inessential by Brent Simmons


It's now easier than before to flip your home page via Radio UserLand.

I just installed a few new themes on UserLand Servers. Two are by Bryan Bell, one is by Mat Wrigley, a new Themes designer.

Sheila, the rebuttal.

Eric Soroos has released RU Remote Player (alpha).

I'm pretty sure the volume of sales calls I'm getting is going up. If this continues, it will be completely out of hand by the end of this year. I do not have the luxury of being able to turn off my phone during working hours. I do not have the luxury of being able to get away with murder, either, however satisfying. Plus it would take too long to track down all the callers, and more spring up by the minute. I'd be a full-time killing machine. That's not what I signed up for when I signed up for a phone.

For a long time it seemed like the number of sales calls was pretty static. Annoying but not terrifically bad. It's possible that this could change -- there's no reason to assume it would stay static. It could explode. You heard it here first.

I got email from Greg Hanek with his recipe for good sandwiches. It sounds really, really, good. No, I mean, really, excellently good.

Here's Greg's email:

***Greg Hanek: "More Philly style sammies"

I'm SO with you on the sandwich issues. Quality ingredients make a huge difference. The bread es muy importanto!

Few US citizens have an idea what _real_ bread is. Something that comes in a plastic bag is NOT real bread. Real bread _would_ allow you to survive for some time on 'just' bread and water. Real bread is still warm when they hand it to you in a paper bag. Real bread is so darn hard to find around here, too. <Homer voice> Mmmmmmm. Reeaal Bread...

Anyway, I wanted to share a recipe I got from Emeril Lagasse, when he did his Live from Philly special on FoodTV (still drool when I think of that show).

He made a 'standard' philly cheese steak sammie, using sliced ribeye steak. I get mine sliced like a deck of cards, just under an eighth of inch. I usually get about 3 lbs sliced this way, and freeze it -- deli paper placed between the slices, and enough slices for a few sammies per freezer bag. A quality meat is important, since this is a 'simple' sandwich.

I love a traditional cheese steak, with just browned onions and provolone cheese. I brown my onions in a little olive oil in a large cast iron skillet, then add Worchestershistershire sauce to them to deglase the pan (make all those browned goodness flavorings come off the bottom of the pan and mingle happily with the onions.) and give a little flavor. I use about one medium sized yellow onion per sammie -- sloppy, yes, but this is a sammie to make you settle down in a comfy chair and enjoy some sporting event (and maybe a nap).... I scrape the onions to the edge of the pan, to keep them warm and happy happy, and pan-fry the ribeye slices in the same pan, so the juices all nicely co-mingle. :-)

Season your ribeye as desired. I like fresh ground pepper and a little cajun seasoning on mine.

After one side is done (lots of the juices coming thru the top), flip it over and smother it in onions after about fifteen seconds, and then put the sliced provolone on this sizzling mass to melt, and make this one juicy lump of goodness.

Here's the *wild* touch that Emeril added, that's make this a KILLER sammie -- he spread garlic mashed potatoes on the sammie bun! No, seriously.

I thought this was too weird until I tried it. It gives the sammie just the right amount of moisture, so you don't have to add anything else to it (I've seen heretics add mayo or other condiments to a cheese steak -- <shiver>). Emeril used baby red potatoes, but I'm usually in too much of a hurry. I confess that I do use instant mashed potatoes usually, but fresh garlic is key here. So is adding a little butter and milk to make the potatoes very creamy. ;-)

So there ya go. After the bun is mashed potato-prepped, and the ribeye slice is done to your preference, lay that ribeye slice on that bun, and smother it in a little more onion. YUM! (Did I mention I like a lot of onions on my sammies?)

Be careful, since this is a very rich sammie, and can easily cause food-coma to settle in. But then again, on a crisp, Fall weekend afternoon, that's a good thing!