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Kitchen Curious: Cheesesteak and cheesecake collide into savory comfort food mash-up

Cheesesteak Cheesecake includes bits of rib-eye steak and banana peppers, and it’s topped with onion jam. CONTRIBUTED BY PAULA PONTES
Cheesesteak Cheesecake includes bits of rib-eye steak and banana peppers, and it’s topped with onion jam. CONTRIBUTED BY PAULA PONTES

What are your comfort foods? Mac and cheese? Deviled eggs? Imagine the double comfort if you brought the two together in one dish.

Author Dan Whalen does just that in his new “The Comfort Food Mash-up Cookbook” (Sterling Epicure, $19.95). Among the 80 recipes that combine beloved dishes in unexpected ways, the one that most piqued my curiosity unites the flavors of a Philly cheesesteak with the creamy texture of cheesecake.

“The Comfort Food Mash-up Cookbook” by Dan Whalen (Sterling Epicure, $19.95) features 80 recipes that combine beloved dishes in unexpected ways. CONTRIBUTED
“The Comfort Food Mash-up Cookbook” by Dan Whalen (Sterling Epicure, $19.95) features 80 recipes that combine beloved dishes in unexpected ways. CONTRIBUTED

While the original recipe calls for a breadcrumb crust, my taste testers much preferred a crustless version. A few other tweaks I made to Whalen’s savory version include adding another egg to give the filling a consistency more akin to quiche, and pulsing the rib-eye steak in a food processor separately from the cheese, egg and milk filling so that the meat gets minced into small bits instead of being pureed to a smoothness with the dairy products. After all, if you’re going to eat cheesesteak, you want the satisfaction of chewing on meat.

If you’ve ever been to the City of Brotherly Love, you know there’s no love lost between Philly cheesesteak rivals Pat’s and Geno’s. But with this recipe, the essential components of cheesesteak and cheesecake get along just fine.

Adapted from “The Comfort Food Mash-up Cookbook” © 2018 by Dan Whalen. Published by Sterling Epicure.

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