Specifically, how the idea of scrambled eggs and tomatoes morphed into these open-faced, sourdough riffs on Philly cheesesteaks.

No one wanted fish. We are tuna-ed, mahi-ed and snappered out. (Click here to learn why.) The husband thought something simple was in order. “How about scrambled eggs?” he suggested one morning.

The little boy wasn’t impressed.

“How about cheesesteaks?” he countered.

I’m game for just about anything, so mother and son headed to the grocery store. We bought flank steak, mushrooms and a half a pound of provolone.

Now, I’m not a cheesesteak aficionado. I hail from beef-and-barbecue territory, so I wasn’t beholden to any longstanding family cheesesteak recipes. The more I thought about dinner (and looked at what the garden was offering up), the more I started riffing:

  • What about toasted sourdough instead of soft rolls?
  • A little sherry shaken into the mushrooms?
  • Some baby kale for crunch?
  • A lime marinade for the steak?

And that’s how this dinner was born: Open-faced flank steak sandwiches with mushrooms, kale and provolone.

It was a long way from scrambled eggs. A pretty fair distance from Philadelphia. But perfect supper fare.

(And not a fin in sight.)

Beef, Kale & Mushroom Sandwiches

steak sandwich

  • 1 pound flank steak
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano, coarsely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 12 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 2 cups baby kale, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 4-6 ounces provolone, coarsely grated
  • 4 thick slices of sourdough bread

Place the lime juice, garlic and oregano in a zip-topped plastic bag. Pour in 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper. Press everything together with your hands.

Slip the steak into the plastic bag. Seal the bag tightly, then work the mixture around so it coats the flank steak. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Start your grill.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the mushrooms and saute until they release their juices. Add the sherry to the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook until all the liquid in the pan has evaporated. Set aside to cool.

Toss the baby kale in a small bowl with the red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.

Drizzle the bread slices with olive oil. Place oil-side down on your hot grill. Toast for a minute or two, then flip and toast another minute. Remove to a platter.

Remove the flank steak from its marinade, shaking off any excess liquid. Place the steak on your grill. Grill for 5 minutes, then flip. Grill another 5 minutes, or until the steak is done to your liking. (We like ours pretty rare: Somewhere between 125 and 130 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.)

Remove the steak from the grill and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then, working against the grain, thinly slice it.

Assemble the sandwiches:

  • Place the baby kale on the toasted bread.
  • Top with the mushrooms.
  • Lay the steak slices on top of the mushrooms.
  • Sprinkle the cheese on top of the steak.

Serve immediately.