One of the things that’s unexpectedly happened to Jillian and I, over the last few years, is that we’ve turned into steakhouse people. Dyed-in-the-wool, pitcher of martinis, truffled creamed spinach, red leather booth, yes-please-ask-the-kitchen-to-start-on-the-chocolate-soufflé, steakhouse people.
We’re not sure how it happened; it may be no more than a matter of scarcity, since neither Mexico nor Portland, ME really specialized in the kind of classic, dimly-lit, ridiculously expensive steakhouse of our dreams, where the beef is aged for forty days and the scotch for 14 years. Or maybe our newfound affinity for eating big, still-bleeding chunks of meat comes from our friend Matt, who at the ripe old age of 24, was the first person I remember washing down steaks that cost more than I made in a day with bourbon that cost more than I made in a week.
To this day, when a special occasion strikes, whether it’s a birthday or a new baby that’s just around the corner and even now seems to be flipping herself over to get ready for her trip into the world, whenever we need to mark either the end of something old, or the beginning of something new, it’s a classic steakhouse that beckons. Last night, we ate to the borders of discomfort at Pasadena’s Arroyo Chop House, feasting on a medium-rare porterhouse for two, a bowl of creamed spinach, and another bowl of sautéed mushrooms, each dish more perfectly cooked than the last.
Though we did great gastronomic battle at our two-person bacchanal, we were still left with an enormous bag of leftovers, sorted thoughtfully into white paper boxes. It can be tough to figure out just what to do with leftovers like these, since everything was already cooked to perfection, and re-cooking what’s left seems almost like a sacrilege. Instead, we relived the evening the next day by letting the original ingredients shine on their own, the best way we know how: In sandwich form.
Though this is a hot sandwich, we wanted to try to keep from doing too much cooking. We added a quarter of an onion, sliced thin, to the leftover mushrooms, adding the steak at the last second to warm it through, without cooking any more, since it was already a perfect medium rare. The heat from the steak and the mushroom mixture was enough to warm the creamed spinach layer and melt the slices of cambozola I added to meld everything together, as well as introduce some additional flavor from the blue cheese, another steakhouse staple. Finally, a bit of whole-grain mustard complemented the beef, while adding some brightness to what was otherwise a very, very rich sandwich.
- 1 hero sandwich roll
- 1/4 cup leftover creamed spinach
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 white onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup leftover sautéed mushrooms
- 6–8 thin slices of leftover steak
- 3 slices cambozola cheese
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- Split roll lengthwise, and spread bottom with leftover creamed spinach, and top with whole grain mustard. Set aside.
- In a small skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until onions soften. Add leftover mushrooms, and cook, stirring, until mixture is heated through. Add sliced steak, and toss well to combine, heating until meat is warmed through, but cooks as little as possible.
- Transfer slices of steak to roll, on top of the creamed spinach. Top with sliced cambozola, followed by onion and mushroom mixture. Let rest for 2-3 minutes to allow cheese to melt and flavors to combine, and serve.