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Sandwiches

You lucky devil. You just found 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 for less money than eating out. Todd's recipes are easy to follow and fun to make! See if Todd has hacked your favorite sandwiches here. New recipes added every week.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 3

    Menu Description: "Thinly sliced turkey, crisp bacon, lettuce and tomato on toasted white bread."

    Get out your toothpicks, because you'll have a hard time keeping the slices of this triple-decker sandwich from falling apart when slicing the only way you slice a true club sandwich: from corner to corner. This trusty, old-fashioned club sandwich recipe seems like it's been around forever, and yet this sandwich is still one of the top choices from Denny's for lunch. One day you'll find yourself with some white bread, sliced turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo, and you'll realize you're just a Top Secret Recipe away from the secret stacking that will give you the perfect club sandwich.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.40. Votes: 5

    Nicknamed "Sliders" and "Gut Bombers," these famous tiny burgers were one of the earliest fast-food creations. It all started in 1921 when E.W. Ingram borrowed $700 to open a hamburger stand in Wichita, Kansas. Ingram chose the name White Castle because "white" signified purity and cleanliness, while "castle" represented strength. permanence, and stability. White Castle lived up to its name, maintaining that permanence and stability by growing steadily over the years to a total of 380 restaurants.

    Ingram's inspiration was the development of steam-grilling, a unique process that helped the burgers retain moisture. The secret is grilling the meat over a small pile of onions that give off steam as they cook. Five holes in each mini-burger help to ensure that the meat is completely cooked without having to flip the patties. Today customers can buy these burgers "by the sack" at the outlets, or pick them up in the freezer section of most grocery stores.

    The small slider buns used by White Castle are square. We can make something similar by slicing hot dog buns—you'll get 2 small burger buns from each hotdog bun. You may also use small hamburger buns and slice them into 2x2-inch squares.

    Source: More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.78. Votes: 9

    In the early eighties, at his Gardenhouse restaurant, Chef Paul Wenner created a unique meatless patty to replace hamburgers. The patty, which contained mushrooms, brown rice, onions, oats, and low-fat cheeses was dubbed Gardenburger and quickly became a hit. Soon, Wenner closed his restaurant and began to concentrate on marketing his meatless, low-fat creation to a hungry, health-conscious America. Today Gardenburger patties can be found in more than 35,000 food service outlets around the world, and in more than 20,000 stores.

    Now you can make a surprisingly accurate clone of the real thing with the same type of ingredients Wenner uses. Most of the ingredients can be found at your local supermarket, although you may have to go to a health food store to get bulgar wheat. And if you jog over there you can burn off the few calories you ingest from this cool kitchen clone.

    Nutrition facts:
    Serving size–1 patty
    Total servings–6
    Calories per serving–135
    Fat per serving–3g

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 2

    New to the lunch menu in 1995, this sandwich would normally have around 20 grams of fat, mostly because of the Caesar dressing. But if we use some low-fat and fat-free ingredients, we can reduce those fat grams by better than half of the original. And then we'll have a flavor-packed reduced-fat clone of the delicious Olive Garden creation that's great for lunch or dinner. 

    Keep in mind that the chicken will need to marinate for several hours, so start this one early, or even better, the day before you plan to eat it. This will ensure that your chicken is well marinated and the flavors in the dressing will have time to develop.

    Nutritional Facts
    Serving Size–1 sandwich
    Total servings–4
    Calories per serving–450 (Original–543)
    Fat per serving–9g (Original–20.5g)

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite 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: 4.82. Votes: 44

    Brothers Dick and Mac McDonald opened the first McDonald's drive-in restaurant in 1948, in San Bernardino, California. When the brothers began to order an increasing amount of restaurant equipment for their growing business, they aroused the curiosity of milk-machine salesman Ray Kroc. Kroc befriended the brothers and became a franchising agent for the company that same year, opening his first McDonald's in Des Plaines, Illinois. Kroc later founded the hugely successful McDonald's Corporation and perfected the fast food system that came to be studied and duplicated by other chains over the years. The first day Kroc's cash register rang up $366.12. Today the company racks up about $50 million a day in sales in more than 12,000 outlets worldwide, and for the past ten years a new store has opened somewhere around the world an average of every fifteen hours. The double-decker Big Mac was introduced in 1968, the brain-child of a local franchisee. It is now the world's most popular hamburger and it is super easy to duplicate at home. You can use Kraft Thousand Island dressing for the special sauce, or follow the link in the Tidbits below to a recipe for cloning the special sauce from scratch.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

    For a live demo of the McDonald's Big Mac Recipe, check out this video.

