THE ORIGINAL COPYCAT RECIPES WEBSITE

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You lucky devil. You just found copycat recipes for all of your favorite famous foods! Bestselling author and TV host Todd Wilbur shows you how to easily duplicate the taste of iconic dishes and treats at home. Get all the best restaurant recipes from Applebee's to El Pollo Loco here. New recipes added every week.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 6

    With its goofy-yet-memorable name, Moons Over My Hammy is a delicious scrambled egg sandwich that can be eaten for breakfast with hash browns on the side, or for lunch with a side of French fries. When you get the sourdough bread for this recipe, try to find a good-quality loaf with large slices.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Everyone seems to love these delicious mashed potatoes at the "Fresh Mex" Mexican Food chain. Sure, mashed potatoes may seem like a healthy side dish, but when the traditional recipe includes cream and butter, it's easy to consume more than just a few grams of fat in one small serving.

    This fat-crushing hack proves that mashed potatoes don't have to include fat to taste good.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 1/4 cups
    Total servings–4
    Calories per serving–285 (Original–338)
    Fat per serving–0g (Original–9g)

    Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Helping Carl's Jr. rebound from its sales slump was a series of TV commercials featuring over sauced sandwiches that splattered ketchup and mayo onto floors, clothes, and shoes. The tag line, "If it doesn't get all over the place, it doesn't belong in your face," made sloppy synonymous with tasty.

    If you look forward to messing up your clean clothes but don't need all the saturated fat that usually comes with this drippy fare, you'll want to give this clone a try. The fat-free ranch dressing saves you from oodles of nasty fat grams, and then the special baking technique that clones the taste and texture of deep frying eliminates a bunch more.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 sandwich
    Total servings–4
    Calories per serving–660 (Original–720)
    Fat per serving–19g (Original–36g)

    Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Eight weeks after the board of directors locked seventy-six-year old Carl Karcher out of his office in 1993, he was engineering a takeover of the "Happy Star" company that he had built over five decades. Crafty Carl found financier William P. Foley to assume his debts in exchange for stock and take control of the company as the new chairman of the board. Carl was named chairman emeritus and finally got his desk back. His plan to sell Mexican food at Carl's Jr. restaurants was later adopted and became a huge success for the chain, and almost all of the executives who had fired him have since left the company.

    Here's one of Carl's delicious sandwiches that we can clone with much fewer fat grams by using turkey bacon, fat-free mayonnaise, and fat-free Swiss cheese. These substitutions for full-fat ingredients can bring the fat down from twenty-nine grams to just over ten without compromising that distinctive Carl's Jr. taste.

    Nutrition Facts 
    Serving size–1 sandwich
    Total servings–4
    Calories per serving–366 (Original–570)
    Fat per serving–10.5g (Original–29g)

    Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Menu Description: "One part lime. Two parts cherry. All blended with ice-cold Sprite." 

    Denny's Fusion Favorites are creative drink mixes blended from the chain's soda fountain with a variety of added fruit flavors. The secret ingredients in these trademarked drinks are the flavored syrups dispensed from giant squirt bottles next to the soda machines, but I discovered that we can easily recreate these syrups using Kool-Aid drink mix powder. For this drink, that is the top choice on the Fusion Favorites menu, dissolve the Kool-Aid mix into a little lime juice for a cherry/lime syrup that can be stirred into a blend of Sprite and Minute-Maid lemonade. And if you want to significantly reduce the calories in this drink, use diet Sprite and light Minute-Maid lemonade and you can hardly tell the difference.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.85. Votes: 47

    Menu Description: "Smoked chicken, black beans, corn, jalapeno Jack cheese, red peppers and spinach wrapped inside a crispy flour tortilla. We serve it with our avocado-ranch dipping sauce."

