what’s cooking wednesday: pepper steak over white rice

I *loved* my grandmother’s steak hoagies. They weren’t exactly Philly cheesesteaks–they were better. Yeah, I said it.

The thing is, though, she used “Minute steaks,” which we don’t have here. Do you know them? Frozen, really super-thin slices of meat? Yes, it’s one of those things you can kinda sorta substitute, but still . . . it will just never be exactly the same.

Anyway, I made today’s What’s Cooking Wednesday recipe based on my grandmother’s original recipe, and we’ll get to that in a moment, but for those interested, let me tell you quickly how she made steak hoagies (no measurements because that’s the way she rolled):

  • Steam broken up pieces of Minute Steaks in a pan, remove and cover them.
  • Heat olive oil and butter in a pan and sauté peppers, then add onions as well.
  • Add meat and sprinkle everything with garlic salt.
  • Add a small can of tomato sauce and let cook until tomatoes no longer taste raw.
  • Stir in cheese (she used slices of Kraft American).
  • Serve on a big ole Italian roll. YUM!

Now, fast forward to my craving steak and peppers one night but having no tomatoes (fresh or sauce) or rolls in the house. This is what I made, a simpler, healthier, but still delicious version of an old classic:

Pepper steak over white rice
(serves 2)

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 thin steaks, in bite-sized pieces
  • 1 green pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 medium onion, cut into strips
  • a few shakes of garlic salt
  • 1 cup prepared white rice

1. Prepare rice according to package directions.

2. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in pan, and then add meat, cooking until brown. Remove from pan and cover.

3. Add other tablespoon of olive oil and peppers. Sauté for a few minutes until starting to become tender and then add onions and sauté until tender.

4. Add meat and sprinkle everything with garlic salt, combining well.

5. Let flavors mix together for a minute or so, and then serve over white rice.

Buon appetito!

18 Beans of Wisdom to “what’s cooking wednesday: pepper steak over white rice”
  1. Gil

    Healthy food that sounds good. What’s up?

    Every now and again, it apparently happens 😉

  2. 09.10.2008

    Sounds just right to me…My husband just loves his meat, and with this being healthy as well, just right for him!!

    anne’s last blog post..Back from Trip ..

    This is *so* easy too Anne, and versatile if you’d like to add other veggies, tomatoes, etc.

  3. joanne at frutto della passione

    That looks Asian, yummy!

    joanne at frutto della passione’s last blog post..The Omnivore’s 100

    I think this is as far outside the “Italian” cuisine P will go. For now 😉

  4. so simple yet yummy!

    nyc/caribbean ragazza’s last blog post..Rome off the tourist track – Via Appia Antica (Appian Way)

    Don’t we love that combo?!

  5. 09.10.2008

    I remember this version (not served on rolls in New England) and a version where cracked pepper is pounded into a beefsteak before cooking. My recollection is there was brandy or whisky in the deglazing, but my mum never let me make it so I don’t recall.

    When she said we were having pepper steak for supper, I was all a twitter to see which one it would be! I am easily impressed, I believe.

    Judith in Umbria’s last blog post..Shocking cat news!

    Ooh brandy…pepper…all so lovely 🙂

  6. 09.10.2008

    Looks VERY tasty. But tell me, how were you completely out of any tomato product? If there’s one thing I always have a can of, it’s crushed pomodori. Actually, I also always have a can of chickpeas too. The world could end, and I figure I could still come home and have hummus or pasta or some curried chickpeas. Ok, I’m totally digressing. Clearly I have security blanket issues with food stockage.

    City Girl’s last blog post..What’s Cooking Wednesday — Spinach with Pine Nuts and Cranberries

    Well, one of the biggest problems in Italy is the lack of space; I can only keep so many canned goods stored in a house of three rooms at a time, unfortunately, and fresh, organic tomatoes really don’t last very long once you pick or buy them, especially in the heat. PLUS I don’t have a car, so I don’t tend to buy in bulk 😉

  7. 09.10.2008

    Oh, and somehow I was so half asleep when I did my WCW post I managed to forget the graphic and the link to Shan’s 🙁 I will fix those tonight when I get home.

