7/29/11

filet mignon salad w/ balsamic-blue cheese dressing

filet mignon salad w/ balsamic-blue cheese dressing

Living on cape cod has it pro's and con's. Pro's: summertime on the beach, endless supply of fresh seafood, close to both islands, provincetown, ice cream stands everywhere. Con's: long winters, limited sun, endless supply of tourists, limited supply of restaurants, limited supply of farmers markets, and no whole foods, BUT we do have a Trader Joe's. And when I say limited I do mean limited because most family owned businesses that are restaurants close down for the winter. Most of the family owned restaurants are fairly good (for the cape). We do have a small amount of the larger chain restaurants like Chili's, Outback, Friendly's, etc.. Not many really. It is rare for the hubby and I to go to a large chain restaurant. If we do it's because we are desperate, there are long lines at the seafood joints or we're just plain stupid. The latter for the most recent trip to Outback. I don't know why we did what we did because my inner voice told me not to go to Outback. Yes, it was awful. I ordered the steak salad. On the menu the steak salad sounded really good: a sliced filet mignon with balsamic and blue cheese and a nice wedge of iceberg with tomatoes/onions. Plus the photo looked really good! What I got was nothing like the photo (see photo below), it was small, micro-small, and way over-cooked, plus the iceberg wedge was mostly white (under grown lettuce). Have you ever seen white iceberg? Scary. I made sure to let the manager know of my situation and that I was not happy. Nothing was done. For real.



To quote Miranada from Sex and the City, who said while eating at the "raw" restaurant after drinking a shot of wheatgrass juice "I'm going to need a pizza after this!". That is exactly what hubby said after eating half of his micro-mini, gamey cheeseburger and fries, served on greasy plate.

This turn of bad foodie events prompted me to remake this steak/salad dish at home.
My version came out perfectly. Wasn't heavy at all. When the hubby eats a meal that he loves he won't come up for air or speak until half is devoured--half time! And at that point he exclaims, as always, I can even mouth in-tune, with him, as he says "this is the best dish ever!"
The sauce is great mingling of tastes when combined with the blue cheese. Plus the beef I used is a lot safer than what is served in those larger chains. Heavens knows where their beef comes from and what it was fed.
And the real point I wanted to make: this is really easy to make. Simple, tasty and fast. You can easily make the reduction sauce a day ahead and chop up veggies ahead of time. This meal is a great way to impress friends for your summertime lunch/dinner. I did grill the steaks in a cast iron pan (for the nice grill marks), but one can easily grill these too. Just watch the steaks if you use a filet cut as filet's tend to cook a lot faster than a strip steak or porterhouse.


Leftovers make EXCELLENT steak sandwiches on toasted buns!

filet mignon salad w/ balsamic-blue cheese dressing

filet mignon salad w/ balsamic-blue cheese dressing
print recipe

2 filet mignons
1 small red onion, chopped
heirloom tomatoes (or regular tomatoes)
salt & pepper

for the sauce:
1/4 cup balsamic dressing (trader joe's has a good one)
5 TB Worcestershire sauce
chunky blue cheese dressing
1/4 cup (or more) danish blue cheese crumbles

In a small bowl mix the balsamic dressing and worcestershire sauce, set aside

Season the filets with salt & pepper.
Get your grill or cast iron grill pan ready--nice and hot.
Cook the steaks. And on the cooked sides generously douse them with the balsamic miixture. I just poured the sauce right on the steaks and caramelized both sides of the steak.
It makes a nice sticky coating. Make sure to do both sides.
And if you want, with any remaining sauce, go ahead and make a quick reduction (heat up, boil a few minutes till sauce thickens just slightly) to use on the salad wedge and any extra you want on the steaks and/or veggies.

Serve the steaks with a wedge of iceberg lettuce and heirloom tomatoes.
Then drizzle lettuce and tomatoes with blue cheese dressing, then the blue cheese crumbles..
Top the steak and salad with red onions.
Do a drizzle of the reduction sauce if desired.

35 comments:

  1. I once had a similar experience at an Applebees. I ordered what they were touting as an "Asian" salad and was so sorely disappointed that I called over the manager to complain about it (I'll refrain from going into details).

    Your version of the sad dish you ordered sounds wonderful. I'll be trying this one asap.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think I would have cried if I had been psyched up for filet and they brought me out that plate. Your version sounds great!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've eaten at Outback twice. Both experiences brought me to the conclusion that EVERYTHING ON THEIR MENU TASTES EXACTLY THE SAME. I think it's the seasoning? Universal seasoning on everything?.. Ick. But yes, I totally hear you with the "chain restaurant" comment. Not worth my time or money. Your photographs are beautiful! So impressed with your creations. Keep 'em coming!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for planning my supper for Saturday night! Looks groovy!

