Dueling Cheesesteak Pizzas

As promised Eagle’s fans, here is your Super Bowl food post. As my family watched the game that decided your fate, my brother-in-law Damion kept walking past me whispering, “cheesesteak pizza.” I swear he did this 8 times. It’s almost like he knew the Eagle’s were going to win a spot in the Super Bowl or he really wanted cheesesteak pizza on the menu.

For our football party, New England will represent the sweet side of the evening with the Chocolate Dipped Fluffernutter Sandwich Cookies. Click here for the post.

The essence of the Philadelphia Eagle’s will be embodied by the Dueling Cheesesteak Pizza’s. Iconically, Pat and Geno’s are the rivalry cheesesteak sub shops that literally set across the street from each other. Who’s cheesesteak reigns supreme? Insert argument here.

For the fun of competition, I decided to make a cheesesteak pizza with “whiz” and another cheesesteak pizza with provolone cheese. I myself am a “whiz” kind of gal but, wonder which pizza will dominate the competition?

DUELING CHEESESTEAK PIZZAS:

Enough pizza dough for 2 pizzas, see below for our favorite

1 pound of ribeye, sliced super thin

1 large sweet onion, sliced thin

6 ounces of provolone cheese, shredded

4 ounces of Veleeta

1/4 cup of milk

1/2 cup of mayonnaise

Shredded Lettuce, for garnish

Sliced tomato, for garnish

Hots, hoagie spread

Cornmeal, for dusting the pan

PREPARATION TIP: As with my pizza dough below, the rest of my ingredients will be prepared the night before. When it comes to game time, my focus will be on my company and the television. Besides, cold ingredients on cold dough make for better pizza during baking.

Let’s start with prepping the steak. About 30 minutes before slicing, freeze the steak. The colder the steak is, the easier it will be to slice very thin. Slice against the grain and then give the pile of meat a quick chop. Place in a bowl and set aside.

MEANWHILE…….

While the steak is chilling out, slice your onions thin and place them in a bowl.

Shred the lettuce and slice the tomatoes. Store the tomatoes and the lettuce in separate tightly sealed containers in the refrigerator.

In a small saucepan, combine the milk and the Velveeta cheese.

Over medium low heat, continuously whisk the mixture until smooth. Remove the cheese from the heat and place in a small container and refrigerate.

Now it’s time to give the meat and onions a quick fry. In a large frying pan or cast iron skillet over high heat, drizzle a touch of olive oil in the pan and sear the meat until it is almost cooked through. Work in batches so that you don’t overcrowd the pan and end up boiling the meat. The cooked meat should go into a clean bowl.

Once all the meat is cooked, drizzle in a little more olive oil and add all the onions to the hot pan.

Occasionally toss them around the pan for 2-3 minutes or until they are almost soft. Remove the onions from the pan and throw them in the bowl with the meat. Refrigerate until it’s pizza time.

PREPARATION TIP: To avoid a pain in the butt clean up, once you cook the onions, add about 2 inches of water to the hot pan. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the bits stuck to the bottom. Turn off the heat. Once the pan has cooled down enough for you to touch, clean your pan accordingly.

GAME TIME!

Preheat your oven to as high as it can go, preferably 500-550 degrees for at least 30 minutes. You are going to want a blazing hot oven for best pizza results. If you made the dough below, pull the dough from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before handling. If you bought pizza dough, check the instructions for recommended temperature.  If you aren’t a pizza stone/peel master, a cast iron and stone pans have been kind to me on pizza night.

First up, cheesesteak pizza with provolone.

Take one of your dough balls and stretch it out. Dust a pan with cornmeal to prevent sticking. Transfer your dough to the pan of your choice and lightly spread mayo over the crust. Top with a mixture of the steak and onions. Then sprinkle on the provolone cheese.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the crust is brown, bubbly and the cheese is perfectly melted.

Let the pizza cool for a few minutes before you cut into it.

Next, cheesesteak pizza with “whiz.”

Basically, you build this pizza the same way. Lightly spread mayo over the stretched out dough. Top with the meat and onion mixture. Spoon on dollops of the “whiz.”

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the crust is bubbly, brown and delicious.

EH, EH, EH! Wait a few minutes before you cut into the pizza.

Once the pizzas have rested, grab a slice, top with some hots, lettuce and tomato. Then dig in!

Which cheesesteak pizza will be the winner in your home?

PIZZA DOUGH:

I have mentioned before in a recent bread/pizza post my love affair with the bread baking book, Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish. I make his Saturday Bread all the time and even stockpile it in my freezer. Click here for the Dutch Oven Crusty Bread post. 

Ken’s overnight straight pizza dough is just as brilliant. Plan to start this dough the night before you plan to make pizza. If you don’t end up making the pizza the next day, you have two more days to make the pizza. I suggest using a kitchen scale for best results.

1,000 grams (73/4 cups) of unbleached all-purpose flour*

700 grams (3 cups) 90-95 degrees of water

20 grams (1 tablespoon + 3/4 teaspoon) of fine sea salt

.8 grams (scant 1/4 teaspoon of instant dried yeast

*If you can find OO flour, buy it and use it for pasta noodles and pizza. I can’t really describe the difference, but IT IS amazing. I have come across OO flour in Italian markets. It’s a little pricier than all-purpose flour, but it’s worth every bit.

Sometime the night before, say 7pm, measure your water.

In a small bowl, add the yeast and three tablespoons of the water you previously measured.

In a large bowl, combine all the flour with the remaining water and mix by hand until it’s incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 20-30 minutes.

Sprinkle the salt over the top of the dough. Stir the yeast with your finger and pour it over the dough. Make sure you get all the yeast from the bowl. If needed, use a piece of the dough to scrape the rest out.

Mix the dough by hand, wetting your hand before mixing. This will prevent the dough from sticking to your hand.

Reach underneath the dough and grab about 1/4 of it. Gently stretch the dough over the top and repeat 3-4 more times.

Alternate between pinching and folding the dough to incorporate all the ingredients. Watch the video for a visual. It was originally made for my Crusty Bread post. A few more steps are included, but focus on the folding and the pinching methods.

Cover the dough and let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Repeat the folding process 3-4 times. Cover the dough again and apply one more fold 40 minutes later.

Coat the dough in olive oil, cover and leave the bowl on the counter until the next morning, say 7 am. The dough should be 2 to 3 times its original size.

Generously cover a work space and a baking sheet with flour.

Gently ease the dough onto the work surface. Dust the top of the dough with flour, then cut into 5 equal parts. Each dough ball should weigh about 340 grams.

Shape each piece of dough into a ball, careful not to degas the dough. Place the dough balls on a lightly floured baking sheet, leaving space for expansion. Oil or flour the tops of the dough, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 2 days.

Now it’s time to make pizza.

PREPARATION TIP: You can feed 10-12 people and each dough ball will form a 12 inch pizza. Don’t think you will need 5 pizza doughs?  Any leftover dough is good for up to 2 days. I have served left over pizza dough as a side for dinner. Simply roll out the dough, cover with olive oil, salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese. Bake at 500 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. This is a good chance to play with flavors, toss on some rosemary or garlic for some extra pizzazz.

 

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