THE ORIGINAL COPYCAT RECIPES WEBSITE

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Menu Description: “Slow-simmered meat sauce with tender braised beef and Italian sausage, tossed with ruffled pappardelle pasta and a touch of alfredo sauce—just like Nonna’s recipe.”

    It’s a mistake to assume that a recipe posted to a restaurant chain’s website is the real recipe for the food served there. I’ve found this to be the case with many Olive Garden recipes, and this one is no exception. The widely circulated recipe that claims to duplicate the chain’s classic Bolognese actually originated on Olive Garden’s own website, and if you make that recipe you’ll be disappointed when the final product doesn’t come close to the real deal. I won’t get into all the specifics of the things wrong with that recipe (too much wine, save some of that for drinking!), but at first glance it’s easy to see that a few important ingredients found in traditional Bolognese sauces are conspicuously missing from that recipe, including milk, basil, lemon, and nutmeg.

    I incorporated all those missing ingredients into this new hack recipe, tweaked a few other things, and then tested several methods of braising the beef so that it comes out perfectly tender: covered, uncovered, and a combo. The technique I settled on was cooking the sauce covered for 2 hours, then uncovered for 1 additional hour so that the sauce reduces, and the beef transforms into a fork-flakable flavor bomb. Yes, it comes from Olive Garden, but this Bolognese is better than any I’ve had at restaurants that charge twice as much, like Rao’s where the meat is ground, not braised, and they hit you up for $30.  

    As a side note, Olive Garden’s menu says the dish comes with ruffled pappardelle pasta, but it’s actually mafaldine, a narrower noodle with curly edges (shown in the top right corner of the photo). Pappardelle, which is the traditional pasta to serve with Bolognese, is very wide noodle with straight edges, and it’s more familiar than mafaldine, so perhaps that’s why the menu fudges this fact. In the end, it doesn’t really matter which pasta you choose. Just know that a wide noodle works best. Even fettuccine is a good choice for this Olive Garden braised beef Bolognese recipe.

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    Garlic mashed potatoes are a great side for many entrees, especially when the potatoes are as creamy and flavorful as those at Olive Garden. In our hack, the garlic gets boiled with the potatoes to soften it. When the potatoes get passed through a potato ricer (or mashed) the softened garlic goes along for the ride and gets mashed up too. This way you’re guaranteed to get plenty of garlic in every bite. I settled on cream as the dairy used here after my attempts using milk and half-and-half resulted in thin and runny potatoes. I found that cream adds the perfect thickness and smooth richness to the mashers, and it made the closest duplicate.

    This side goes great with our Olive Garden Stuffed Chicken Marsala copycat recipe.

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    Menu Description: “Creamy marsala wine sauce with mushrooms over grilled chicken breasts, stuffed with Italian cheeses and sundried tomatoes. Served with garlic mashed potatoes.”

    This recipe includes a marsala sauce that even marsala sauce haters will like. My wife is one of those haters, but when she tried this sauce, her eyes lit up, and she begged for more. Great, now I won’t have to eat it alone.

    Not only is Olive Garden's delicious marsala sauce hacked here (and it’s easy to make), you’ll also get the copycat hack for the chain's awesome Italian cheese stuffing that goes between the two pan-cooked chicken filets. Build it, sauce it, serve it. The presentation is awesome, and the flavor will knock their socks off.

    Try this dish paired with my recent free clone of Olive Garden’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes for the complete O.G. Stuffed Chicken Marsala experience.