    I love blue cheese...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Heaven on a plate. Seriously.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I went to Outback Steakhouse in the States once. Truthfully the chicken breast was huge but it, and a few potatoes, was all that was on the plate. You needed to order veggies a la carte. A different concept. But as you have already discovered these chains have some good ideas!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your salad beats Outback hands down. I like the deconstructed look too, with the tomatoes, steak, wedge, onions in their respective places.

    I despise Outback as well just because everything they cook is dipped in butter first! And not good butter...some weird neon butter. Like it couldn't just taste good on it's own...

    ReplyDelete
  8. The Outback salad looks no where near as appetizing as yours. AMAZING photo!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your version looks MUCH better, and definitely more wholesome. Nom noms.

    ReplyDelete
  10. It is SO not worth it to go to Chili's or Outback or any of those places when you can make an even more delicious meal at home! Next time I go to the cape, I'm just going to dine at your place - chez vanilla.

    ReplyDelete
  11. TAKE THAT Outback! They used to be good. I used to get the outback Special and it was wonderful..no gristle at all in the meat. The last time I got it it was the worst piece of meat ever and I said I would never eat at outback again.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh my watering mouth!! I don't know what it is but I can not get enough of all things blue cheese right now. This is definitely going on my ever growing list of upcoming dinners. I know there's always something delicious waiting when I stop by this blog. You never disappoint! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Your version kicks their ass. Though, I think your version of anything kicks all other ass.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Looks way better than Outback! I hate when that happens at restaurants :/

    ReplyDelete
  15. This could not look more delicious Dawn! When I go visit Cape Cod, I want you to make this for me. And in return I will make you whatever you want when you come to NYC. Deal?

    ReplyDelete
  16. That's flavorful enough to satisfy any meat-and-potatoes football player!

    The only thing I like at Outback is the onion bloom.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh, the pictures always look delicious - they're so deceiving! This looks so amazing Dawn, and my hubby would love it, bookmarked!

    ReplyDelete
  18. That's a sexy looking salad miss Dawn

    ReplyDelete
  19. Now this is a salad I could totally get into!
    As for the Outback steakhouse, the only thing that really calls to me is the blooming onion, but after I've seen the calorie content of that thing.... nope. I would rather eat a dozen donuts (and yes, I totally can do that).
    *kisses* HH

    ReplyDelete
  20. Dawn, this looks fantastic! Thanks for the heads up on Outback. We tried to go there once years ago when it first opened in our area, but it was PACKED. We left and never had the urge to back.

    The difference between their salad and your salad is unbelievable! I can't believe they'd try to pass that off. Disgusting!

    ReplyDelete
  21. OK, as a veg, not my thing, but I just had to comment because I hate Outback. Years ago, I worked doing promotions for a radio station. Outback was a frequent spot for our events and I always had to make do with a blooming onion because that was the only thing I could eat on the entire menu. A giant onion ring for dinner might sound tempting but it was so bad that it was just, well, bad.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I am doing a second comment because I can't get this dish out of my head - you are brilliant my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Your plate would make my husband a happy man! Yeah, we also avoid the chain restaurants except for a few that we've found ok over time. We're lucky though to have so many great local places.

    ReplyDelete
  24. eew, yeah, outback. but your version looks amazing. would actually make me want to eat a steak ;)

    ReplyDelete
  25. A fantastic meal! steak and blue cheese are made to be served together...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    ReplyDelete
  26. Your salad is FAR superior to that Outback one. It looked nasty!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Oooh, filet mignon salad? Now, we're talking! It's like the perfect dish for girly-girls who don't want to admit they eat more than just salad. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Wow - this looks amazing. This dressing is a great idea..I'm drooling:-)

    ReplyDelete
  29. ok so I am print out to make and take w us and the broccoli salad Boat next week for you missy

    ReplyDelete
  30. Your creation looks divine! I can't believe that the mgmt team at Outback did nothing. Sad ~ very sad, as the plate looks horrid.

    Just found your blog and so glad I did! It's hotter than Hades here and I would kill for cooler temps and tons of seafood. :-)

    I have a giveaway going on ~ would love for you to stop by.

    Pat

    ReplyDelete
  31. what a colorful plate, dawn, and i'm loving the close-up of the meat. you know it's a quality pic when you can see the grain! lovely meal indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  32. ok, this made my mouth water, what a fabulous looking salad! exactly what a fricken salad should look like!! going to try this the next time me and the hubs is without offspring.

    btw, ate ONCE at outback about 10 years back and have not been back since, gross.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I like the blue cheese and balsamic combo going on here!

    ReplyDelete
  34. thanks for posting.

    ReplyDelete

I love your comments!

Share

Get This