THE ORIGINAL COPYCAT RECIPES WEBSITE

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    Del Johnson and his wife wanted the perfect single-word name for their new restaurant concept. "Something that would merchandise well," said Del. "In the old days, they served steaks on those sizzling platters. In a first class restaurant when you ordered a steak, they'd bring it out, put the butter on that steak and that plate was hot, it was aluminum and it would sizzle when they put it down in front of you. That's how we came up with the name. I knew we wanted to use those sizzling platters."

    Eventually the restaurant would diversify the menu to include items other than sizzling steak. One of those on the menu today is the chicken club sandwich, which you can now easily duplicate at home.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 2

    Menu Description: "Fettuccine tossed with sauteed chicken, mushrooms, onions and red and green peppers in Friday's own spicy, tomato Creole sauce." 

    There are over 360 T.G.I. Friday's restaurants in 44 states and 22 countries, all serving this Cajun-style chicken pasta. This dish is a bit like jambalaya except the rice has been replaced with pasta.

    Use a large pan for this recipe, and note that for the chicken stock or broth, you can also use a chicken bouillon cube dissolved in boiling water. This recipe makes two large restaurant-size portions, but could easily serve a family of four.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.00. Votes: 1

    Menu Description: “Wok-seared tofu, red onions, water chestnuts with mint and lime. Served with cool lettuce cups.”

    After publishing the original version of my clone for this chain’s Chicken in Soothing Lettuce Wraps in 2006 I began receiving requests for a clone of the vegetarian version. I was hesitant to even try the vegetarian version thinking that it could not possibly be as delicious as the chicken version. Boy, was I wrong. The red onion, lime juice and mint set these lettuce wraps apart, and finely diced baked tofu replaces the chicken. Baked tofu has a dark exterior and is much firmer than regular tofu. If you can’t find it at your supermarket you can get it at Asian markets or in specialty stores such as Whole Foods. It comes in a variety of flavors like teriyaki and curry, but you want the unflavored stuff. Slice it by cutting it into thin slices, cut those slices in half lengthwise, and then cutting across those julienned slices so that you end up with very small diced pieces. Crank your stove up as high as it goes for this one.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Menu Description: “Wood-grilled, bacon-wrapped sea scallops with a sweet peach-bourbon BBQ sauce, over crispy onion rings with pico de gallo.”

    You want a great way to serve scallops? Here it is. This appetizer features scallops wrapped with bacon, skewered, grilled, then smothered in a super secret sweet sauce and topped with fresh pico de gallo. As a bonus, they’re served with a side of crispy thin onion rings. When you get it all into your mouth at once, you’ll instantly know why this appetizer is so popular. I recommend using medium-size sea scallops that are all about the same size so that they each take the same amount of time to cook. You can wrap the scallops with center-cut bacon—a shorter bacon strip—or you can use the standard-size bacon and just cut off the ends. What’s nice about this dish is that you can make it a couple hours ahead of time by preparing the pico de gallo and sauce, baking the scallops, wrapping them with bacon, and then storing them covered in the refrigerator until grill time. When you are ready to serve the dish, make the crispy onions rings, grill the scallops, and serve them with the sauce poured over the top.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Menu Description: “Lobster cognac butter sauce.” 