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    Score: 3.80. Votes: 5

    Jerrico, Inc., the parent company for Long John Silver's Seafood Shoppes, got its start in 1929 as a six-stool hamburger stand called the White Tavern Shoppe. Jerrico was started by a man named Jerome Lederer, who watched Long John Silver's thirteen units dwindle in the shadow of World War II to just three units. Then, with determination, he began rebuilding. In 1946 Jerome launched a new restaurant called Jerry's and it was a booming success, with growth across the country. Then he took a chance on what would be his most successful venture in 1969, with the opening of the first Long John Silver's Fish 'n' Chips. The name was inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. In 1991 there were 1,450 Long John Silver Seafood Shoppes in thirty-seven states, Canada, and Singapore, with annual sales of more than $781 million. That means the company holds about 65 percent of the $1.2 billion quick-service seafood business.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 3

    Like the Big Mac, the idea for this breakfast product came from an inspired McDonald's franchisee goofing around with ingredients in the kitchen—in this case, English muffins and a cylindrical egg mold. It was in 1977 that the world's largest burger chain unveiled the Egg McMuffin to a ravenous America on the go: the eat-breakfast-while-driving, morning rush hour workforce with the spill-proof coffee mugs.

    Back then, concerns with fat intake were not big on our minds or in the news, so the 12 grams of fat per Egg McMuffin was disregarded. But if you've had your share of greasy breakfast sandwiches over the years and have little extra time one morning, give this cool clone a test. Using egg substitute egg whites and fat-free American cheese, you can still create that signature Mickey D's taste while cutting the fat down to just 2.5 grams per sandwich. Now when you eat two of these you won't make such a dent in your daily fat allotment when the sun is just barely up.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 sandwich
    Total servings–1
    Calories per serving–217 (Original–290)
    Fat per serving–2.5g (Original–12g)

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

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    Need a simple cocktail for a hot day when the thought of lemonade makes your mouth water? Try this one. You start crafting this new signature blender drink by making lemon syrup from scratch from lemon juice, sugar and water. Track down some limoncello--an Italian lemon liqueur--and Smirnoff citrus vodka or your favorite citrus vodka. Refreshing and boozy. Sounds good to me.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    The delicious Frozen Tiramisu—Olive Garden's dessert in a glass—requires espresso syrup that you can make with sugar and espresso or strong coffee. Each serving requires just a little of the syrup, so you'll have plenty for several servings.

     

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.00. Votes: 6

    Menu Description: "Known as Buffalo chicken wings here in the States."

    No, Outback Steakhouse is not the country's largest importer of Australian woodland kingfisher wings. Despite the name, these tasty wings don't come from the wild birds also known as kookaburras. Instead, this appetizer is made the old fashioned way—with good old American chickens. And as with the traditional recipe, these wings are coated with Louisiana hot sauce; but it's the breading that makes them unique. This clone Outback Steakhouse kookaburra wings recipe uses a secret blend of powdered cheese sprinkles and spices. Kraft powdered cheese can be found near the Kraft Parmesan cheese or near the macaroni and cheese kits in your supermarket. If you can't track it down, use Molly McButter cheese sprinkles. If you can't find that, get a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (it's cheap) and use the cheese inside it.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Roll a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream in homemade candied pecans. Surround the ice cream with warm cinnamon apples and drizzle caramel over the top. Sprinkle fresh cinnamon-butter croutons on the dessert and you've got an irresistible clone that will make your diet cry "uncle!" For the croutons, the restaurant uses leftover Honey Wheat Bushman Bread (the clone is here). If you don't have plans to make the bread from scratch, you can use any sweet bread from the store, such as Hawaiian Sweet Bread or Pillsbury Honey White Bread.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    It was in the late seventies, shortly after McDonald's had introduced the Egg McMuffin, that the food giant realized the potential of a quick, drive-thru breakfast. Soon, the company had developed several breakfast selections, including the Big Breakfast with eggs, hash browns, and sausage. Eventually one out of every four breakfasts served out of the home would be served at McDonald's—an impressive statistic indeed. The newest kid on the McBreakfast block is this morning meal in a tortilla, first offered on the menu in the summer of 1991. The regular Breakfast Burrito has 19 grams of fat. To keep the energy up for your busy day, try out this version of the tasty breakfast meal with under 3 grams of fat.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 burrito
    Total servings–4
    Calories per serving–202 (Original–320)
    Fat per serving–2.5g (Original–19g)

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur. 

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