I moved to Ohio from South Jersey about 12 years ago, and one of the things that I quickly found out upon moving is that although you can find a “stromboli” here, the Ohio version of a stromboli is absolutely nothing like a New Jersey one.
So over the past decade, I’ve searched high and low for a cheesesteak stromboli. No such luck. Even the places that carried both cheesesteaks and strombolis wouldn’t make one for me, even if I told them exactly how to make it. I’ve sated the craving over time by just making sure I pick one up the once a year or so I go back to South Jersey to visit.
So imagine my excitement when I got a call yesterday from my mother and her boyfriend inviting us to come over for dinner last night for cheesesteak strombolis. You better believe that we accepted that invitation in a heartbeat! And now that I know how easy it is to make an extremely credible version of one, you can rest assured I’ll be making these myself from now on.
You start with about 2-3 lbs. (depending on how meaty you want them) of Philly steak (if you go to Schumann’s Meats on the West Side and ask them for “Philly Steak, chipped” they’ll know exactly what you mean) – if not, ask your local butcher to chip either tri-tip or round. Slice a large onion and a green peper, and put it in a pan with a little bit of oil to brown. Here’s a pic of the steak and veggies during the browning process.
Once the meat is done, let it sit a couple minutes to drain, and in the meantime, roll out a ball of pizza dough (either make your own, or buy it – we got ours at Trader Joe’s) into a rectangle. Place the cooked meat in a line down the middle, and top it liberally with pizza sauce (we used some I had canned last summer with local tomatoes) and chopped fresh basil.
Top liberally with mozzarella cheese.
To fold it up, fold the ends inward, and bring the top and bottom toward the middle, kind of like making a burrito. Flip it over so the seams are directly on the cookie sheet. Top each one (this recipe should make 2) with a little more mozzarella cheese.
Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven 15-20 minutes or until cheese on top is browned and bubbling. To serve, cut into slices.
It truly hit the spot. If you like calzones, give this a try. A great big thank you to my mother and Joe for having us over.