Cracking the Case: Amy’s Version of Grilled Steak Medallions from Cheesecake Factory

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This past weekend, in Dallas, I went to the Cheesecake Factory. I can’t help it…we don’t have one in Arkansas and I have never had a bad meal there. I don’t know how they do it with such a large menu!
Anyway, I was trying to eat a little lighter, so I ordered a new dish called “Grilled Steak Medallions” from the skinnylicious menu. It is under 600 calories, which, for the Cheesecake Factory, is almost unheard of!
It is described as such:
Certified Angus Beef® Served with Fresh Asparagus, Shiitake Mushrooms, Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes, Mashed Potatoes and Madeira Wine Sauce
To my surprise, as well as the others’ at my table, this dish was delicous! The steak was delicious and perfectly cooked to medium rare, the vegetables were also cooked perfectly, and not overdone, in this deep, yet a little tangy, wine sauce. And the mashed potatoes served as the perfect base to soak up all the flavors. I ate the entire plate.
Now that I’m back home, you know I want it again. So, I tried my take on the dish (with a few personally preferred changes) and it turned out great! Here’s the recipe:

To watch this SHORT recipe video to see the process, click here:

Ingredients
-1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
-3-4 steak medallions (Traditionally, these are beef tenderloin
medallions, but I believe the Cheesecake Factory used a cheaper
cut. I also am cheap, so I just cut up a sirloin into medallions.
Works like a charm!)
-3 cups sliced mushrooms (The C.F. used shiitakes, which were
delish. Walmart didn’t have these, so I used baby portabellas.
These also proved to be delicious. I don’t think this affected the
flavor much, but portabellas are meatier and heartier.)
-1 cup halved grape tomatoes
-1 medium-large shallot, minced
-1 tablespoon minced garlic
-10 asparagus spears, chopped at an angle
-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
-1 bay leaf
-1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, or one sprig of fresh thyme
-salt and pepper to taste (at least 1/4 teaspoon of each)
-2 tablespoons flour
-1/2 cup red wine (Clearly, the C.F. used madeira wine. I, again, am
cheap, and just used a tasty red wine that was not too sweet.
Use what you like, and you will like the sauce.)
-1/2 cup low sodium beef broth

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This is what your veggies should look like, chopped and ready. Forgive the pre-minced garlic.

Directions
1. Heavily salt and pepper both sides of your steak. Set aside.
2. Prep your veggies (chop, mince, etc)
3. Heat a pan on medium-high heat, until very hot. Add olive oil.
Once it is shimmering and lightly smoking, add steak. Do not touch
for 4 minutes.
4. Turn steaks over after 4 minutes. Do not touch another 2-3
minutes. 2 minutes gave me a perfectly medium-rare steak.
5. Remove steaks on to plate and lightly cover with foil. Set aside.
6. In the same pan, add 3 tablespoons butter.
*You will keep this on medium-high heat continuously.
7. Once melted, add mushrooms in single layer. Top with shallots,
then top with asparagus. Do not touch for 2-3 minutes, or until
mushrooms are browning.
8. You may then stir occasionally, making sure all mushrooms are
well-browned on both sides.  After about 2 minutes of this, add
garlic and stir for 1-2 minutes, or until it is very aromatic.
9. Add 2 tablespoons flour and stir until flour is cooked, 1-2 min.
10. Add 1/2 cup red wine and 1/2 cup beef broth. Stir and scrape
bits off the bottom. Continue for 3 minutes.
11. After 3 minutes, add the halved tomatoes. Stir occassionally
while cooking for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
*12* Have a starch ready. The C.F. used mashed potatoes. I used
mashed parsnips, which gave a nice sweetness. Polenta would
also work well.

Plating
1. Lay down your starch as your base.
2. Top with steak.
3. Cover steak with veggies and sauce completely.
EAT IT UP!

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If you try this recipe, please comment and let me know how it went!
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Cracking the Case: Amy’s version of Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes from The Cheesecake Factory

Don’t judge me, but I love me some Cheesecake Factory. Maybe it is that Arkansas lacks one, or maybe it is because I have had many dishes there and they are all pretty ligit!
Of all the dishes I have tried there, my ultimate favorite (one of my favorite dishes I have ever had, anywhere) is their Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes appetizer…which is stupidly huge. I could not live months or years without having this dish again, so I started the experimenting. I think I’ve gotten a really close version of their tamale cakes here…at least I think it is really delicious!

Below is the recipe video as well as the written recipe, if you’d like to give it a whirl:

Tamale Cake

Ingredients:
-1.5 cups (12 ounces) sweet, frozen whole-kernel corn
-1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
-3 tablespoons sugar
-pinch of salt
-1/2 cup masa
-2 -3 tablespoons all -purpose flour

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. In a food processor, add only 1 cup of the sweet corn and puree for about 3 seconds, or until it has a coarse-textured puree. Add to a mixing bowl.
3. Add melted butter, sugar, masa, 2 tablespoon flour, and salt. Stir together until well-incorporated. Add another tablespoon of flour (possibly 2 more) until the texture is thick enough that you can make patties.
4. Add the last 1/2 cup of corn and stir in.
5. Form into patties about the size of a hamburger. There will 5. Place them on a sprayed baking sheet. (If you want to make smaller or bigger, you certainly can, but your oven time will differ).
6. Put in over for 40-minutes total, flipping them over half-way through. Once they are golden brown, they are finished.

Tomatillo Cilantro Cream Sauce

Ingredients:
-3 large tomatillos, chopped roughly
-1/2 cup mild green chiles (I use canned, but fresh would be best)
-1/2 small yellow onion, chopped roughly
-handful fresh cilantro (more or none, depending on your    relationship with the herb)
-1 teaspoon minced garlic
-pinch of salt and ground black pepper
-1.5 teaspoon ground cumin
– 1.2 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions:
1. Place all ingredients into food processor and pulse until you have
a well-combined sauce.
2. Heat in a sauce pan on medium heat until it starts to bubble. Turn
heat off and add heavy cream. Stir together. Tah-dah!

Spicy Remoulade Sauce (You may use any spicy remoulade, or spicy aoili you prefer. This one is just my favorite)

Ingredients:
-1 cup mayo
-1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
-2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
-1 teaspoon horseradish sauce
-1 tablespoon Sriracha
-1 teaspoon yellow mustard
-2 teaspoons worcestershire
-1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
-1 teaspoon sugar

Directions:
1. Simply mix until a smooth sauce has formed. Sometimes, I add a little cold water to thin it out so it is easier for drizzling.

Black Bean Corn Salsa

Ingredients:
-1 can (15 ounces) whole kernel corn, rinsed.
-1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed.
-1/2 purple onion, finely chopped.
-3 medium tomatoes, de-seeded and finely chopped.
-1 avacado, chopped.
-1 tablespoon minced garlic
-1 bunch of cilantro, chopped.
-1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:
1. Stir all ingredients together. That’s it!

Assembly:
1. Place the tomatillo cilantro cream sauce on the plate first, it is our base.
2. Add a tamale cake.
3. Top with black bean corn salsa.
4. Drizzle spicy remoulade over everything.
Optional steps: Add a dollop of sour cream on each tamale cake.
Top with extra cilantro.

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Here is my version with just one tamale cake instead of three, because three of these babies is a lot!

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If anyone tries this recipe, let me know what you think in the comments.