Leftover Chicken or Steak

My name is Cori Smith. I've known Kelly for 10 years. On a recent trip to Maryland and a quick visit with Kelly at the Bell House, our mutual teacher friend Lauren jokingly said that Kelly should have friends add a little flare to the blog, so here I am! 

 Lauren and I

Lauren and I

Being a spouse of an active duty military member is not easy. I strongly believe the most challenging aspects of being a part of the military is re-establishing a lifestyle when my husband receives his orders. With every move comes ensuring my family remains confident during the change, a new job search, earning the respect of co-workers, and building new friendships. 

For the last 11 years my career has been in education. I am a certified teacher, but each state has their own rules and that itself is added stress. On top of finding a home, selling a home, making sure my child has a school to attend and everything else involved in a big move, I have to be concerned with whether or not I can actually “teach” in the state we are moving. This way of life has not always been easy, but I’ve found that if I make one good friend where I work, everything else will fall into place. 

Kelly was that person for me when we were stationed in Maryland. If you didn’t already know Kelly was a science teacher for 10 years. One year our classrooms were located across from each other. There were venting sessions behind closed doors, dance-offs in the hallway, collaboration between our disciplines and just good old-fashioned laughs.

The school where I met Kelly was downsizing and since I was one of the last teachers in the building I was the first one out. I was able to transfer to a different school on the opposite side of town. I took Kelly with me! It wasn’t a hard sell because I got her a leadership position for which I knew she would dominate. 

If you are looking to thank someone for my friend’s food blog, you can send the gratitude in this direction. If she never transferred schools with me, you wouldn’t be reading her blog today. After two more years of teaching with Kelly and sharing the same circle of students and friends, it was time for me to move again. 

In all the years we've moved due to military orders, I never cried, but there is a first for everything. The day I left that school building for the last time and gave Kelly a hug, I cried. Over the course of the last 6 years, I’ve made multiple trips to Maryland to see Kelly and our wonderful teacher friends. It is a group that must really like each other. We live such different lives and manage to stay in touch. I continue to enjoy our weekly phone calls, albeit short and crazy.

No matter how insane our lives get, we’ll always pick up right where we left off and be honest in our conversations. I do miss our hallway dance-offs, but I know I'm the best dancer, I have a trophy to prove that! 

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LEFTOVER CHICKEN OR STEAK CHEESESTEAKS:

Already cooked chicken or steak, enough for at least one or 7 sandwiches, up to you

Onion, sliced thin

Iceberg lettuce, shredded

Tomato, sliced thin

Hots, optional

Banana Peppers, optional

Mayonnaise

4-8 ounces of Velveeta Cheese

1/4-1/2 cup of milk

Before I begin with assembly, I need to know that you don't heat up your leftover meat in the microwave, right? A little restaurant trick to heating up your partially or fully cooked meat is in a pan over medium high heat. This is important information for treating yourself to delicious leftover meats or choking down rubbery super heated food. 

The key is to slice your cold meats very thin. This will allow for the meat to heat thoroughly without over cooking it.

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In a small saucepan over low heat, add sliced Velveeta and milk. DON"T JUDGE! I know it doesn't sound like chevre and you won't use terms to describe it like, "farm raised" or "pleasantly acidic." The sh*t is just amazing on cheesesteak and it reminds me of when my mom made us canned asparagus over white toast with a healthy dose of Velveeta cheese sauce as a kid. 

Start with a little bit of milk and add more if needed. You can always add more, but you can't take any out. 

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While the cheese transforms into liquid gold, heat up a cast iron or heavy saute pan over medium-high heat. Don't forget to stir the cheese sauce every so often. It should look like the photo below, yum!

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Add about a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pan and toss in the onions. Give them a stir a few times, then toss in the meat. I had leftover chicken and steak. 

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Toss the meat and onions around until the onions are slightly soft and the meat has been heated through. If you like peppers in your cheesesteaks, toss those in with the onions. Take the meat off the heat and toast your buns.

Toast your buns under a high heat broiler. Keep a close eye, golden brown to bitterly burnt is a short trip under the broiler.

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Get your toppings ready. I like mayonnaise, shredded iceberg and tomatoes on my cheesesteaks. If I had some in the house, I would add hots and banana peppers too!

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Add the hot meat and spread on the golden delicious cheese sauce. This is our favorite way to use up leftover chicken and beef!

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Thank you, Cori, for your super sweet guest blog post. You knew how busy I've been as of late and as always, knew the perfect way to help. XOXO. Until next time, my friend.