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Welcome. 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. Find all the best restaurant recipes from P..F.Chang's to Tony Roma's here. New recipes added every week.

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    Score: 4.67. Votes: 6

    Menu Description: "Loaded with cheddar cheese and bacon. Served with sour cream and chives."

    Perfume salesman Alan Stillman was a single guy in New York City in 1965, looking for a way to meet women who lived in his neighborhood. He figured out a way to get their attention: buy a broken-down beer joint in the area, jazz it up, and call it "The T.G.I.F." to attract the career crowd. Within a week, police had barricaded the area to control crowds flocking to Alan's new restaurant. The restaurant made $1 million in its first year—a lot of dough back then. Soon restaurateurs across the country were imitating the concept.

    In 1974 T.G.I. Friday's invented an appetizer that would also be copied by many in the following years. Potato skins are still the most popular item on the T.G.I. Friday's menu, with nearly 4 million orders served every year. The recipe has the added benefit of providing you with leftover baked potato ready for mashing.

    T.G.I Friday's has several popular dishes. See if I cloned your favorites here.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 9

    Menu Description: "Crunchy and crisp battered green beans with a cool creamy Cucumber-Wasabi Ranch dip."

    T.G.I. Friday's new finger food offering might just make you forget about French fries. At least for a little while. Flavorful green beans are coated with tasty breadcrumbs, then fried to a golden brown, and served with a side of creamy wasabi dipping sauce. This item has quickly become the top seller on the chain's new appetizer menu as Friday's becomes the first major casual restaurant to introduce a dish that has been popular for several years at upscale chains.

     

    Creating a home version isn't just a matter of breading and frying fresh green beans. My first attempts using a breading technique employed for perfect onion rings produced beautiful looking fried beans, but they were undercooked and had an overwhelming green bean flavor that was absent from the Friday's version. So, I had to figure out a good way to get the green bean-ness out of there. After a few tests that included steaming, baking, and boiling, I finally settled on blanching the beans in a flavorful broth. The secret technique, which you'll find here, tenderizes the beans while injecting pleasant flavor that closely resembles the Friday's favorite.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 4

    Menu Description: "Sliced Portobello mushrooms between layers of Provolone & Monterey Jack cheeses, roasted onions and tomatoes on grilled, buttery bread."

    Contestants on the November 1, 2006 episode of Top Chef on Bravo were challenged to take a childhood favorite dish and update it with a twist. Friday's Senior Executive Chef Stephen Bulgarelli sat at the judges table and endured a bizarre wonderland mushroom plate, a sloppy cheese steak sandwich, and an over-salted surf and turf tragedy. Finally, it was the delicious variation on a grilled cheese sandwich created by Betty Fraser that took the top spot. As a reward, Betty's sandwich was added to over 500 Friday's menus across the country, and now we have a Top Secret clone to easily recreate the tasty winner at home. Friday's modified Betty's recipe to make it easier to prepare in the quick-service environment of the restaurant, and that's the version I've cloned for you here.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 10

    There are several delicious variations of Wolfgang Puck's butternut squash soup recipe floating around, but as far as I can tell no version comes close to duplicating the amazing stuff served at his flagship restaurant. At the Las Vegas Spago in Caesar's Palace I recently slurped up the slightly sweetened, pale amber masterpiece with the perfect combination of spices, and then finagled two bowls to go. Since the soup is completely smooth, running it through a strainer revealed no solid evidence of ingredients; only black specks of various spices were visible. This one was not going to be easy. After many attempts I finally recreated the subtle background flavors with chopped leek slowly sweated in butter, and one gala apple. I discovered that the apple contributes a perfect sweetness. The rest was easy: poach the leek, squash, and apple in broth until soft; blend everything until smooth; then reheat with the cream and just a little brown sugar. This Wolfgang Puck butternut squash soup recipe is my new favorite.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.00. Votes: 2

    Menu Description: "Irresistible, creamy cheeses and elbow noodles golden fried to perfection."

    When T.G.I. Friday's vice president of research and development Phil Costner was in Las Vegas at Fix restaurant in the Bellagio in 2006, he tried a version of this fantastic finger food and immediately went to work locating a supplier to develop the dish for his chain of 550 restaurants. Now Fried Mac & Cheese is one of seven "radically new" finger foods on Friday's appetizer menu that includes Crispy Green Bean Fries, Potato Skinny Dippers and Triple Meat Fundido. After several hours in the underground lab I decided on a couple ways to approach this particular clone. Since Friday's Fried Mac & Cheese is made with a blend of cheeses, I'll first show you how to re-create the mac & cheese from scratch using Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. And for those of you who love shortcuts, head on down to the Tidbits at the bottom of the recipe and I'll show you how to clone the appetizer much faster using frozen Stouffer's Macaroni & Cheese.
     
    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.60. Votes: 5

    Celebrate life with clones for two of Friday's delicious new martinis: the super tasty Pomegranate Martini features Pama, the first pomegranate liqueur, and the Candy Apple Martini that tastes like a liquid caramel apple—really good stuff. As with any properly prepared martini, be sure to chill each glass by filling it with ice before making the drink, and shake everything up with much fury and enthusiasm before pouring.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    With the sweet, sour, spicy and salty flavors that are traditional to Thai cuisine, tom ka gai soup is a party on your palate. It's a dish that I've been wanting to hack for years, but could not find a famous chain with a popular version. That is until recently, when Trader Vic's landed in Las Vegas at the Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino. This upscale, worldwide Polynesian-themed chain adds eggplant to this soup where you would traditionally find straw mushrooms, and thinly julienned peppers where Thai chili peppers would usually be. Other than that the soup has the same traditional flavors of some of the best tom ka gai soups I have eagerly slurped up. For this clone you'll need to track down a couple stalks of lemongrass—a whole stalk is about a foot long. Cut each in half and get medieval on it with a kitchen mallet so the flavors are released into the soup as it cooks. Before serving the soup you may want to fish out the lemongrass and the chunks of ginger, or you may be brushing up on your Heimlich maneuver.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 14

    Menu Description: "Marinated chicken breast topped with fiery Kung Pow sauce, mandarin oranges and pineapple pico de gallo."

    This Friday's low-fat creation does not skimp on flavor. A marinade, a spicy sauce, and a fresh salsa all pitch in for some big-time taste bud satisfaction. Sprinkle mandarin orange sections over the top if you've got em, and you will completely re-create the look and taste of this healthy entree clone.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 3.40. Votes: 10

    Sales erupted at Taco Bell when the chain introduced the new Volcano Taco in September 2008. A red corn tortilla shell filled with standard taco ingredients including spiced ground beef, lettuce, and cheese, is topped with a super-spicy cheese-based secret ingredient called Lava Sauce that makes this product one of the chain's most successful new menu items. When the Volcano Taco was removed from stores three months after its launch, internet groups quickly formed demanding the product's hasty return. Those campaigns worked. The Volcano taco returned to stores as a permanent menu item, along with a new burrito that also features the Lava Sauce. But there's no need to go all the way to Taco Bell and beg for extra sauce if you want to spread the same spicy joy on your homemade Mexican-style creations. Get a box of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and use the powdered cheese inside to whip up your own Lava Sauce clone. Cayenne pepper cranks the sauce up to 800 Scoville units of heat compared to Taco Bell's Fire Sauce at 500 Scoville units, which makes this the hottest stuff you can get at the chain. Now, with this secret formula, you can adjust the heat up or down to your preference just by playing with the amount of cayenne you add. You can also make the sauce lower in fat by using reduced-fat mayo.

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    Score: 4.00. Votes: 2

    Mai Tai creator and restaurateur Victor Bergeron well-documented his original secret formula: His recipe from 1944 is a delicious blend of 17-year-old rum, lime juice, orange curacao, simple syrup and orgeat for a subtle flavoring of almond. When Vic's Tahitian friends sipped his new creation, they said "Mai Tai Roa Ae"—Tahitian for "out of this world, the best." So Vic named his drink "Mai Tai," and the rest is cocktail history.

    The recipe has changed throughout the years using younger rums and various fruit and citrus juice measurements—you can find these other versions of the Mai Tai posted around the Internet. There is even a Trader Vic's Mai Tai mixer available in some stores. But nowhere will you find a formula for the "World Famous" $9.50 caramel-colored cocktail currently served at the 30 Trader Vic's restaurants that dot the globe. Why not? Because the secret ingredient in the current recipe is a concentrated syrup that is only available for commercial use at the restaurant chain. And that's the first formula we need to duplicate to get the exact flavors of the restaurant version into our home clone. I secured some of this "secret" concentrated mix, and figured out how to clone it using a super-sweet simple syrup solution plus orange and almond extracts. That's the first step. After that, add lime juice, lemon juice and dark rum, plus the syrup to a glass full of crushed ice; apply the proper garnishes; and you will have recreated two refreshing servings of one of the world's most famous cocktails.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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