    Next time you make lobster, save the shells, because that’s what you’ll need for the delicious lobster cognac sauce that makes this signature entrée from Roy’s so special. This recipe is great for entertaining, not only for the nice presentation, but also because the two sauces can be made in advance and chilled, then reheated in small saucepans—or even in the microwave—just before preparing the fish.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.
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    Roy’s chefs bake this signature “lava cake” dessert in parchment paper-lined metal cylindrical molds that are slipped off the soufflé when plating the dish. Fortunately we don’t have to locate a restaurant supply outlet to obtain similar molds when the tool we need is easily found in every supermarket. Save the 4-ounce cans that hold diced peppers or whatever you may find that comes in small cans with a 2 ½-inch diameter. Cut off the top and bottom, remove the labels, wash the cans, and you have the exact same size molds as those used at Roy’s. The recipe for the batter is simple with only 4 ingredients, but plan ahead for this dessert because the batter needs to chill in the molds before baking so that the centers stay gooey and uncooked like the original.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Oprah named this blended concoction from the New York City-based Serendipity 3 one of her “Favorite Things” in 2006 saying that it makes her want to “dance on the chandeliers.”  Started in a basement on East 58th Street in 1954, Serendipity 3 has been a top stop for many celebrities though the years. Tennessee Williams and Jackie Kennedy were regulars. Andy Warhol used to pay for his meals with original drawings. With locations now open in Boca Raton and Las Vegas, Serendipity 3 is more than just a sweet shop, and also serves omelettes, salads, pizza and ribs. But the joint is best known for its Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, which is ordered by around 10,000 customers each month. In the restaurant each frosty creation is made by combining a secret dry mix with milk and ice in a blender on high speed until smooth. The dessert is poured into a huge goblet, topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, and served with spoons and straws. The chain claims the secret mix is a blend of many different chocolates, and then released a recipe to the Oprah Winfrey Show a while back (posted on the show’s website) which supposedly revealed the secret formula. But it appears to be way off. The recipe given to Oprah says to use 6 half-ounce pieces “of your favorite chocolate,” but the chocolate in the restaurant’s secret dry mix comes only from cocoa powders. Also the recipe doesn’t mention anything about nonfat dry milk which is a big part of the dry mix. All you have to do is look at the ingredient list on the package of mix to see “sugar, nonfat dry milk, dextrose, and cocoas.” That’s it. But you don’t need to order a 5-dollar package of mix to enjoy this dessert. I’ll save you a little time and money with this original Top Secret Recipe I’ve worked up which uses three popular brands of cocoa, plus dry milk and sugar. Blend this mix with whole milk and ice and you’ll have a delicious (and cheap!) clone of Oprah’s favorite drink that tastes better than any recipe out there.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

    Watch Todd make Serendipity 3 Frrrozen Hot Chocolate in this video.

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    Score: 4.11. Votes: 18

    The biggest difference I find with Panera's formula versus other onion soup recipes is the inclusion of a small, almost undetectable, bit of tomato sauce. But rather than opening up a whole can of tomato sauce to use just 1 tablespoon in this home kitchen copy, I found that a squirt of ketchup works perfectly. Panera Bread also makes their soup with just a bit of heat, so we'll add a little Tabasco pepper sauce to the pot to wake everything up. The croutons on top of the soup appear to be made from the chain's focaccia bread that has been buttered, cubed, and toasted until crispy, but you can use any bread you may have on hand. As for the cheese on top, the menu says it's Asiago-Parmesan, but the cheese I tasted was more Asiago than Parmesan, so you'll need to use only Asiago cheese (that's been shaved using a potato peeler) for a great clone.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 3.25. Votes: 4

    In 2007 America's number one Cajun-style restaurant celebrated its 35th birthday with 1,583 stores worldwide. But Popeyes didn't start out with the name that most people associate with a certain spinach-eating cartoon character. When Al Copeland opened his first Southern-fried chicken stand in New Orleans in 1972, it was called Chicken On The Run. The name was later changed to Popeyes after Gene Hackman's character in the movie The French Connection. In addition to great spicy fried chicken, Popeyes serves up wonderful Southern-style buttermilk biscuits that we can now easily duplicate to serve with a variety of home cooked meals. The secret is to cut cold butter into the mix with a pastry knife so that the biscuits turn out flaky and tender just like the originals.

    Source: "Top Secret Recipes Unlocked" by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 3.50. Votes: 2

    Ah, chicken gizzard. It took me more than eighteen years to find a recipe that requires chicken gizzard -- not that I was looking for one. But I've seen the ingredients list on the box that comes from the supplier for the Cajun gravy from Popeyes, and if we're gonna do this one right I think there's got to be some gizzard in there. The gizzard is a small organ found in the lower stomach of a chicken, and your butcher should be able to get one for you. After you saute and chop the gizzard, it is simmered with the other ingredients until you have a thick, authentic Southern gravy that goes great over the Popeyes Buttermilk Biscuits clone, or onto whatever begs to be swimming in pure flavor. Get ready for some of the best gravy that's ever come off your stovetop.

    Source: "Top Secret Recipes Unlocked" by Todd Wilbur.

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