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    It's a simple formula, and a great sauce to have nearby when you're looking for a classic, great-tasting dip for your fondue-cooked shrimp and lobster. 

    Find out how to hack the chain's delicious signature cooking style here: Melting Pot Coq Au Vin Fondue.

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    The Melting Pot sells this thick sauce by the bottle and uses it as a marinade for sirloin in several of the entrees. But there's no need to buy the bottle since you can now whip up an easy clone of your own at home with this new Top Secret Recipe.

    Use this tasty sauce for dipping fondue-cooked steak, chicken, and shrimp.

    Find out how to hack the chain's delicious signature cooking style here: Melting Pot Coq Au Vin Fondue.

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    If you like curry, you'll love this sweet-and-sour yogurt-based curry sauce, sweetened with sugar and citrus juices, and kick-up with just a pinch of cayenne pepper. Use this for saucing up your fondue-cooked chicken and shrimp. And it's also pretty good on the vegetables.  

    Find out how to hack the chain's delicious signature cooking style here: Melting Pot Coq Au Vin Fondue.

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    It would be great to find a brand-name sauce that is a perfect match to the ginger plum sauce served at The Melting Pot, but after trying several popular brands, none of them was quite right. The sauce that came the closest is the one made by Lee Kum Kee, and I found that the best solution was to use that bottled sauce as a base and add a few other ingredients to transform it into a clone.

    You'll find that this sweet-and-sour sauce tastes delicious on your fondue-cooked shrimp and chicken. 

    Find out how to hack the chain's delicious signature cooking style here: Melting Pot Coq Au Vin Fondue.

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    It only takes a little bit of port wine to perfectly flavor this great creamy gorgonzola dipping sauce, which tastes great on your fondue-cooked beef and vegetables.

    Find out how to hack the chain's delicious signature cooking style here: Melting Pot Coq Au Vin Fondue.

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    Cream cheese, sour cream, and fresh herbs make a great dipping hack of this Melting Pot favorite for your fondue-cooked veggies.

    Find out how to hack the chain's delicious signature cooking style here: Melting Pot Coq Au Vin Fondue.

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    Re-creating the signature cooking style at the country's famous fondue chain required hacking the flavorful simmering broth in which all the proteins and vegetables are cooked. This was tricky since only some of the prep is performed tableside.

    When a server brings out the warm broth to my table it’s already seasoned with a few mystery ingredients. The pot is left alone to heat up on the center burner, and that was the perfect time for me to scoop out ½ cup of the liquid and seal it up in a small jar to take back to home base for further analysis. When the server comes back to the table after five minutes she adds a few more ingredients to the pot: fresh garlic, mushrooms, green onions, Burgundy wine, and black pepper. I take mental notes on amounts and write them into my phone before I forget.

    The server tells me the hot liquid base is vegetable broth, so I’m thinking some Swanson in a can will do. But later, after further taste-testing, I find the real broth in my stolen sample to be more savory than any of the canned broths I tried. I then turned to broth made by dissolving a vegetable bouillon cube in boiling water and found the flavor to be a much closer match to the real stuff I had swiped. It was also cheaper, and I'm okay with that.

    After a few tweaks to the seasoning additions, I had a good clone that could stand up to any taste test. Use this to cook chopped veggies, chicken, beef and shrimp. And if you want the complete experience, you're going to need my hacks for the six dipping sauces. So here you go: Cocktail SauceCurry SauceGorgonzola PortGreen GoddessGinger Plum, and Teriyaki.

    This recipe is designed for a 2-quart fondue pot. If you have a 3-quart pot and would like a bigger fondue party (lucky you), refer to the Tidbits below for that adjustment.

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    I never thought dinner rolls were something I could get excited about before I dipped into the basket at Texas Roadhouse. The rolls are fresh out of the oven and they hit the table when you do, so there’s no waiting to tear into a magnificently gooey sweet roll topped with soft cinnamon butter. The first bite will make you think of a warm cinnamon roll, and you can’t stop eating it. And when the first roll’s gone, you are powerless to resist grabbing for another.

    Discovering the secret to making rolls at home that taste as good as the real ones involved making numerous batches of dough, each one sweeter than the last (sweetened with sugar, not honey—I checked), until a very sticky batch, proofed for 2 hours, produced exactly what I was looking for. You can make the dough with a stand mixer or a hand-held one, the only difference being that you must knead the dough by hand without a stand mixer. When working with the dough add a little bit of flour at a time to keep it from sticking, and just know that the dough will be less sticky and more workable after the first rise.

    Roll the dough out and measure it as specified here, and after a final proofing and a quick bake—plus a generous brushing of butter on the tops—you will produce dinner rolls that look and taste just like the best rolls I’ve had at any famous American dinner chain.

    Now, how 'bout a nice steak to go with your rolls? Check out these copycat recipes for famous entrees.

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    Extremely sour liquid candy in a spray bottle was first introduced to puckering mouths in Taiwan in 1975, and eventually came to the U.S. in 1993. The liquid candy is a basic formulation of sugar, flavoring, acids (for the sour), and glycerin, which makes it very easy to craft a home version—just measure and stir. For your own ultra-tart spray candy hack, you’ll need six ingredients and three re-usable small spray bottles.

    The sourness in the real thing comes from citric acid and malic acid, both of which are natural ingredients found in fruits and vegetables. Malic acid is a more intense sour and can be found at Whole Foods or online, while citric acid can be found in many stores, including Walmart. If you can’t track down malic acid, you can still make the recipe with just citric acid, by increasing the amount of citric to 1 tablespoon. The quality of the sour will be a little different, but I’m pretty sure no kids will complain about it.  

    The candy is flavored by unsweetened Kool-Aid mix, which is great because there are so many flavors to choose from. The real Warheads come in watermelon, green apple, sour cherry, and blue raspberry, but the blue raspberry Kool-Aid also has lemonade in it, so that one won’t taste quite the same as the real one. 

    To thicken your spray, you’ll need some glycerin. Glycerin—also a natural product—is developed from vegetable oil or animal fat and is often used in icing preparation. Glycerin helps thicken the liquid candy to make it syrupier, and it also adds sweetness. You’ll find glycerin where cake decorating supplies are sold, or online. 

    While you’re online, also look for three 2.7-ounce reusable spray bottles. That’s where I found mine. This recipe will fill each bottle all the way up, with a little left over for a partial refill.

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    For me, the most important component of a good crostata, or Italian baked tart, is a great crust. When cloning this top Olive Garden dessert, that's where I first focused my efforts, baking dozens of slightly different unfilled sugared crusts. Thankfully, flour is cheap. Once I had an easy, yet still delicious and flakey crust that was as good, if not better, than the real thing, I turned to the filling.

    Olive Garden uses Northern Spy apples in the crostata, which is a somewhat tart, firm apple, often used in pies. But they are hard to find. If you can’t find Northern Spy apples, I found that the much more common Granny Smiths work just fine here. When it came to cutting the apples I noted that the apple pieces in the real crostata have no uniformity—the apples appear to be sliced, then those slices are coarsely chopped resulting in a mixture of small and large apple pieces. We'll do the same here.

    After your crostatas have been baked to a golden brown, top each one with a scoop of ice cream and drizzle some caramel sauce over the top for a beautiful dessert no one will have the power to resist. 

    This recipe makes 4 crostatas, which is enough for 8 people to share. If you have crostatas left over, they can be stored in a covered container for a couple of days, then re-heated under a broiler until hot, just before serving.

    Want some more of my Olive Garden clone recipes? I've got a bunch right here.

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