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Chicago, City of the Broad Sandwiches

July 28, 1994|BEV BENNETT

Chicago has a lot of things going for it: beautiful Lake Michigan, deep-dish pizza, the Bulls, deep-dish pizza, a wealth of architectural styles, ever-changing weather conditions (as Chicagoans say, "If you don't like the weather, wait a day") and deep-dish pizza.

Unlike Philadelphia, it does not have a sandwich.

True, the city's deluxe double-crust pizza is a layer of cheese and sausage nestled between a top and bottom crust, but it can't be passed off as a sandwich. And though the Italian beef sandwich gets rave reviews from writer Calvin Trillin and comedian Jay Leno, few people know it's a local specialty and not something brought over from Europe.

Always eager to satisfy a need and point with pride to my home town, I created the Chicago sandwich for two. I'm not sure what Philadelphia's cheese and steak combo signifies, but this two-fister says "Chicago" in every bite.

It is a robust sandwich. It's perfect during these dazzling summer evenings when everyone wants to eat and play. And it has gutsy seasonings: onion, rosemary, garlic, oil, vinegar and mustard--and anyone who knows Chicago, knows it's a gutsy city.

CHICAGO CHEESE-PORK SANDWICHES

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 sprig rosemary

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar

2 (6-ounce) pork round bone steaks, trimmed of fat and bone

4 large slices Italian bread, 1/2-inch thick

Salt

Freshly ground white pepper

1 sweet onion, thinly sliced

4 slices Muenster cheese

1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Combine oil, rosemary, garlic and vinegar in bowl. Add pork and marinate at room temperature 1 hour. Pour marinade into medium skillet. Add pork and cook over medium heat until done, about 5 minutes per side.

Arrange steaks on 2 slices bread. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Top with onion slices, then cheese. Spread remaining 2 bread slices with mustard and close sandwiches. Wrap each in foil.

Place over smoldering coals of grill and heat until cheese melts, about 15 minutes, or bake at 350 degrees about 15 minutes. Serve warm. Makes 2 servings.

Note : Some may find that each sandwich is enough for 2. Light eaters can halve ingredients, or make both sandwiches and refrigerate 1 (before heating) for a second meal.

MANGO-PEPPER "SLAW"

1 ripe medium mango, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/2x1 1/2-inch strips

1 green onion, halved and cut into 1/2x1 1/2-inch strips

1 jalapeno chile, cored, seeded and cut into matchstick strips

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

Juice 1 lime

Place mango, green onion and chile strips in serving bowl. Combine salt, ginger, cumin and lime juice in cup. Stir well and pour over fruit. Stir slaw gently. Set aside 10 minutes for flavors to blend. Makes 2 servings.

Note : This is fiery slaw. For tamer version, reduce jalapeno to 1 teaspoon minced.

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