I usually make this with ricotta as a base for shredded mozzarella, Parmesan, and provolone but decided to go with a bechamel this time just to see how it would work. I’ve been seeing the basic white sauce used in a few different lasagnas prepared on one of my TV cooking shows. I made one with 4 cups of milk and stirred the cheeses into that and added the ricotta just for the hell of it. Made a ton of cheese sauce thinking I’d make two pans but my lasagna noodle count was off so I packed one pan, slightly larger than my usual, as full as I could. Still had leftover cheese sauce.Freshly made lasagna, still warm from the oven, will slump all over the plate. I let mine rest for a half hour but it still oozed all over. Here’s a nice slice that’s firmed up overnight in the fridge. The green is chopped spinach that went into the white sauce. The tomato sauce has sausage in it but this would be just fine without any meat added if that’s your preference.Even just the one pan is way too much for the two of us so I divide it like so and slide it into the big freezer so I can vacuum seal the portions for later. They’ll keep a long time like that.
I’ll probably take fire for calling this chili-mac because it doesn’t use elbows. The chili topping was very easy, a can of pinto beans and a can of tomato bits with green chilies. I added a fair amount of a general purpose chili powder and then just simmered it in a sauce pan for a little while. The cheese sauce is heaviest on Monterey jack but I used up the last of a Parmesan-Romano mix that I have been using on pizzas. I needed the shaker top jar to put my red pepper flakes into and it has nice big holes in the lid. There is a sprinkle of paprika on the pasta to ease the color transition form the cheese sauce to the chili.
So good and so easy to pull together. Slice up a nice big sweet onion and some beef. I like flat iron steaks for this kind of thing. Give the onions a head start, brown them a little in oil and then toss in the beef slices. I use tongs to stir and flip the meat until it browns and then mix every thing together. While that is going, make a roux in a saucepan, add milk to make the white sauce, and then add cheese and stir as it melts. As usual, I made way more than I needed but it will keep in the fridge for a few days. Add some pickled jalapenos and reheat it for an excellent nacho cheese sauce. Mmm… nachos!
What can I say? I did it for reasons. The dish was well received by all. I mentioned this to Mrs J when the whim struck me as I was slicing the frosty flat iron steak. She said fries with her cheesesteak sammich would be fine. I said, no, I mean put the cheesesteak filling on top of the fries, like cheese fries. We’ve had those before. She said “Oooohhh”! I took that as an assent. LOL
I’m not going to call this a Philly cheesesteak because I am not in Philly and those folks get kind of twitchy. It is definitely in the same ball park. This one has thin sliced flatiron steak ribbons grilled along with onions that are already caramelized. Onions take a lot longer to cook than the thinly sliced steak does so you will want to start them ahead. When they are done just push them aside and bump up the flame for the meat, stir it around for a minute and include some of the onions as you flip the meat about. I use tongs for this, and for loading the buns. The sauce is made with half and half warmed in a sauce pan to melt some of the six cheese Italian blend that we like. This batch was a tad thin so I tossed in a slice of pepper jack to give it a bit more body.Open wide! LOL