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Mastro's

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    This 8-unit Scottsdale Arizona-based chain founded in 1999 was named one of the top 10 steakhouses in the country by the Gayot restaurant and travel guide, and is planning to build 40 additional restaurants over the next 10 years. Mastro’s restaurants are known for their elegant settings and delicious prime beef served on 400-degree plates, but this side dish ranks high among the most popular menu choices. As if the creamy gorgonzola cheese sauce isn’t incredible enough, this dish is topped with a bubbling cheese layer that includes mozzarella, Fontina, and Pecorino; plus a little Grana Padano, which is similar to Parmigiano-Reggiano. You can track down all of these cheeses separately and make your own cloned blend, or you can use a pre-shredded Italian cheese blend found in most markets that will include from 4 to 6 Italian cheeses in one bag. Even though the bagged blend is not exactly what is used at the restaurant, I found these cheese blends to be an easy and inexpensive substitute that taste very close to the original. When using the pre-blended cheese spread 1½ cups over the top of the pasta and get on with the broiling.

    Source: "Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3" by Todd Wilbur.

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    One of the best tools I have for analyzing seasoning blends—besides the old tastebuds—is a video microscope. With this microscope I was able to clearly see that the salt used in an acquired sample of Mastro’s secret steak seasoning was fine salt like the stuff used on popcorn, and that there was some flour in there, probably to help the seasoning stick to the meat. Identifying those ingredients plus a few more made it very easy to assemble a clone of the blend that you can now use on your favorite cuts at home.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 3

    Mastro’s signature dessert is sinfully good. How can it not be? It’s buttery pound cake with a warm cream cheese filling, crowned with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of homemade raspberry sauce. This formula makes 3 cakes when you bake them in5-inch ramekins, which gives you cakes that are the same size as those served in the restaurant. And each one will easily serve two people. You can make this dessert the day before you plan to serve it just as the chefs at the restaurant do. When each butter cake order comes into the Mastro’s kitchen, a cake is microwaved until hot, the sugar topping is melted with a chef’s torch (the kind used for crème brulee), then the cake is topped with ice cream and raspberry sauce. If you don’t have a torch to melt the sugar crystals, you can just skip that step and serve the cake with the raw sugar un-torched. It still tastes great.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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