Beer Cheese Philly Steak

philly beer cheese steak from fanny and brenda

I’d got some steak in the other day but despite it being a nice ribeye (don’t forget folks, your beautiful hostesses never do slumming it….) I just couldn’t face another large slab of meat, which is not something you’ll ever catch Brenda saying.

It was midweek, so it didn’t need to be elaborate (and neither, frankly, did I have time as I was expecting a gentleman caller later that evening) – so it was just the two of us and although the lights had been dimmed as much as the switch would allow I could still make out Brenda chewing, even in the half light which is a sight for sore eyes.

philly beer cheese steak from fanny and brenda

As it so happened, I’d set out to make enough for three but we ended up finishing it between us which must mean the end result was gorgeous! Give it a go folks, and let us know how you get on…

Ingredients

1 green peppers, sliced
1 large onion, sliced thin
350g rib-eye steak, sliced thin
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
fresh cracked black pepper
garlic powder
1/2 loaf ciabatta or similar, cut into 1 inch cubes
75g butter
40g flour
350 ml beer
hot pepper sauce
bunch of fresh parsley – finely chopped
paprika
Worcestershire sauce
soy sauce
250 g strong cheddar cheese – grated
100g medium (“nutty”) cheese like gruyere or Comte – grated

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C

Heat splash of olive oil in a largish frying pan over medium-low heat; add the green pepper and onion to it along with some sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper and about 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder - cook until soft, about 20 minutes; set aside.

Raise the heat to medium, add another small splash of oil and add the sliced steak. Season exactly as above (salt, pepper and garlic powder) and cook for about 5 minutes, till beginning to brown. Set aside.

Meanwhile, arrange the bread cubes in the bottom of a 8×11 (approx) dish. Layer the steak on the bread and then layer the pepper and onion mixture over the steak layer; set aside.

To make the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan, whisk in the flour to make a roux and once it’s cooked out a bit, pour in the beer, whisking continually. Season with salt and black pepper plus add garlic powder, about a tsp paprika and splashes of Worcestershire, hot and soy sauces to taste – stir to combine. As the mixture thickens, add the cheddar and stir till melted, at which point you can stir through the chopped parsley. Now pour the mixture over the meat/peppers/bread assembly in the pan. Top with your Comte or Gruyere cheese.

Bake for about 15- 20 mins or until the top layer is golden and bubbling.

philly beer cheese steak from fanny and brenda

Coconut Ice Cream

fanny klunge's homemade cocnut ice cream

We wanted to film one of our epic YouTube masterpieces and make a pineapple and coconut soufflé which required coconut ice cream. This sounds simple enough but, surprisingly, that particular ingredient was nowhere to be found in the apparent wilds of south London where there are, of course, no people of Caribbean origin who would never dream of eating anything with coconut in it.

So, instead of firing off “Inconvenienced, of Streatham” letters to our local supermarket management – or having a stand-up row with some of the smaller shopkeepers – I decided to make my own.

As for the soufflé, the idea was binned. After a couple of tries we realised that hot pineapple is dubious and the end result was disgusting. This ice cream recipe is delicious however!

Ingredients

400ml can of coconut cream
250ml double cream
300ml full cream milk
1 x 50g sachet creamed coconut
1 vanilla pod
6 egg yolks
165g golden caster sugar
60g desiccated coconut

Method

Combine the coconut cream, cream, milk and creamed coconut (break up the single piece into about ten smaller chunks to help it dissolve) in a medium saucepan. Split vanilla pod in half lengthways, scrape the seeds into the pan then place pod in pan.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until well combined and lighter in colour; when the milk pan is getting towards boiling, ladle out some of the cream into the beaten eggs and immediately whisk them together – this loosens the eggs and heats it a little which is called tempering and means you’re less likely to turn your whisked egg/sugar mix into scrambled egg when all of the hot cream goes in.

When the cream mix boils, add it to the tempered egg mix, whisking all the time,

Strain into a large heatproof jug, discard the vanilla pod and any small lumps which get caught in the sieve.

Switch on the small oven (if you have a double oven) to 180C should come up to temperature while you carry out the next step

Wash the pan quickly and return mixture to it. Set over a low to medium heat and stir constantly, without boiling, until it is thickened slightly – if you have a thermometer, it should read about 78°C. While the mixture is gently heating, put the desiccated coconut into an oven proof dish/pan big enough to allow the coconut to spread thinly over the bottom and place in the oven. You cannot, however, turn your back on stirring the egg/cream mix for more than a few seconds – and neither can you take your eyes off the roasting coconut as it will go from done to done-in in seconds! Around three minutes is all it will take to go a lovely toasty golden brown and that’s what you’re looking for – so you may need a second pair of hands here. But it’s do-able if you’re prepared to focus and have the confidence. Stir in the toasted coconut and pour into a baking tin, cover and freeze until almost set – 3 to 4 hours approximately.

You could then scoop out the partially frozen ice cream into a large bowl, and blend it for a minute or two with an electric whisk till smooth – but depending on the height of the baking tin sides, you might well be able to carry out this final stage in situ in the tin but you’ll need to judge that for yourselves. My tin had sides about three inches high and, although I did get a few splashes, was able to whisk it up in the tin, which saved transferring it and washing up!

Put in a tin or container that will approximately give you a block shape – like an old ice cream container, or loaf tin, for example – then freeze until firm. The whisking process mid-freeze helps get a bit of air into the mix and so give it a creamier/more scoop-able texture although you’ll still benefit from leaving it for 15-20 mins out of the freezer before serving.