Thursday, March 25, 2010
This attempt at recreating a Cheesecake Factory classic is my daughter’s request... To be served at MY home, the ingredients need to be down-to-earth, and the preparation realistic. (Maybe dishes like these at this favorite restaurant are part of the reason there’s always a two hour wait?)
I’ve yet to find my “favorite” dish at the Cheesecake Factory. Whenever we are patient enough for a long wait, my family enjoys a meal there when we can all get together. I gave my son-in-law a gift certificate there for his birthday, and my daughter called me the night they used it to ask if I could find out how to make this dish.
I enjoy doing that kind of detective work, but this time I was only able to come up with one post that even remotely resembled the recipe. My internet search yielded a single blog entry (HERE) - and it had been tweaked for their personal tastes. I haven’t tasted the real deal yet, but here’s my attempt.
I’ve mentioned (quite often) that I’m not even close to being a “food snob” and so I decided to downgrade this for “common folk” such as ourselves. The fanciest item I purchased for it was prosciutto - and next time I’m going to “crisp” it in the oven. I must not recognize quality, but I’ll stick with good old crisp US of A bacon. I’m sure if I had ordered it at Cheesecake Factory, I would have been more impressed. In place of arugula, I used thinly shredded/sliced baby spinach. With the lemon cream sauce drizzled over the top, it was the tiniest touch of crisp green.
On Cheesecake Factory’s website, it doesn’t even LIST this dish - so I located a photo on an image search. The photo (below) is the closest thing I could find to give me an idea of what it looks like. Must be a regional offering?
I needed a starting place to start playing with proportions for the basil parmesan pasta - so I consulted a few recipes on tasteofhome.com. Using pesto in a jar saved a lot of time and already included both basil and garlic, with a few other flavors as well. (Someday I'll attempt the 'pesto' experience when I have a garden full of basil)
The Lemon Cream Sauce added the right finish. Drizzled over the top of the shredded spinach gave it just the right touch of lemon.
I decided to store the leftovers (enough for two more meals) in divided storage containers. Pasta in the large compartment with the chicken, and the sauce next to it in the smaller compartment. I tucked a little shredded spinach in a square of plastic to the side. These will be my giveaways, or I'll have them for dinner when I'm home alone next time.
Cheesecake Factory is much classier, but it also comes with a complimentary two hour wait in a crowded lobby...
For my adaptation of how to duplicate this dish, with a detailed photo tutorial - go to: