Surf n’Turf is a classic for a special night, and this Parmesan Steak n’Shrimp is a fun twist with spicy, cajun-style shrimp, creamy Parmesan cheese sauce, and a simply seasoned, perfectly cooked steak.
I’ve only eaten at an Applebee’s once – the one in my city closed shortly after I moved here, so I just get to hear about their legendary entrees and appetizers and figure out how I can make them for myself!
Luckily for me, though, I have a friend who has a weekly staff lunch at an Applebee’s so after I developed this recipe, I sent it to her to see how it compared to the original. While I personally prefer my own cajun blend on the shrimp, she informed me that Old Bay (and nothing but Old Bay) should be used on the shrimp for it to be considered a “copycat” recipe.
Whichever option you choose, this recipe will not disappoint and it may just make it’s way into your family’s regular rotation of special meals. (Even my daycare kids could not get enough of dipping their steak and shrimp into the Parmesan sauce!)
This recipe comes together in less than 20 minutes, despite it’s impressive presentation and taste.
You can marinate the meat and shrimp overnight (separately) to increase the flavor but the real hero of this dish (as Mr. Gordon Ramsey would say) is that divine yet deceptively simple Parmesan cheese sauce which just makes the whole meal work.
How to Make Parmesan Steak and Shrimp
First, gather your ingredients:
- 2-4 steaks, your preferred cut
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 Tablespoons basil, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Old Bay or cajun seasoning
- 10 shrimp per diner (20-40)
Kitchen Tools You May Find Useful:
- Frying pan
- Meat tongs
- Meat thermometer
Since steak should rest before being served and cut into, I start it first even though I prefer medium rare.
Season your meat simply with salt, pepper and any additional seasoning you desire.
Place a pan over medium-high heat – you can use butter or just add the steak directly to the pan once it is hot.
Sear the meat on both sides (browned) and then reduce the heat to allow it to cook to your desired level of doneness.
Meanwhile, start the Parmesan sauce.
Place the heavy cream in a saucepan and set over medium-low heat. Allow the cream to simmer and reduce by at least 1/3 of it’s volume before stirring in the Parmesan.
Taste and season with salt, pepper, and basil. (We were leaving for vacation so I was out of fresh herbs – fresh basil is infinitely better if you can use it!)
Once the steak is cooked, remove it to a plate and cover with tinfoil (or place in a preheated and now off oven) to allow it to rest.
Wipe out your frying pan and place it over medium heat and add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, to allow it to heat while you season the shrimp.
Sprinkle the Old Bay generously over your shrimp, tossing to coat.
Sauté the shrimp for about 5 minutes, until completely cooked through.
Place the steak on your serving plates first, cover with the Parmesan sauce and then garnish with 10 pieces of shrimp. Add your side dishes and serve!
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What’s your family’s go-to meal for special occasions?