Cheesesteaks at their core are anything but kosher. A kosher cheesesteak is an oxymoron of the highest order.
The mixing of meat and cheese is possibly the quintessential no-no when keeping kashrut.
So, how could there possibly be a kosher cheesesteak, let alone a cheesesteak that is kosher for Passover? (Passover or Pesach of course being the Jewish holiday that recalls the story of the Jews exodus from slavery in Egypt.)
Driven by desire to feed all the Jewish NBCPhiladelphia users' appetites and in honor of the Golden Local battle for best cheesesteak (VOTE HERE) we tried to find a great Kosher-for-Pesach cheesesteak recipe.
We failed to find any recipe that met the following three rules so we had to create our own recipe.
First the rules:
1. The cheesesteak can't include any bread. The "sandwich" can only use matzo or unleavened bread.
2. The cheese can be real but the "steak" must be a meat substitute. This is harder than you would think considering that legumes aren't K4P in the Ashkenazi tradition (that means no soy bean products.)
3. All items included must be recognized Kosher for Passover. Click here for the K4P rules.
Finding the bread substitute was easy. Any version of matzo should work. Just lightly fry the matzo in K4P vegetable oil to make it taste like something other than cardboard.
The meat substitute was the hardest item to find.
We called local rabbis and even the Kosher Experience at ShopRite to try and find some sort of meat alternative that didn't use wheat-gluten or soybeans -- we came up empty.
But, there is a vegetable alternative that should work nicely -- eggplant. Simply slice the eggplant and fry in vegetable oil with salt , pepper and garlic -- a tasty beef alternative that is K4P.
You can even have the steak sandwich "wit." Just chop up some onion and fry it along with the eggplant.
The cheese for sandwich must be K4P. (Sorry but cheese whiz isn't K4P)
Miller's has a wide variety of K4P cheeses including a great baby Gouda that works perfectly for this recipe.
As for the amounts of how much of each item to use -- that's up to the cook but we have some suggestions.
Our suggested ingredient list:
- 1 medium-sized eggplant
- Half an onion
- Small wheel of Gouda
- As much matzo as it takes
- Salt, pepper and garlic to taste
Add K4P ketchup to taste and serve with a glass of the finest Manischewitz wine.
And, be sure to vote for the Golden Local for the best cheesesteak (non-kosher) in Philadelphia.
Enjoy -- chag sameach.