheese sauce. The sauce should be creamy but not too thick. If too thick add milk, a tablespoon at a time until it’s the right consistency. There is no grit in this sauce and remains creamy when reheated.
Season with green chile salt. If you don’t have green chile powder just salt to taste. You may have extra cheese sauce that can be refrigerated and reheated in the microwave. It makes a great dip for tortilla chips.
I found some small steaks on sale that would be the perfect amount for just the two of us. Rule of thumb would be approximately 1/4 pound per sandwich. Cut the steak into bite size pieces and season with green chile salt. I make my own blend mixing one part green chile powder with one part salt. Sprinkle the salt over the steak so that every piece has a little bit of seasoning on it. Order green chile powder online at Hatch Chile Express.
1/2 pound Steak, cut into bite size pieces (approximately 1/4 pound per sandwich)
1/4 cup Green Chile, roasted, peeled and chopped
Green Chile Salt, to season steak and cheese sauce (1 part Green Chile Powder to 1 part Sea Salt)
2 Hoagie Buns
**Oaxaca Cheese Sauce
1 tablespoon Butter
3/4 cup Evaporated Milk
2 teaspoons Cornstarch
1 cup Oaxaca Cheese, grated
Green Chile Salt to taste
Melt butter in a small non-stick saucepan. Combine evaporated milk with cornstarch in a small bowl. Whisk until the cornstarch is blended and pour into the saucepan with the melted butter. Add grated cheese and stir. The sauce will begin to thicken as the cheese melts.
To Make Cheese Steaks begin by slicing steak into bite size pieces. Sprinkle with green chile salt. Heat a wok or cast iron skillet to nearly smoking. Sear the steak on all sides while it begins to release it’s juices. Continue cooking as the meat begins to caramelize, then add in the roasted green chile. Let the meat and chile cook for 1 – 2 minutes to incorporate the chile and juices into the meat.
Toast hoagie buns in the toaster oven.
To assemble cheese steak, layer steak and chile on hoagie bun. Ladle cheese sauce over top.
Makes 2 cheese steaks.
**Note: Leftover cheese sauce can be refrigerated and reheated in the microwave. There is enough for several more cheese steak sandwiches or can be used as a dip for tortilla chips.