    Chili's was the first chain to popularize the Southwestern-style eggroll, but as with any successful menu item, clones have been popping up on other major chains' appetizer menus over the past several years. Even though it's more like a small chimichanga than an eggroll, this appetizer is a fabulous creation with monster flavor. A flour tortilla is stuffed with a spicy blend of corn, green onions, black beans, spinach, jalapeno peppers, Monterey Jack cheese and spices; then it's deep-fried. Slice the fried rolls diagonally, dunk the wedges into a creamy avocado ranch sauce, and you've done your taste buds a solid. Make these several hours before you plan to serve them so that they can freeze before frying (it's a great dish to make a day ahead of a party or event). This freezing step will help the outside fry to a golden brown, but the eggrolls will stay folded, and oil won't seep in. Assembling the eggrolls takes a little time, so if you like these, I suggest making a double batch. Since you'll be freezing them, you'll have extra on hand in the freezer ready to cook with just a little additional effort.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    When I hacked this recipe on my TV show "Top Secret Recipe" I learned that the only way to make ribs taste just like the famous original version from Chili's is to smoke them with pecan wood chips. I had access to the development kitchen at Chili's corporate headquarters in Dallas where I discovered that the chain uses a special commercial smoker made by Convotherm that is preprogrammed to first smoke the ribs and then steam them until tender. To stimulate the steam function in a home smoker, you will need to spray the ribs with a little water every half hour in the second half of the cooking process.

    It is also important to use the right kind of ribs if you want the perfect clone. Get well-trimmed baby backs that aren't too thick. Chili's ribs are trimmed pretty close to the bone to ensure even smoking and grilling. I also learned on the show that the chain wraps up the hot ribs in plastic wrap and foil immediately after they are smoked and before they are finished on the grill to help make them extra tender. You can skip this step if you are rushed, but if you have the time to work it in, the meat will fall off the bone on the way to your mouth. 

    If you don't have a smoker, you can still use the seasoning and sauce recipes here and turn out some great ribs. You can give the ribs their great smokey flavor using a smoking box found on some grills, or by folding pecan wood chips into a pouch made from foil and cutting a couple of slices into the top of the foil so that the smoke can come out. Place the pouch over low heat to one side of your closed grill. Occasionally spray the ribs with water to keep them from drying out and smoke them for 2 to 4 hours, depending on how hot your grill is, then grill and baste them following this recipe. 

    I've cloned a ton of Chili's famous dishes. See if I hacked your favorites here. 

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Step-by-Step by Todd Wilbur

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    Score: 4.90. Votes: 10

    Menu Description: "Breaded chicken breast tossed in spicy wing sauce. Served with cool bleu cheese dressing."

    This clone re-creates the piquant flavor of traditional Buffalo chicken wings, but the bones and skin are left back in Buffalo. That's because these "wings" are actually nuggets sliced from chicken breast fillets, then breaded and fried, and smothered with the same type of spicy wing sauce used on traditional wings. If you like the flavor of Buffalo wings, but wish you could use a fork, your spicy dreams have come true. Serve these up with some celery sticks and bleu cheese dressing on the side for dipping.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    This item has been a huge best-seller since it was first added to Applebee's menu in 1993 as promotional summer chow. The original version of this chicken dish is topped with an oil-based Mexi-ranch dressing, plus a melted cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend, making it every shade of tasty, yet brutal on the midriff. This lighter version of the original recipe cuts the fat in half. You'll need only a small amount of tequila to make this taste like the original—we're not making a margarita here! I learned the hard way that if you add more than the seemingly minuscule 1/4 teaspoon of tequila to your chicken, it'll taste like it just got back from a bachelor party in Tijuana. 

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 entree
    Total servings–4
    Calories per serving–495 (Original–580)
    Fat per serving–15g (Original–30g)

    Source: Low Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Visit the Bennigan's Web site and you'll find out that in the early 1900s, Irishman D. Bennigan came to the United States to work as a bartender with the dream of one day opening his own tavern. During the depression, Bennigan got his wish when he purchased an old, foreclosed bar; redecorated it, and opened the original Bennigan's Irish American Grill and tavern. The "Our Story" page also explains that today all Bennigan's restaurants still use elements from that original location such as the brass rails, period pictures, and memorabilia hanging from the walls. What the Web page won't tell you is that this history is entirely made up. You'll have to dig a little deeper to find out that Bennigan's actually started in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1976, and was, at that time, owned by Pillsbury.

    For this clone, well use a special technique developed in the secret underground test kitchen to prepare the chicken without frying. This will knock that fat down to just around one-third of the original.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 sandwich
    Total servings–1
    Fat per serving–512 (Original–1038)
    Calories per serving–9g (Original–27g)

    Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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