    City Girl’s last blog post..What’s Cooking Wednesday — Spinach with Pine Nuts and Cranberries

    I’ve done that plenty of times 🙂

  8. 09.10.2008

    Yummy…almost sounds like Pizza yola! Okay u know what I mean…with the potatoes…hmmm…i’m hungry now.

    lucy’s last blog post..Rainy Tuesday – No Cups!

    Mmm I’m hungry too….

  9. 09.10.2008

    Mmmmm…that looks so delish. And all we’d have to do is serve it over brown rice & it would fit right into the eating plan we’re doing. Yum! Thanks for the inspiration. 😉

    Yup, great with brown rice too 🙂

  10. 09.10.2008

    OMG! You just brought back some serious memories. My mom used to make us “cheese-steaks” as a special treat using those Minute Steaks. I wonder if you can still get them. Not that I would, because your version sounds so much better than those frozen slices. Can’t wait to give this a try. (And your grandmother’s version only with “real” steak.)

    I’m Stumbling this, too, btw. 🙂

    Ami’s last blog post..Locker Room Debate – Open Letter to Mom’s of Small Boys Follow-up

    So glad you enjoyed this Ami, and thanks so much for the Stumble love 🙂

  11. 09.10.2008

    Love both items -steak hoagies and pepper steak too! Usually, when we fix cheese steaks here, we throw the shaved steak (frozen) on the griddle and brown it, put cheese on that and then on to the roll where the lettuce, raw chopped tomato, a tiny bit of grilled onion for the son-in-law and me (I can do with more, also raw onion LOL) get added in. But your recipe sounds really good to me too as I do like the Philly cheesesteaks just as much as I like the regular (central PA version) of a cheesesteak.

    Oh seriously, all this talk of cheesesteaks…I’m getting homesick!

  12. Chel

    Yum. I love pretty much anything with rice!

    Mangia mangia!

  13. 09.11.2008

    This is so funny, Michelle – you know your healthier version? That was one of my mom’s go-to recipes when I was a kid and I loved it. To a “T”, but she didn’t use the garlic salt – just pepper. She hates garlic (I love her anyway).

    Sorry I’ve been away. You still don’t show up on my reader so I have to remember to come on over, and my week has been nuts as has been my brain so I’ve been missing your wonderful posts!!!! Booohooooo!

    jen of a2eatwrite’s last blog post..What’s Cooking Wednesday: Fran’s Chicken

    I don’t know why I don’t show up in your reader. Google hates me (Google Reader doesn’t even load fully for me, so I use Bloglines).

    That’s too funny about your mom–no garlic?! Gah!!!!

  14. 09.11.2008

    Add a little Chinese black bean paste and you’ve got a great Black Bean Beef and Pepper stir-fry!

    Nate’s last blog post..Thai Green Curry

    Sounds great to me, although finding that paste here would be next to impossible. Now I have another item on my wishlist from those who send me packages 🙂

  15. 09.11.2008

    Oh yum!!

    Nothing like a true Philly Cheesesteak 🙂

    And Pepper Steak and Rice is a close second!!

    My Melange’s last blog post..Love Thursday: Lunches with Elke

    Lots of yum to go around today 🙂

  16. 09.12.2008

    This looks SOOO delicious! We had this meal very often at my family restaurant when I was growing up – the staff affectionately called it “slop”.

    My family owned a steakhouse and my stepfather would make this with the “scraps” that were left over after trimming the large loins of meat we would get. We couldn’t sell the “scraps” to the customers because they would look down their nose, but what they didn’t know was that those little pieces came from the loin of FILET MIGNON that they were paying through the nose for.

    Also, at our restaurant, our rice was mixed with diced onions that were sauteed prior to mixing them in. It gave the rice such a wonderful flavor! So not only was our version of pepper-steak delicious, it was probably some of the highest quality “slop” around.

    Salena’s last blog post..Vicki Goes Hollywood

    I’ll take some of that slop…two helpings in fact 😉

  17. 09.12.2008

    Mmmm. I kinda want to lick the screen. Was that oversharing?

    Shan’s last blog post..wheels

    Hmm, I think oversharing would be telling me what you tasted from your screen after you licked it 😉

  18. Oh I love this dish but haven’t thought about it in years!

    Grazie mille, amica.

    Cherrye at My Bella Vita’s last blog post..Online Registration Required for Visa Waiver Travelers

    Hey Nino might even eat this? Maybe?

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

Calabria Guidebook

Calabria travel guide by Michelle Fabio



Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake