Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Josefina and Kirsten make Steak Sandwiches with Brie

A super fast way to spice up lunchtime!

Sometimes I'll come across a recipe or be told I should try something out that doesn't really fit any of the AG characters I've got at my disposal unless I really stretch the connection. I'm definitely not above doing that - I have, for example, considered letting Rebecca host some Italian or German recipes because Rebecca represents the time period, if not the culture of when some of my relatives came to the United States - and of course I've always got Kailey to host anything that just flat out doesn't make sense for a historical character to be the host of. Really, this sandwich probably should have been given to Kailey, because there's nothing much about it that says Kirsten or Josefina, and it's not like they're from similar cultures or parts of the world.

But there is a reason I picked these specific characters to be the hosts here, and that reason is...

This recipe comes from my very best friend Ari, and while she has admitted she was more of a Magic Attic fan as a kid, she did have a Josefina she got from her grandmother. I think that's actually the most common American Girl origin story I've heard over my years of being around people who have them, even from people whose grandmothers weren't in the teaching industry like mine was which is how I assume she first heard about American Girl. Do they just send the catalogs out to anyone over the age of fifty in hopes they'll get lucky? I'll have to remember to ask her next time she's over the house.

Anyway, this is the same friend who brought you past recipes like the beef brisket, chicken soup and pumpkin soup that I've featured on the blog in the past. We've been pals for a long time now, and was one of the first people to tell me that no, making a cooking blog featuring dolls wasn't crazy and might actually be really cool! She is always super supportive and generally an awesome person, so I'm always happy to give her a shout out.

Obviously this isn't her Josefina, but since she was her childhood doll and Kirsten was mine, it seemed only fitting to let the two of them be our hosts today.

These sandwiches were something my pal made for dinner a couple weeks ago, and she said I should give them a shot sometime, so I penciled it into my schedule! She tends to be more adventurous when it comes to trying new things food wise than I am and teases me about it sometimes, which gave me all the more determination to give this sandwich a try even though brie isn't really my favorite cheese.

You start out with sandwich steak. If you can't find this exact cut, stew or stir fry sized cuts can work too. Just look for something thin and you can adjust as needed. Obviously you can customize your spices, but I was told to get some garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper, and that combination worked out just great. Ari seasons hers with garlic and wine seasoning, which is something she got inspiration to do from Melting Pot, which is basically the greatest restaurant ever (and is another thing she introduced me to), I will hear no arguments to the contrary.

(I just like fondue, alright?)

Put a tablespoon of butter into a skillet and put the burner on to medium heat. The steaks cook quickly, but you'll have time to season both sides if you didn't do it on the counter beforehand.

Slice up some ciabatta rolls or bread, and toast them either in a toaster or the oven. I had enough steak and brie to make three sandwiches, so I got the rolls nice and sliced up while the steak was on the stove.

I put them in the oven because we've got a toast setting, but quickly discovered that my oven does not like to toast not-flat pieces of bread evenly, so some of them got kind of singed. They still tasted good, though!

While they're toasting, you should probably get out your arugula and brie if you haven't already.

Now technically, this recipe is supposed to have red onions and roasted sweet red peppers on it, but as devotees will remember, onions are the Blockbuster to my Nightwing (or in a slightly less obscure nerdy reference, the Lex Luthor to my Superman I suppose) and I actually hate cooked sweet peppers of every variety. I know I'm a picky eater and there are a lot of things I don't necessarily enjoy eating, but cooked sweet peppers are different in that I basically can't have them in my mouth at all. I'll reluctantly eat spinach and brussel sprouts and maybe even goat cheese, but I can't do cooked sweet peppers.

So I skipped that step and just focused on getting the cheese and greens on the bread. The most important part is getting the brie on the bread quickly so it'll melt a bit, and yes, it's safe and actually considered less peasant-like to eat the rind.

Next goes the arugula, the steak, the red peppers and onions if you want them, and then more argula, and...

Tada, deliciousness.

You're done! These were super easy to make and probably took me fifteen minutes total to do. I was also pleased to discover that even without the wine seasoning, the steak actually tasted very similar to the fun little bite sized pieces you get to eat at Melting Pot.

The one thing I had trouble with was pacing it so everything was still nice and hot once it was actually on the bread. Having someone to help get things toasted and chopped up could have come in handy, but honestly I enjoyed the second (yes I will admit, I had seconds) sandwich I ate was just as tasty as the first even if it was more room temperature than anything else. I would definitely recommend making one for yourself if you're ever looking for a lunch or dinner option that's a little more exciting than cold cuts out of the fridge, and since it's hard to get a single serving of sandwich steak, it's something that can easily be turned into a meal for more than one person! A+, would definitely make again.

My brother had better hurry home from school if he wants to try one.


  1. Looks yummy!

    I just wanted to warn you though that Josefina's spencer stains, so don't leave it on her too long. I had mine on my Josefina for less than a week and it started to but luckily I caught it before it sunk in to her vinyl.

    1. Thanks for the warning! I guess it's time to try out how to make clothes colorfast.

  2. Do they just send the catalogs out to anyone over the age of fifty in hopes they'll get lucky?

    I suspect this is the case, as they sent one to my grandma when I was 13 and that's how I learned about Addy Walker. Granted, my grandma also lives in Wisconsin.

    Those look delicious. I will have to try.

    1. My asking further questions about this has sparked a lot of debate about who knew what first, so I guess I will never know for sure ahaha, but I can definitely say these are excellent. c: