A Steak Sandwich Needs A Bread That's As Hearty

Posted: April 27, 1997

Sandwiches vary with the seasons, and this is the time for a springlike, hearty feast. For this hefty sandwich, you don't want to use spongy white bread.

The choice of a holder for this steak sandwich is yours: sourdough, French bread, pumpernickel, rye or onion rolls all work perfectly.

You'll also need a spicy sauce to smother the sandwich, something other than just plain mustard.

Cube steak, which admittedly looks meager on the shelf, comes into its own as the centerpiece of this generous sandwich - if you build it up. All you have to do is top it with onions, pack it in a hunk of French bread, and slather on some Chili Con Queso - a hot, rich cheese-and-salsa concoction.

Then you have yourself a fine sandwich for two.

STEAK SANDWICH WITH CHILI CON QUESO Chili Con Queso (recipe follows)

1 tablespoon butter

1 small onion sliced

1 cube steak (about 8 ounces), cut into 2 serving pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

2 pieces French bread (about 3 inches each) sliced open but not halved, toasted

Prepare Chili Con Queso and keep warm, in top of double boiler over simmering water, while preparing steak sandwich.

Melt butter in medium skillet. Add onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add cube steak halves and saute until browned on both sides but still pink in center, about 5 minutes on first side, 2 to 3 minutes on second side. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, arrange one piece cube steak in each piece of French bread. Top each with sauteed onions, and spoon in Chili Con Queso. Use any remaining Chili Con Queso as dipping sauce. Serve hot. Makes about two servings.

Nutritional data per serving: Calories, 521; protein, 42 grams; carbohydrates, 33 grams; fat, 24 grams; cholesterol, 124 milligrams; sodium, 609 milligrams.

Note: If you have a tough piece of cooked cube steak, slice it into thin strips and add half to each sandwich.

CHILI CON QUESO 1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon flour

1 cup hot milk

2 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

1/4 cup salsa (hot or medium), undrained

Melt butter in top of double boiler over simmering water. Stir in flour and stir constantly to form a paste. Gradually add hot milk, stirring constantly until thick and smooth.

Stir in cheese, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it melts and the mixture is smooth. Stir in salsa and cook over lowest heat until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Nutritional data per 1/4 cup: Calories, 86; protein, 4 grams; carbohydrates, 3 grams; fat, 7 grams; cholesterol, 21 milligrams; sodium, 179 milligrams.

Bev Bennett is the author of the award-winning ``Dinner for Two'' (Barron's).

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