This story was published in Food on Monday, October 29, 2001 in the
St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Blue cheese and Cajun-seasoned steak spice up O'Charley's Caesar salad
By Jack And Mary Billings
Special To The Post-Dispatch
Q: I would appreciate the recipe for caramel pie served at
Gretta Looft, Belleville
A: O'Charley's declined to share the recipe for caramel pie, its
signature dessert, but offered instead a Caesar salad topped with
blackened beef, blue cheese and bacon.
In addition to the pie, this chain of 159 restaurants is known for
its freshly baked yeast rolls and for its hand-cut aged steaks.
O'Charley's newest location is in Fenton. Other restaurants are
situated in Kirkwood, Chesterfield, O'Fallon, Mo., and O'Fallon, Ill.
When cooking the beef for this salad, remember that restaurants have
huge exhaust fans, capable of pulling all fumes, and possibly small
chefs, out of the kitchen. When testing the recipe, we compensated by
starting both the stove-hood exhaust and a window fan (only 4 feet
from the burner) before heating the skillet.
BLACK AND BLUE CAESAR SALAD
1 ounce shredded Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup), divided
1 1/4 cups large croutons, divided
3 1/2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1/4 cup Caesar dressing
3 slices Roma tomato
1 (6-ounce) sirloin steak
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
1 to 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup cooked diced bacon, heated
In a large bowl, sprinkle about half the Parmesan and half the
croutons over romaine; add dressing and toss well. Place in a chilled
pasta bowl or large soup plate; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan,
creating a "snowcap" effect. Add tomato slices on one side;
In a very well-ventilated area or outdoors, heat a cast-iron skillet
over high heat. Brush one side of sirloin with melted margarine;
sprinkle to taste with Cajun seasoning. Place seasoned-side down in
skillet. (Caution: There might be a slight flame when meat is placed
in skillet.) While first side is cooking, brush second side with
melted margarine and sprinkle with additional seasoning. Cook about 2
minutes; turn and cook 2 to 3 minutes more, or to desired degree of
doneness. Cut into 1/2-inch slices.
Fan sliced steak over salad; top with blue cheese, bacon and
Yield: 1 main dish serving.
Testers' note: We think this salad is large enough to share.