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    Score: 3.67. Votes: 6

    Menu Description: "1/4 pound of 100% pure beef in two patties with American cheese, crisp lettuce and our special sauce on a sesame seed bun."

    Bob Wian's little ten-stool diner, Bob's Pantry, was in business only a short time in Glendale, California, before establishing a following of regular customers—among them the band members from Chuck Fosters Orchestra. One February night in 1937, the band came by after a gig as they often did to order a round of burgers. In a playful mood, bass player Stewie Strange sat down on a stool and uttered, "How about something different for a change, Bob?" Bob thought it might be funny to play along and serve up Stewie a burger he could barely get his mouth around. So Bob cut a bun into three slices, rather than the usual two, and stacked on two hamburger patties along with lettuce, cheese, and his special sauce. When Stewie tasted the huge sandwich and loved, it every band member wanted his own!

    Just a few days later, a plump little six-year old named Richard Woodruff came into the diner and charmed Bob into letting him do odd jobs in exchange for a burger or two. He often wore baggie overalls and had an appetite that forced the affectionate nickname "Fat Boy". Bob thought it was the perfect name for his new burger, except the name was already being used as a trademark for another product. So the name of the new burger, along with Bob's booming chain of restaurants, was changed to "Big Boy." The company's tradename Big Boy character is from a cartoonists napkin sketch of "fat boy," little Richard Woodruff.

    The Big Boy hamburger was the first of the double-decker hamburgers. McDonald's Big Mac, the world's best-known burger that came more than 30 years later, was inspired by Bob Wian's original creation. See if you can get your mouth around it. 

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Driving through Louisiana in 1953, Troy Smith discovered a hamburger stand that had installed an intercom system to speed up ordering. Troy thought the idea of ordering food from parked cars would be perfect for his Top Hat Restaurant in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He borrowed a bunch of cars from a friend who owned a used car lot and parked the cars in a row as a guide to form stalls around his restaurant. He wired an intercom system to the stalls and renamed his drive-in "Sonic" with the slogan "Service with the Speed of Sound." The new concept was a smash, and revenues for the redesigned hotdog and hamburger stand doubled during the first week. There are no secret ingredients in this clone of Sonic's signature hamburger, just common hamburger components. The secret is how you stack the ingredients that makes this burger taste like a sonic burger.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Word quickly spread through Oklahoma of Sonic's early success in the 1950s. One day Sonic Drive-In founder Troy Smith noticed a man measuring car stalls that surrounded the restaurant. Troy went to see what was going on, and the man introduced himself as Charles Woodrow Pappe, an entrepreneur. Charles said he was trying to figure out why the stalls were different sizes and if this had something to do with the booming business at the restaurant. Troy explained that he lined up several cars from his friend's used car lot to lay out the stalls and that the varying stall sizes were not part of the business plan—the cars he used were different sizes. The two men hit it off after that, and Charles eventually became the first franchise owner of a Sonic Drive-In, in Woodward, Oklahoma, in 1956. This burger variation is similar to the signature Sonic Burger, but with smoky BBQ sauce instead of mayo, and no pickle or sliced tomato.   

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    By 1978 there were more than 800 Sonic Drive-Ins in 13 states, but throughout the 1960s and 1970s there were no standardized procedures in place for franchisees. Recipes varied from restaurant to restaurant, so loyal customers never knew what their burger would taste like when visiting a new location. This inconsistency caused a sharp decline in business, and by the 1980s Sonic was in trouble. A new management team came on board in the mid-'80s and established standard franchise procedures and a Sonic Management School that turned the company around. Sonic redesigned all stores with a "retro-future" look, and today business is booming. These days a jalapeno burger that you purchase in Seattle, Washington, is guaranteed to look and taste the same as one purchased near Sonic's headquarters in Oklahoma City. How many jalapeno slices can you handle on your burger? Now you can find out.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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