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Seasonings

Nice workl. 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. See if Todd has hacked your favorite seasonings here. New recipes added every week.

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    Score: 3.88. Votes: 8

    When you sit down for Italian-style grub at one of the more than 168 nationwide Carrabba's restaurants, you're first served a small plate with a little pile of herbs and spices in the middle to which the waiter adds olive oil. Now you're set up to dip your sliced bread in the freshly flavored oil. To craft a version of this Carrabba's olive oil bread dip recipe, you'll need a coffee bean grinder or a small food processor to finely chop the ingredients.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.98. Votes: 60

    For 25 years Fuddruckers has been serving huge, cooked-when-ordered beef patties on freshly baked buns. You decorate your hamburger creation with sliced tomato, onions, lettuce, pickles, peppers, relish and whatever else is offered at the toppings bar. Everyone builds their burger differently, yet the company claims these are "The Worlds Greatest Hamburgers." What makes them so good? Fuddruckers boasts that it uses only 100% USDA choice, aged ground beef. What Fuddruckers won't tell you is which secret ingredients make up the delicious burger seasoning used on each of those patties. After analyzing a sample of the blend used in the shakers back by the griddle, I've come up with this simple clone which you can now mix up at home, and pour into an empty shaker bottle. Sprinkle it onto 1/3- or 1/2-pound ground beef patties just before they cook, then grab some fresh buns in the bakery section of your store. Add your choice of other fresh toppings, and you'll soon have a hamburger clone that tastes just like those served at the more than 230 Fuddruckers.

    Wash down that tasty burger with my recipe for In-N-Out Burger Vanilla Shake.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.50. Votes: 2

    With spice grinder in hand, Gustav Brunn traveled to America from Germany, and settled down in Baltimore on the Chesapeake Bay, where steamed crabs are a staple. Gustav began grinding. In 1939, after trying many different combinations, Gustav found just the right mix for a top secret blend of spices that would be the most-used seasoning on steamed crabs, shrimp, lobster, and other tasty seafood dishes for generations to come. But McCormick & Co., which purchased Old Bay in 1990, insists that the celery salt based blend is not just for seafood. You can also use the seasoning on chicken, French fries, popcorn, baked potatoes, deviled eggs, hamburgers, and even pizza.

    Try your homemade Old Bay on my recipe for jumbo lump crab cakes from Joe's Stone Crab. 

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.50. Votes: 2

    Need a recipe that copies Shake 'N Bake in a pinch? Here's the TSR solution for a quick clone that will give you the same texture and flavor of Kraft Shake 'N Bake using very common ingredients. You may notice the color is a bit different in this clone when compared to the real thing. That's because this recipe doesn't include beet powder—a hard to find ingredient that lends a red/orange tint to the original. But after you sink your teeth into the chicken baked the same way as described on the Shake 'N Bake box you'll swear it's the same stuff. When you're ready to get shaking and baking, use this breading on 2 1/2 pounds of chicken pieces or on 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.25. Votes: 8

    The little red packets of viscous hot sauce at the fast food giant have a cult following of rabid fans who will do whatever it takes to get their hands on large quantities. One such fan of the sauce commented online, "Are there any Wendy's employees or managers out there who will mail me an entire case of Hot Chili Seasoning? I swear this is not a joke. I love the stuff. I tip extra cash to Wendy's workers to get big handfuls of the stuff." Well, there's really no need to tip any Wendy's employees, because now you can clone as much of the spicy sauce as you want in your own kitchen with this Top Secret Recipe.

    The ingredients listed on the real Hot Chili Seasoning are water, corn syrup, salt, distilled vinegar, natural flavors, xanthan gum, and extractives of paprika. We'll use many of those same ingredients for our clone, but we'll substitute gelatin for the xanthan gum (a thickener) to get the slightly gooey consistency right. For the natural flavor and color we'll use cayenne pepper, cumin, paprika, and garlic powder, then filter the particles out with a fine wire-mesh strainer after they've contributed what the sauce needs.

    This recipe makes 5 ounces of sauce— just the right amount to fit nicely into a used hot sauce bottle—and costs just pennies to make. 

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    Score: 3.60. Votes: 15

    At these New Orleans-inspired quick-chicken restaurants portable paper pouches of this seasoning blend hold about 1/4 teaspoon of tasty sprinkle, and Popeyes doesn't sell it in stores. The only way you'll get a decent portion to use on your home foods is to either horde dozens of envelopes of the Cajun seasoning or whip up your own home version. I recommend the latter. One secret ingredient in this basic seasoning blend is MSG, or monosodium glutamate, which is an important part of the delicious flavor. You'll find MSG near the other herbs and spices in your market under the brand-name Accent. If you don't want MSG on your food you can certainly leave this ingredient out of the mix. You won't get the best Top Secret clone, but the blend will still be very good on anything that needs a dash of salt, flavor, and a little bit of spicy heat.

    Try this seasoning to your home version of Popeyes chicken sandwich or their famous fried chicken. Get all of my Popeyes copycat recipes here.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 3.71. Votes: 7

    This is a simple recipe to clone the contents of the seasoning packet that bears the Taco Bell logo found in most grocery stores these days. You probably expect the seasoning mix to make meat that tastes exactly like the stuff you get at the big chain. Well, not exactly. It's more like the popular Lawry's taco seasoning mix, which still makes good spiced ground meat, and works great for a tasty bunch of tacos.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 4

    This orange-colored spice blend has been perking up salads, pasta, potatoes, hamburgers, and vegetables for years now, but there has never been a home clone for the stuff. Time to change that. While it's obvious that sesame seeds are a major part of this blend, you may not know that the main ingredient is Romano cheese—in the bottle it's tinted orange by the paprika. Be sure to store this one in the refrigerator. You might even want to keep the seasoning in an empty shaker-top spice bottle. And if you're in the mood for some tasty pasta salad, just check out the Tidbit below that comes right off the bottle of the original product.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.75. Votes: 8

    A couple years ago Taco Bell and Kraft Foods got together to produce a line of products—everything from taco kits to salsas and spice mixes—all stamped with the familiar Taco Bell logo and available in supermarkets across the country. The idea was a winner, and now the Taco Bell line of products is among Kraft's top sellers. The clone of this mix, made with a combination of common spices and cornstarch, can be kept indefinitely until your brain's fajita-craving neurons begin firing. When you're set to cook, you'll need some chicken, a bell pepper, and an onion, then follow the same prep instructions you find on the package of the real thing.

    Top your fajitas off with one Taco Bell's famous sauces from my recipes here.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 11

    This is a clone for the stuff you buy in 1-ounce packets to create, as the package says, "a fun-filled Mexican fiesta in minutes." Ah, so true. In fact, thanks to Lawry's, my last Mexican fiesta was filled with so much fun that I had to take a siesta. And I promise you just as much fun with this TSR clone. Maybe even a tad more. Just mix the ingredients together in a small bowl, then add it to 1 pound of browned ground beef along with some water and let it simmer. Before you know it you'll be up to your nostrils in good old-fashioned, taco-making fun.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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I'm Todd Wilbur,
Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

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